The Toronto Blue Jays have announced that they will pay tribute to the late Roy Halladay by retiring the pitchers uniform number on Opening Day as well the team will wear a commemorative “32” patch on their jerseys for the 2018 campaign.
According to the Toronto Blue Jays media release, the ceremony will take place before the Blue Jays contest versus the New York Yankees on Thursday, March 29th. Halladay will join Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar as the only two numbers retired in Blue Jays history.
Roy Halladay who is arguably the best pitcher in Jays history died tragically in November when the plane he was operating crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. Halladay who was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 1st round, 17th overall of the 1995 amateur draft pitched 12 years north of the border before being dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies before the 2010 season.
Blue Jays President and CEO Mark Shapiro had these kinds words about the late Halladay.
"“Through Roy’s values, pride, work ethic, and perseverance, he epitomized what it means to be a Blue Jay, and while his legacy is clear, it goes far beyond the number on his back or his on-field accomplishments, serving as a shining example of how to live a meaningful life and positively impact others.”"
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During his career in Toronto, Halladay went 148-76 with a 3.43 earned run average and a 1.198 WHIP in 313 games. The big right-hander accumulated a 48.5 WAR while making six All-Star appearances representing the Jays. The culminating point during his stay in Toronto was in 2003 when Halladay was awarded the AL Cy Young award after the workhorse went 22-7 with 3.25 ERA and an 8.1 WAR in 266 innings of work.
Halladay spent the final four years of his 16-year career with the Phillies and will one-day represent the Blue Jays at his final resting place in Cooperstown.
A classy move on the Jays organization to not play a game before retiring the Doc’s legendary number 32. There will undoubtedly not be a dry eye in the entire place as “Doc” was Canada’s adopted son and a fan favourite during his tenure in Toronto.