Blue Jays: A Special Day with Braden Halladay
The Blue Jays fanbase had a treat on Saturday afternoon who , getting a chance to watch Braden Halladay pitch for Team Canada’s Jr squad, who is the son of the late Roy Halladay.
Saturday afternoon was a special day for the Blue Jays and their fan base, especially in advance of the plans for Opening Day at the Rogers Centre. The organization plans to honour their late legend, Roy Halladay, at the Opening Day game, and it’s understandably a highly anticipated day.
Which is what made Saturday extra special as the Blue Jays had a split squad game against Team Canada’s junior squad, a team that features a young man by the name of Braden Halladay. The son of the late Blue Jay great got into the game against the Blue Jays, pitching a scoreless frame in the eighth inning.
The young Halladay is a high school junior living in Florida these days, but was born while his Dad was staring for the Blue Jays, thus his eligibility to play for Team Canada. And while he strikes a resemblance to his father, he’s a much different pitcher at this stage of his young career, at least for now.
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According to an article from Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, Braden’s fastball tops out at around 83 miles at hour, and he’s well aware of the differences between himself and his father at the same age. That said, he’s also just 16 years old, and has plenty of growing and developing to do, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could eventually develop into a power pitcher, even if trying to match what his father accomplished is a ridiculously unfair standard.
Braden admitted as much in a post-game interview, stating, “People think, ‘Oh, he’s Roy Halladay’s son, he should throw 95 m.p.h. at 12 years old,” but he also talked about how he received so much great advice from his Dad, and that he was always encouraged to a healthy standard, and never pushed beyond what he felt he could do.
"“People think, ‘Oh, he’s Roy Halladay’s son, he should throw 95 m.p.h. at 12 years old,”"
The young man showed that he’s got solid ability as a young man, and has impressed those around him including Greg Hamilton, the coach of the National squad. This should hardly come as a surprise to anyone who followed Roy throughout his career, and he had a reputation as an incredibly hard worker, and a selfless individual who genuinely cared about those around him.
Which is what made Saturday so special, for the fans, and for the Halladay family. It wouldn’t have mattered what the result was, but the fact that he pitched a scoreless frame was fittingly poetic for everyone who still mourns the Blue Jays legend.
Roy Halladay was killed in a plane crash back in November, tragically perishing at the young age of just 40 years old.