Blue Jays: What does Roy Halladay mean to us?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 8: Former Major League pitcher Roy Halladay talks to the media prior to the game between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies on August 8, 2014 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 8: Former Major League pitcher Roy Halladay talks to the media prior to the game between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies on August 8, 2014 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Today marks the one year anniversary of Roy “Doc” Halladay’s death. He meant a lot to many fans as well as our Jays Journal team. Here is what Halladay meant to us.

Hayden Godfrey

Roy Halladay, who, for some reason, I never called “Doc”, was the first baseball card I ever had, and the first athlete that I ever knew by name. He was the reason I became enamored with the sport, and his delivery, fluid and mechanically calculated, is permanently and pleasantly engrained in my mind.

While Torontonians were undoubtedly sad to see him go, they knew he’d given the best he could to this city, and this franchise.

Roy Halladay, to me, represents class, hard work, and the right way to play this beautiful game.

Tino Merianos

There are few people who commanded the respect of a community as Roy Halladay did.

From the time of his pitching debut right through to his passing last year, Halladay was beloved by all.

It’s easy to have a fondness for someone you enjoyed watching compete with great success, in a sport you love.

However, in an era where professional athletes many times do not understand the example they set or the influence they can have on people (especially young people), Roy personified the approach every athlete should take during and after their professional career.

Doc was very devoted to his family, his team, his craft, and his fans, but he (and his family) always found time to make the communities where they lived and worked, better places for everyone.

Halladay understood that a communities value is a sum up of the investments each member makes into it and he invested heavily wherever he was.

Each community embraced him and connected with him on an emotional level.  Proof of this shows in the reactions from the communities he invested in, after his tragic passing.

Doc will forever be remembered as a Blue Jay, a Phillie, a devoted Father, and a husband. But his devotion to using baseball as a platform to make the world better through public service should be his legacy.

Ari Shapiro

During a groundhog day era when baseball mediocrity was the norm in the city of Toronto, Roy Halladay was the gold standard when it came to on-field performance and off-field class.

The history of America’s pastime is layered with exceptional hurlers and memorable performances; fearless competitors and mercurial repertoires. But few have ever (and will ever) leave as indelible a mark upon an entire generation of fans quite like Halladay.

Here was a player who was regarded as the best of the best; plying his craft at levels previously unseen around these parts while providing the faithful with everything that they deserved.

Although the front office failed miserably in meeting his own professional standards, it’s important to remember Halladay was an athlete who took (repeated) hometown discounts, dedicating the best years of his life to a cause which far exceeded the mantra of shareholders and corporate suits.

He did it for the fans and only the fans, and this makes him a true legend in every sense of the word.

Chris Henderson

Roy Halladay broke into the big leagues when I was just 13 years old and really became a star as I was a senior in high school, making the All-Star team in 2002 for the first time.

During a tough stretch of Blue Jays baseball after the “glory years”, Halladay was a point of pride for the fans, and a reason to tune in every fifth day, regardless of how bad the team was playing. You knew that when “Doc” was on the hill, that there was a very good chance the Blue Jays were going to win that day. If nothing else, it was a chance to watch pitching excellence.

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Halladay was an incredible role model. He quietly went about his work, exhibiting class in every step of his development, and overcoming professional adversity to become one of the best pitchers of his generation. He had every reason to let his ego get the best of him or to leave the Blue Jays for greener pastures. He did eventually pitch for the Phillies in pursuit of a World Series ring, but not before he gave the Blue Jays more than enough opportunity to build a winner around him, pitching in Toronto for 12 seasons.

That dedication to his craft, to the franchise that drafted him, and to the fans was only surpassed by his commitment to his family. I might be 34 now, but I still think about what I want to be when I “grow up”. When I was 17 years old, one of the frequent answers to that question was “Roy Halladay”.

Clayton Richer

Plain and simple, Roy Halladay was a winner. He was the epitome of a gamer and a workhorse morphed into this ultra-competitive freak of nature.  “Doc” was money when it mattered most and the type of talent you built your franchise around.

Halladay persevered when others would have given up, “Doc” was the guy you wanted on the bump in a must-win contest. He would go to battle for every single one of his teammates and leave it all on the field.

He was one of a kind and even though I am saddened he is gone, I am thankful myself and the rest of Canada had the privilege to watch him hone his craft every fifth day north of the border for many years.

Cooperstown is the next stop for #32, gone but never forgotten!

Joshua Giles

Roy Halladay was without a doubt the best Blue Jay player I have seen. Now you have to understand that I was born in 1998 and didn’t get to see the amazing 92’ and 93’ World Series runs. I didn’t even get to see playoff baseball in Toronto until 2015.

So as many of you understand, it was pretty dang painful trying to grow up as a Blue Jays fan sometimes. Especially when you don’t get to see much of any success. But Doc made it bearable.

I can honestly say that he is the reason I kept watching Blue Jays baseball as a kid. Every game I went to, I made sure he was the one who was pitching. The way he handled batters with such precision blew my mind and he made me obsess over the art of pitching.

I’d have to say that one of my favourite memories of Halladay, is when he retired as a Blue Jay. I remember when he signed a one-day contract to Toronto, and it was just the ultimate sign of class for the fans. That’s something that he personified every day as a player and a person. When you’re growing up as a Jays fan, I don’t think that there is a better role model than Doc. A great player and a great person.

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It was always a dream of mine to be able to meet him, but ever since a year ago, I can’t.

Roy “Doc” Halladay was the reason I fell in love with baseball.