Another Blue Jays pitching legend, right-hander Roy Halladay was one of the reasons many fans went to see the club play during some rough years in club history.
A first-round pick of the Jays in the 1995 MLB Draft, Halladay made his MLB debut in 1998 and struggled through his first few seasons to fully cement himself on the active roster. That all changed in 2002, as the Jays pitcher was named to his first All-Star squad and led the AL in innings pitched with 239.1. He followed that season with a Cy Young performance, winning 22 games and putting forth a 3.25 ERA through 36 outings and 266.0 innings.
Through 12 seasons with the franchise, Halladay finished with a 3.43 ERA through 2046.2 innings, posting 49 complete games, a 6.6 K/9, and a 1.178 WHIP to go with a 3.39 FIP and a 48.4 bWAR. To go along with his Cy Young Award, Halladay made six All-Star appearances and was a prominent member off the field, working with the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children and donating $100,000 of his pay to the Jays Care Foundation on a yearly basis.
The Blue Jays ended up trading him to the Philadelphia Phillies during the 2009/2010 offseason, presumably so he could get a last chance at a World Series ring in the twilight of his career. While he didn’t end up winning a championship, he did pitch a Perfect Game, a postseason no-hitter, and found himself voted into both the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Cooperstown, as well as having his number retired in both the Blue Jays and Phillies organization.
It’s time to honour his late legacy with a statue at the Rogers Centre.