On This Day: "Doc" Halladay retires as a member of the Blue Jays

Apr 4, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays former pitcher Roy Halladay gets ready to
Apr 4, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays former pitcher Roy Halladay gets ready to / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The greatest pitcher in Blue Jays franchise history, the late Roy Halladay, was coming off of an injury-riddled 2013 season with the Philadelphia Phillies.

"Doc" had reached the option decision in the three-year contract he’d signed with the Phillies heading into the 2011 season, an option which had been declined, making him a free agent.  It was on this date that Halladay was signed to a one day contract with the Toronto Blue Jays with the intention of retiring as a member of the organization that drafted him.

Halladay was taken in the first round way back in the draft of 1995. The beginning of his career was up and down, reaching some highs before the lowest of lows. After a promising first two seasons in the majors, he seemingly couldn’t get batters out during his third professional season in 2000. A prolonged stint in the minors with the intention of salvaging this once-prized prospect proved to turn Roy’s career and life around.

Halladay returned in 2001 and proceeded to breakout and never looked back.

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From that season on, the budding legend would average 201 innings a season, winning 185 games between the Jays and Phillies, with a FIP of 3.23 over that span and an astronomically low BB/9 of 1.7. These cherry-picked stats fail to encapsulate the impact he had on whatever team he was a part of. His leadership, consistency, work ethic, desire to win, and all other intangibles made him one of the best players of his era.

Unfortunately, Halladay's career suffered an unceremonious end on a September afternoon in Florida. At the site of his historic perfect game, Doc was only able to record a single out in a game against the Marlins, during which his velocity topped out in the low 80s. Physically unable to perform, Halladay’s career was over.

Halladay had nothing but gracious remarks for the Blue Jays in his presser upon his retirement. Doc was quoted as saying, “as most people know, I was very lucky to have a lot of people in the organization really develop and help me become the player I was able to become”

A resumé consisting of eight All-Star Game appearances, two Cy Young Awards, one perfect game, one postseason no-hitter, a number retired with two separate organizations and a Hall of Fame plaque says all you need to know about Roy “Doc” Halladay. His legacy will be remembered for years to come, and his retirement as a Blue Jay was an honorable end to a fantastic career.

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