By Medicine Hat News Opinon on November 8, 2017.
The sad news of former Blue Jays great Roy Halladay’s death in a plane crash Tuesday afternoon dropped like a bombshell over the newswires. Halladay, also known as “Doc,” is, simply put, one of the greatest ever to wear a Blue Jays uniform. Known for his vicious curveball, hard cutter and no-nonsense attitude on the mound, there was no one who could mow them down batter after batter like Doc could in his prime.
Halladay, the two-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time All Star, spent a decade as a Blue Jay. He gave everything he had to the team, and when he was finally traded in 2009 he went with regret. Fans were saddened to see him go, but all knew he had given his all to lift a mediocre team which had barely contended in the 10 dark years before and did not show any sign of contending anytime soon. It would ultimately take another five years to build up a championship calibre team with a new generation of players, new management and new executives.
Doc deserved his chance at post-season glory, was the way many felt at the time when Halladay departed for Philly. He went on to win another Cy Young and contend in the post-season for the next two seasons in a Phillies uniform, coming tantalizingly close to a World Series title twice before ultimately falling just short.
When Roy Halladay pitched only the 20th perfect game in MLB history on May 29, 2010, Jays fans cheered him on just as much as they would have done if he were still back home on the mound in Toronto. For Doc was always going to have a home in Toronto, wherever he ultimately ended up playing the last game of his MLB career.
When Halladay was forced to retire early due to debilitating arm and shoulder injuries in 2013, it was devastating blow to his long time fans. But Halladay helped lessen the pain by signing a one-day ceremonial contract with Blue Jays to officially retire as a member of the baseball club he loved so much.
Just as Halladay’s forced early retirement cheated fans out of what could have been another half decade of great baseball, his early death at the age of 40 has cheated fans and future Blue Jays players out of his inspiring and dynamic presence.
Rest in peace, Doc. We all wish we could have had more time with you.
(Tim Kalinowski is a News reporter. To comment on this and other editorials, go to https://www.medicinehatnews.com/opinions.)
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