This morning, Roy Halladay announced what we’ve all seen coming: he is retiring from Major League Baseball.
Halladay, at age 36, has had a career most pitchers only see in their dreams. With 203 wins, eight All-Star Games, two Cy Young awards, a perfect game, and a postseason no hitter, Doc has plenty to celebrate. The only thing missing from Roy’s trophy case is that coveted World Series ring – the very reason he came to Philadelphia in 2010.
This is such a bittersweet announcement for Phillies fans, because we’ve watched Doc shift from the best in the National League to an aging pitcher struggling to get his fastball over the plate at 88 mph. His shoulder issues have gotten the final say, and just like that, we’re all robbed of the sendoff that Halladay deserves. This is the man who left footprints around Citizens Bank Park when a little snow was not going to slow down his disciplined workout regimen.
I remember sitting in section 115 in May 2010, watching Roy Halladay for the first time. Everything about him was superhuman: his mechanics, his focus, his tempo, and his ability to locate each pitch. I sat in awe, knowing fully well that I was watching a future Hall of Famer in his prime. Halladay’s precision was magical. By stark contrast, I also remember the last time I watched Doc pitch, in April 2013. It was tough to watch; Doc was clearly in pain. My date turned to me and said, “He’s getting lit up … by the Mets. There’s no way he isn’t hurt.” The sad realization was that our beloved Roy Halladay would never be the same.