Roy Halladay is retiring.
It was announced today that he would retire right after signing a one-day contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. Halladay was a Blue Jay for 12 seasons, from 1998 to 2009, and despite several good seasons with the Phillies, it's not surprising that he would want to retire with the team he called home for most of his career. As a Phillies fan that hurts just a little bit, but it's easy to understand, and I'd never hold it against him.
Halladay was an incredible pitcher (to say the least), and with the Phillies he tossed a perfect game and the second postseason no-hitter in history. He won his second Cy Young award in 2010, He came to the Phillies because he wanted to win, and he took a below market deal to do it.
I can't lie, I have a lot of feelings about this. I'm sad to see him go out this way, after two difficult seasons that I watched closely, hoping that every start would be the one where he came back. I'm relieved that we don't have to watch him struggle through another season, trying to find a way to make it work when even surgery couldn't help. I'm disappointed that the Phillies couldn't win a World Series with him.
Most of all, I'm tremendously sad that I won't get to see him pitch again. The magic of technology makes many of his great Phillies performances available to me on my phone, TV, and tablet (and when they get the iBrain Chip, you better believe I'm loading his perfect game on there first), but it's not the same. Roy Halladay, pitcher, has moved on. It feels like the end of an era. Perhaps it is.
So thank you, Roy Halladay, for everything. It was a privilege and a pleasure to watch you pitch. And more specifically, thank you for this:
And thank you for this:
And for a hundred other moments that I can't begin to name. You brought me and many others joy.
Good luck and godspeed, Roy Halladay.