Phillies fans were horrified and saddened last November when a sport plane being flown by former Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay crashed into the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, killing the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer.
We never saw it coming, and the loss was felt by every Phillies fan, as well as baseball fans around the world.
One other city in particular was hurting, too, the team that drafted Halladay, and the one with whom he spent 12 of his 16 big league seasons, the Toronto Blue Jays.
This season, the Jays are going to immortalize the man who won 148 games and a Cy Young Award for them in 2003.
Join us Opening Day, as we pay tribute to the late Roy Halladay and retire his uniform number.— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) February 12, 2018
In Doc's honour, we will wear a commemorative No. 32 patch on our jerseys for the 2018 season. #DocForever pic.twitter.com/yHD3HpY3dB
Halladay’s No. 32 will join Roberto Alomar’s No. 12 as the only Blue Jays numbers to be retired when the ceremony takes place before their home opener against New York Yankees on March 29.
So, from a Phillies perspective, the question is obvious. Should the Phils do the same?
In 2010 and 2011, Halladay’s first two seasons with the Phillies, he was the best pitcher in baseball. He went 21-10 in 2010 with a 2.44 ERA, nine complete games, four shutouts, led the NL with 250.2 innings pitched, had a league-best 7.30 K-BB per nine ratio and won the Cy Young Award.
Oh, and he threw a perfect game against the Marlins and baseball’s second-ever postseason no-hitter.
In 2011 he was excellent again, with an even better ERA (2.35), eight more complete games and an NL-best FIP of 2.20. He finished second in the Cy Young race to Clayton Kershaw that year, but fronted one of the greatest starting rotations in baseball history.
His time in Philadelphia was short, but loaded with incredible moments that will live forever in the franchise’s long history.
While Halladay’s first two seasons with the Phils were incredible, it was only two seasons of excellence. Following his heroic 1-0 loss to Chris Carpenter in Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS, Halladay was never the same pitcher again.
He went 11-8 with a 4.49 ERA in 25 starts for the 2012 Phils. His numbers dropped across the board and he dealt with injuries for the first time since 2005. Then in 2013, he cratered, lasting just 13 starts with an ERA of 6.82 and a FIP of 6.14 before finally calling it a career at age 36.
Halladay spent four seasons with the Phillies, but only two of them were good.
Just five numbers have been retired since the Phillies began play in 1883. Five jerseys in 134 years. That’s no accident. The team doesn’t like retiring jersey numbers unless players have reached the Hall of Fame.
So far, only Richie Ashburn’s No. 1, Jim Bunning’s No. 14, Mike Schmidt’s No. 20, Steve Carlton’s No. 32 and Robin Roberts’ No. 36 have been immortalized in this way. Now, Halladay will likely be joining that group in Cooperstown, and it could happen as soon as next year, his first year of eligibility on the ballot. But does Halladay deserve to have his number retired before/instead of other Phils greats like Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Darren Daulton, Richie Allen, Curt Schilling (I know, guys, I know), Greg Luzinski, and others?
Halladay had a great two-year run with the Phillies, and a spot on the Wall of Fame is assured. Maybe that Wall of Fame spot happens this year, in light of the tragedy.
But it makes more sense for Toronto to retire Halladay’s than the Phillies, seeing as how he spent 12 years with that organization.
Should the Phillies retire Roy Halladay’s No. 34?
This poll is closed