It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since Roy Halladay was taken from us. Harry Leroy Halladay III died when the plane that he was flying crashed in the Gulf of Mexico on November 7, 2017. The news shook the baseball world, and broke the hearts of fans from Toronto to Philadelphia and everywhere else across North America.
Since that devastating day a year ago, there have been many instances of people sharing their love and admiration of Roy, an amazing baseball player, extremely hard worker, giving philanthropist and loving father and husband.
I’ve collected a lot of the tributes and honors that poured out for Roy since the tragedy a year ago, but obviously I couldn’t get them all and there are so many great words spoken and written about an amazing man, so please feel free to share them in the comments.
In the immediate aftermath of the crash, Roy’s father Roy Halladay Jr. provided a brief phone conversation on Roy’s life, his passions, and his legacy.
Brandy Halladay, Roy’s wife of 19 years, gave a lovely eulogy of their life together at his funeral on November 14.
On March 17, 2018, the Blue Jays played their annual exhibition game against the Canadian Junior National team. Except this wasn’t an ordinary exhibition game. Roy’s son Braden, at 17 year’s old, threw a perfect 8th inning against the Blue Jays for the Canadian Juniors.
Former teammates Chase Utley and Cole Hamels stood up at his funeral and shared their amazing memories of Roy.
On May 29, the 8 year anniversary of Halladay’s Perfect Game with the Phillies, Roy’s former teammate AJ Burnett published an amazing article in the Player’s Tribune. In that article, simply entitled “Doc”, he recounted the good times they had together, the amazing worker that he was, and how he helped Burnett become a top level pitcher as opposed to just a great thrower.
Commemorated in Toronto
The Blue Jays retired Halladay’s number at an emotional ceremony on Opening Day. Halladay’s family was on the field along with former teammates and friends. The Blue Jays put together an amazing memorial video as part of the presentation, before revealing Halladay’s #32 alongside Roberto Alomar’s #12 as the only 2 numbers retired in Blue Jays’ history.
From that game through the entire season, the Blue Jays wore a commemorative patch with the number 32 on the sleeves of their jerseys.
Commemorated in Philadelphia
On August 4, Halladay, along with former Jays’ GM Pat Gillick, were inducted into the Phillies’ Wall of Fame. Again, we got to hear from some of Halladay’s former teammates, as well another wonderful speech from Brandy.
Roy Halladay’s name will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this winter, and while he isn’t going to get unanimous support, he should be able to cross the required 75% threshold to be enshrined in Cooperstown next July.
Once that happens, the Phillies have said they will officially retire his number 34 with them as well, as they temporarily retired it for the 2018 season.
Roy Halladay was first called up when I was 11 years old. I spent the prime of my youth watching and admiring Halladay pitch for the Blue Jays. People say not to have athletes as heroes, but Roy Halladay was mine, and he was worthy of the pedestal I put him on. He was exceptionally hard working and a fierce competitor, while also being dedicated and passionate about his hobby. But above all that, he was a truly loving husband and father, who gave a lot of his time to charity, especially sick children.
You were the best Doc, and we all miss you here a year later.