Roy Halladay Leaves Lasting Legacy
One of baseball's greats changed the game and, more importantly, people's lives.
Roy Halladay died doing what he loved to do on Tuesday. The former MLB pitcher was flying his Icon A5 airplane when it crashed in the Gulf of Mexico, robbing the world of one of its most dedicated and loving people. For him, flying and baseball were two of life’s greatest joys, and Halladay spent countless hours perfecting his craft as one of MLB’s most talented guys on the mound.
“Halladay changed pitching,” Tom Verducci writes in Sports Illustrated. “His boring cutters and sinkers–two pitches that appeared the same to the hitter, except one would break late to the left and one to the right–became a new template. Many pitchers copied his style. Nobody was as expert at it as Halladay.”
Comparing him to Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, Verducci said he never once saw fear in Halladay’s eyes. The stoic, tireless pitcher combined his humility with a tenacious work ethic that vaulted him to the top of baseball’s best. He finished his career with a 2.98 ERA with the best winning percentage (.692) and most shutouts (19) of his era.
“Halladay deserves to go into the Hall of Fame immediately, Verducci writes. “That may surprise some people. He was that good–the accepted best pitcher in the game for an extended run. But it surprises people because Halladay never sold himself, never wanted the trappings that would have raised his profile.”
It’s nearly impossible to find someone who has anything bad to say about Roy Halladay. His friendly, quiet persona and unrelenting effort made him a clubhouse favorite and one of the most popular pitchers in baseball. His legacy will last because he constantly sought to impact others’ lives.
“Halladay made good on a life too brief,” said Verducci. “He went up in that plane, no doubt filled with the joy he always took from flying. He left behind a beautiful family and a beautiful legacy, and for those that knew him, that legacy is more about the man he was, less about the pitcher he became.”