On Tuesday afternoon, the baseball world was shocked to learn about the tragic and untimely death of former MLB star pitcher, Roy Halladay. The ‘Doc’ passed away after his plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. The two-time Cy Young winner was found dead at the age of 40, and he left behind a wife and two children.
Halladay pitched in the majors from 1998 to 2013, leaving behind a legacy as one of the greatest pitchers of his era. He won 203 games, sported a 3.38 ERA and racked up 2,117 strikeouts.
The Doc gave us many great memories, and will never be forgotten by MLB fans. Without a doubt, some of his top moments outshine the others. Here is a look at the five most memorable moments of Roy Halladay’s career.
5. Second Career Start
In the final game of the 1998 season, the Blue Jays opted to send out a little-known youngster against the Detroit Tigers. The legend of Roy Halladay was about to begin.
Halladay made his second career start as a 21-year-old on Sept. 27, 1998. Halladay nearly went the distance. He retired the first 26 batters faced, but Bobby Higginson broke up the perfect game. Halladay finished with eight strikeouts and paced the Jays to a 2-1 victory.
Little did the world know it was only the beginning of Doc’s tale.
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4. First Cy Young Award
The Doc never had it easy in the American League Cy Young race, because guys like Roger Clemens, Bartolo Colon, Pedro Martinez, and Johan Santana were always just as dominant. But finally, Halladay got his well-deserved Cy Young in 2003.
That year, Halladay went 22-7 with a 3.25 ERA and 2004 strikeouts. That helped the Jays finish with an 86-76 record, even though the American League East featured the juggernaut Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
Halladay joined Pat Hentgen and the aforementioned Clemens as the only Blue Jays to win the Cy Young Award. It was one of the greater moments in franchise history, considering how frustrating the late ’90s and 2000s were for them.
3. Second Cy Young Award
Realizing it was time to rebuild the farm and let Halladay chase a ring, the Blue Jays traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009, receiving a trio of prospects in return. Halladay wasted no time making an impact in the City of Brotherly Love.
Halladay won 21 games and finished with a 2.44 ERA, along with 219 strikeouts. As a result, he captured the second Cy Young Award of his career. With that, he became one of only six pitchers in history to win the Cy Young in both the A.L. and N.L.
Doc’s strong 2010 season led the Phillies all the way to their third consecutive NLCS, where they’d fall to the San Francisco Giants in six games. Nonetheless, the Cy Young victory was another epic moment in Halladay’s career.
2. The Perfect Game
Amazingly, the Cy Young Award wasn’t even Halladay’s signature moment of the 2010 season. On May 29th, 2010, Halladay took the mound on a road game against the Florida Marlins. Nobody in the stands had a clue what was about to transpire.
Halladay managed to throw a perfect game —the 20th in MLB history. He was in complete control throughout the game, racking up 11 strikeouts. The Phillies would win 1-0, as Halladay officially put himself in MLB immortality.
1. The Playoff No-Hitter
Not the Cy Young Award. Not the Perfect Game. Nope. Roy Halladay’s 2010 season was so special, none of those two iconic moments come in at number one in his career.
Rather, we have to go with the no-hitter he pitched in Game one of the 2010 NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds on Oct. 6, 2010. Doc required just 104 pitches to finish off the entire Reds team, shutting down a lineup that featured 2010 NL MVP, Joey Votto.
Halladay became just the second pitcher in MLB history to throw a no-hitter in the playoffs, the first being Don Larsen in the 1956 World Series.
When you tell your kids and grandkids about Halladay’s iconic career, the no-hitter in Game one of the 2010 NLDS should undoubtedly be the first thing that comes to mind. RIP, Doc.
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