Roy Halladay is a Major League Baseball player who pitches for the Philadelphia Phillies. Halladay was born May 14, 1977 in Denver, Colorado. He graduated from Arvada West High School in 1995 and was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the amateur draft. Halladay ended his first season of professional baseball in the Gulf Coast League pitching 8 shutout innings and was named player of the week.
In 1996, Halladay pitched in the Florida Coast League. He won 15 games, 2 of them shutouts and won the MVP award. Halladay was rated as the number one prospect in the Blue Jays organization and 3rd best prospect overall. The Blue Jays quickly advanced Halladay through the farm system as he became the youngest player in the AAA International League. Scouts rated his fastball the best in the league.
Halladay began the 1998 season in the International League and on August 20, 1998 made his Major League debut with the Blue Jays. In doing so, he became the third youngest pitcher to ever start a game for the Blue Jays. He made only 2 starts for the Blue Jays in 1998 but pitched well, allowing only 3 earned runs in 14 innings with 13 strikeouts and only 2 walks.
His first full season in the Major Leagues was in 1999. Halladay pitched in 36 games with 18 starts. He compiled a record of 8 wins and 7 losses with an earned run average of 3.92. After a solid first full season, Halladay struggled beyond belief in 2000. He gave up 107 hits, 42 walks and 80 earned runs in just 67 2/3 innings. His earned run average was 10.64. Halladay returned to the International League to work on mechanics. The big change was the change in his arm slot to allow more pinpoint control and movement on his fastball, which up until this point was very flat and high in the strike zone. The extra time in the minor leagues worked as Halladay won 5 games and lost 3 in 2001 with a very good earned run average of 3.16
The 2002 season marked the beginning of Roy Halladay being an elite pitcher in the Major Leagues. He pitched 239 1/3 innings, won 19 games, struck out 168 and had an earned run average of 2.93. Roy Halladay won the Cy Young Award the following season, winning 22 games, with 204 strikeouts in 266 innings. His success was momentarily halted in 2004 when he went on the disabled list for shoulder problems which hindered him the entire season. He won just 8 games, pitched 33 innings and posted a substandard earned run average of 4.20
In 2005, Roy Halladay regained his Cy Young Award form by winning 12 games in his first 19 starts with an earned run average of 2.41. But another injury, this time a broken leg after being hit by a line drive, ended his season. After a long and hard rehabilitation, Halladay returned to form and pitched excellent for the next 4 seasons with the Blue Jays, winning 69 games and became regarded as the top pitcher in the American League, if not in all of Major League Baseball.
On December 20, 2009, Roy Halladay was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for 4 prospects. The Phillies had just lost the World Series to the New York Yankees and believed he was the missing piece to put them on top of the baseball world in 2010. It did not take long for Phillies fans to realize that Halladay was as good or better than all the hype. He pitched a perfect game against the Florida Marlins on May 29, 2010. An ultimate team player, Halladay purchased 60 watches for everyone in the clubhouse. Inscribed on each watch was “We did it together. Thanks, Roy Halladay”. He won 21 games during the regular season, struck out 219 in 250 2/3 innings and had an earned run average of 2.44. As if a perfect game during the season wasn’t enough, Halladay pitched a no hitter against the Reds in the National League Division Series. The no-hitter was the first in post season play since Don Larsen threw a perfect game for the Yankees in the 1956 World Series. It was not a shock that Halladay was unanimously selected as the National League Cy Young Award winner for the 2010 season.
In 2011, Halladay continued his dominance over National League hitters. He won 19 games, had an earned run average of 2.35 and struck out 220 in 233 2/3 innings. The Phillies though, failed to reach the World Series in Halladay’s first two seasons. In 2012, the season did not go well for either Halladay or the Phillies. Age, injuries, poor play and bad luck all playing a part of the Phillies demise and out of the playoff picture. Halladay was on the disabled list from the end of May until July 17th with a strain in the right lat muscle, which greatly affected his velocity and movement on his pitches. He returned and pitched better, but his overall numbers in 2012 were substandard for Halladay. He had a record of 11-8 with a 4.49 earned run average.
The 2013 season started off poorly for Halladay, so bad in fact that It was getting painful to watch. He started off 2-4 with an ugly 8.65 earned run average in his first 34 1/3 innings. Everyone knew something was wrong with Halladay physically. As it turned out, examination results and an MRI revealed a bone spur, a partial tear in the rotator cuff and some fraying in the labrum. Halladay had surgery in early May and returned to action in late August. He allowed only two runs and four hits in six innings in his first start back. Although his velocity was down, there was hope that Halladay would return to be a solid pitcher for the rest of 2013.
I suspect that Roy Halladay will be competitive enough for another few seasons and then somewhere down the line will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.