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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Blue Jays will immortalize Roy Halladay

Por Jack Leyva

The Toronto Blue Jays have only retired one number in their history, the famous 12 of Roberto Alomar, the only player that has made it to the Hall of Fame wearing the Blue Jays’ uniform. That is why the decision of the club of immortalizing the number of one of the most successful pitchers that have played in the Rogers Centre Stadium is so important.

Halladay, who died in November 2017 in a plane crash, threw for 12 seasons in Toronto, a team that enjoyed his great performance. With the Blue Jays, the right-handed pitcher participated in seven All Stars Games and won the Cy Young Award in 2003, when he established a record of 22 wins for the franchise.

çHis excellent fastball and cutter, the consistency of his curve and the effectiveness of the changeup used by him in the last years of his career, allowed him to hold in check his rivals, both in the American and the National League, because after his long period with Toronto he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. There he demonstrated that an old timer pitcher can still give a good fight. He pitched a perfect game in the season of 2010, he also achieved a no hit no run in the postseason of that same year and won the Cy Young Award irrecusably.

Taking into account his excellent career, Toronto had no doubts and retired his uniform number. The 32 will be in all the players’ uniforms throughout the 2018 season, just like the Miami Marlins did last year with the number 16, which belonged to the also deceased Jose Fernandez. The process for retiring Halladay’s number was accelerated after his death in an unfortunate plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico.

Despite the fact that several rumors talk about that elevated amphetamine levels were found in Halladay’s’ body the day he died, the Blue Jays have ignored these comments that might discredit the image and career of this superstar pitcher and they keep going with the idea of retiring his number in the very Opening Day of the next season, when they will face the New York Yankees in the Rogers Centre Stadium.

Without any doubts, the reasons for which the team has decided this has a very solid base, as explained by Mark Shapiro, general manager of the Blue Jays. His ethics, his perseverance as well as his positive impact in the life of the younger generations are the most important values of his legacy, beyond his impressive statistics and his incredible performance as a pitcher. Halladay, who retired on September 23, 2013, will be eligible for the Cooperstown Hall of Fame in 2019, at the same time as Mariano Rivera, the best closer in the history of the MLB.