Jay Bird Watching - "O Halladay! - Wednesday Wallop"


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Blue Jays fans rejoiced as one of their own joins the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. Roy Halladay is one of the newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. We also discuss Baseball Americas latest Top 100 Prospects that includes a big group of Blue Jays youngsters.

To say Blue Jays fans love Roy Halladay would be an understatement. Halladay is baseball royalty in Canada and represents the pinnacle of pitching talent that has come through the Jays’ system. Doc was a reason for many baseball fans to tune in during a rather dark time in Blue Jays’ history. People lined up at the ticket counters every 5th day to see him pitch, regardless of how the team was performing. This was because Blue Jays fans knew they were seeing a future Hall of Famer in the making.

After being drafted, Halladay excelled in the minors and raced through the system. After a successful debut and throwing a 1 hitter in his second ever MLB start, Halladay struggled. He was sent down to Single-A to work on his mechanics. This is a move that would have devastated many professional athletes. Halladay having the intensity and work ethic, however, continued to fuel his desire to return to the big leagues. Not only did he return, but became the Hall of Fame level pitcher in what seemed over night.

The accolades piled up in Toronto as he eclipsed 20 wins regularly and won his first Cy Young Award in 2003. Halladay pretty out pitched other pitchers in baseball over that period in baseball. He night even hold a record in the current era of baseball. Halladay amassed 67 complete games in his career. Since the start of his career in 1998 there is no other pitcher in baseball that has finished that many games. Fellow Hall of Famer Randy Johnson is the closest in that category with 54 complete games. As baseball shifts more and more to bullpen dominance and pitch counts there will be even fewer guys pitching this far into games. This past season there was only a hand full of players that had 2 complete games.

For Blue Jays fans Halladay is on the Mount Rushmore of our historic franchise. Part of Blue Jays Royalty. When he was traded to the Phillies all of us were saddened but completely understood why the team had to part with their super star pitcher. As Doc marched toward his second Cy Young aware Blue Jays fans were ecstatic. As he opened up the ALDS against the Reds that season it felt like this was a the first Blue Jays playoff game since the close of 1993.

That first playoff appearance for Doc only became more special as the evening progressed. In true Halladay fashion, he was locked in and intimidating on the mound. The Reds that season had one of the best offenses in baseball and Doc decimated them. As Blue Jays fans eagerly watched their hero mow through the Reds, one fact became clear: not one batter was going to best Halladay during this one. In an out-pour of emotion from Halladay, he picked up just the 2nd playoff no hitter in all of baseball history. Blue Jays jumped from their couches as Carlos Ruiz managed to tame a little squabbler in front of home plate and throw out Brandon Phillips to complete the no-no. This was the first real playoff victory that Jays fans had felt in years.

Doc was a master of his craft and this was his crowning moment as he showed off his talents to the world. It truly is a bittersweet moment for all baseball fans as Doc will not get to enjoy this wonderful accomplishment with his fellow inductees. It is with a heavy heart as I type these words but could not be happier that Halladay's family is being treated to a celebration of Roy's life on the most deserving of scales. His speech as an inductee to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame is incredible and I feel the Halladay's will find a way to have fun come induction day this July.

Our show this week is dedicated to the Halladay family as we celebrate the accomplishments of a great family man, amazing teammate, and incredible ball player.

Thank you all for listening!

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