This is a bad photo of Roy Halladay. But Roy Halladay was the kind of guy who made you want to take a bad photo, just to prove you had been in the same building as him.
That photo, and its minimalist caption of just “Roy Halladay,” comes from September 12, 2013, the 414th of his 416 career games. The Phillies handed him six runs of support in the very first inning, but the Padres chased him before he could finish the fifth and collect his win. It was clear to everyone that we were watching the end. It’s the last time I saw him pitch in person.
Joyous, triumphant and standing at the absolute pinnacle of his craft after mowing down the Reds for the second postseason no-hitter in MLB history and the first in more than 50 years.
This is the way we’ll remember him.
Roy Halladay pitched his first 12 seasons for a Blue Jays team that never made the playoffs, then joined a Phillies team in 2010 that was a World Series favorite. He entered a clubhouse that was already home to two former National League MVPs, more than half dozen All-Stars and a core that had made back-to-back trips to the World Series. It wasn’t just his pitching