Longing for a chance at a World Series after playing on 12 wholly uninspiring Blue Jays teams, Roy forced a trade to the City of Brotherly Love to pitch for the contending Phillies. How beloved must a player - in any sport - be to be cheered after forcing his or her way out of city? As beloved as Halladay was and continues to be. He was showered with applause in 2012 ahead of his return start in Toronto. A start he won - of course - by throwing a complete game.
That was a difficult goodbye because it was Roy Halladay. Roy Frickin' Halladay. holder of a prime position on the Blue Jays' Mount Rushmore and one of the primary reasons I love baseball to the degree I do today.
Get the ball, throw the ball. Change speeds. Throw strikes. Pitch to contact. No deep counts.
If you went to the bathroom during a Halladay start, you were liable to miss three innings. To love Halladay was to love baseball, and vice versa. He was everything there was to love about baseball. Hard work and talent commingled into the perfect pitching machine.