- BC Games
Connect with Us
Roy In Peace: Kudos to the Incredible (Canadian) Career of Doc Halladay
If you thought you knew your baseball, you thought you knew Roy Halladay.
He was that kinda pitcher and that kinda player... the sort of professional who worked, in my case, several provinces away and then many states away, who you could never meet but knew you'd love to talk to, knew you'd like. The kind of professional that made you want to Copy + Paste his personality onto every other athlete who should have been better, nicer, classier... and he was, in so many ways, a blessings to Canada's only Major League club.
We Canadians have a hard enough time luring Americans to our few relevant franchises. Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver have a rare discount in the NHL, because hockey is hockey and puck head Americans like Phil Kessel, Ryan Kesler, and Brian Gionta can find their calling by just moving a short bit north.
But in baseball and basketball, where the Raptors and Blue Jays are largely irrelevant to anyone growing up in Texas or Florida or California – those kids who dream of shooting threes or striking out batters in the big time someday – and therefore have a dastardly time signing free agents of note or importance, Roy Halladay means everything.
Here you have a guy who wanted to be in Toronto. Who fell in love with Toronto and carried that with him to the end, whether it was his full-page ad to Torontonians when he left for Philly, or whether it was his retirement today.
Halladay pulled the move we maybe hoped he would but weren't sure he would, signing a contract with Toronto just before retiring from the game, just so he could go out as a Blue Jay.
Here you have a guy who makes up for Vince Carter and Chris Bosh all in one humble package, and makes those two look so stupid in the process. In Halladay, you have a guy who was happy to have a home far away from his birthplace. You have a guy who is as Canadian as any of us, who came to us instead of leaving us, as so many of our stars do – whether they're athletes, journalists, actors, businessmen, or artists.
In Toronto, they will revere Halladay forever, much like we British Columbians do with Trevor Linden and (apparently now) Pavel Bure. But Halladay was a lot more than that, because Halladay didn't have to love Toronto. He didn't need to be such a... damn nice guy. In sports like baseball or basketball – the two American sports in Toronto – where we often and always end up making excuses for selfish guys like Chris Paul, Deron Williams, or Carmelo Anthony, Halladay was a role model and someone to be proud of. You didn't need to justify his actions and you didn't need to defend him. His natural way of being didn't require it.
Halladay means the world to a neglected metropolis like Toronto. He was as good off the field as he was on it, the kind of guy we polar bears would arrogantly consider to be "like a Canadian" anyway.
He was a class act through and through, the kind of guy who deserved a World Series because he just deserved it, and I can't help but feel everyone agrees on that, whether you were a fan of his teams or not.
So, Halladay was a blessing to Toronto, and to Canada.
And when listing off the reasons why, I realize he was a blessing to baseball, too.