The Philadelphia Phillies will retire Roy Halladay’s number on the ten-year anniversary of Halladay throwing a perfect game.
When Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crashed weeks ago, the first person I thought about was Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay. Halladay died at the age of 40 when the plane he was piloting crashed into the Gulf of Mexico in 2017. The accident and untimely passing of one of baseball’s best pitchers sent shockwaves through the game. The Phillies announced today they would be retiring Halladay’s jersey, number 34, to be forever enshrined at Citizens Bank Park and never again worn by a Phillies player.
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The retiring of Halladay’s number is just as much a compliment to the person he was as the player he was. Roy Halladay was a great pitcher, though his time in Philadelphia was limited to four years as opposed to the twelve he spent in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform.
Halladay did put up good numbers for the Phillies however. In his first season, 2010, Halladay won the Cy Young Award after winning 21 games and having an earned run average of 2.44. He followed that season up with another All-Star campaign and won 19 games, finishing second in the Cy Young voting to Clayton Kershaw.
The Phillies have selected May 29th as the day for the number retiring ceremony. On that date ten years earlier Halladay pitched a perfect game in a 1-0 win over the then Florida Marlins. Along with the number being retired the team will paint his number on the rooftop above Ashburn Alley at the stadium and unveil a statue of his number outside of Citizens Bank Park.
Roy Halladay’s number 32 was retired by the Blue Jays last year and now his number 34 will forever be recognized in Philadelphia sports annals. This is a very fitting and classy move on the part of the Philadelphia Phillies.