NEW YORK — When the late Roy Halladay is inducted later this summer into baseball’s Hall of Fame, he will go in as neither a member of the Toronto Blue Jays nor the Philadelphia Phillies, the two teams with which he enjoyed a legendary career.
Instead, at the wishes of his family, he’ll enter as simply a former player. The baseball cap that will adorn the pitcher’s visage on the plaque will be blank. It won’t have the logo of either team he played for.
Halladay’s widow, Brandy, made that announcement when speaking to reporters after a news conference Wednesday introducing the Hall’s 2019 induction class at the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan. Brandy Halladay and her sons Ryan and Braden were in attendance to represent their husband and father.
“I feel that — and we talked about this — that this is the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame,” Brandy Halladay said as she glanced at her two boys, who flanked her sides.
“It’s not the Phillies Hall of Fame, it’s not the Blue Jays Hall of Fame,” she continued. “Roy is going in as a major league baseball player. And that’s what he is. And I hope that he represents something to all of baseball, not just the Phillies fans or the Blue Jays fans, but to baseball as a whole. And that’s how I think he should be represented.”
Halladay’s logo-less plaque will join the likes of Catfish Hunter’s and Greg Maddux’s. The fellow Hall of Famers decided not to have individual team representation after also starring in multiple cities during their careers.
Four years after he threw his last big-league pitch, Halladay died at 40 years old. An aircraft he was piloting solo on Nov. 7, 2017, crashed into the Gulf of Mexico, just off the Florida coast.
A Blue Jays first-round pick in 1995, Halladay enjoyed a 16-year big-league career pitching for Toronto (12 seasons) and Philadelphia (four seasons). The eight-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner famously pitched a perfect game in May 2010, leading the Phillies to a 1-0 win over the host Florida Marlins.
In his first career postseason start later that October, he also tossed a no-hitter, beating the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the National League Division Series. It was just the second postseason no-hitter in major league history, coming after Don Larsen’s perfect game for the Yankees in the 1956 World Series.
While the decision to go without a cap logo was a “quick” one, the Halladays have not yet figured out who among them will deliver the speech at July’s induction.
“We were joking saying that if I have to give as many speeches as he threw no-hitters then I’d be in big trouble,” Brandy Halladay said.
During Wednesday’s news conference, Halladay’s fellow inductees raved about who he was as a pitcher.
Mike Mussina, a former Yankees and Orioles pitcher who still remains undecided on which team’s logo he will have on his plaque, complimented Halladay on how his approach on the mound developed throughout his career.
Edgar Martinez, the former Seattle Mariners designated hitter who batted .444 in 19 plate appearances against Halladay, credited the devastating movement the right-hander’s pitches had. The sinker and cut-fastball were particularly difficult to solve, Martinez remembered.
With respect to the cutter, it may have gotten its nastiest bite after a pregame conversation with fellow inductee Mariano Rivera one afternoon in 2008. At least, that’s what Rivera’s Yankees teammates would have the closer, who relied primarily on that pitch, believe.
“I got fined by our kangaroo court because Halladay was so good against us,” Rivera said, drawing laughs in the ballroom. “And they blamed me. I said you’re the guys not hitting the ball.”