To baseball at large, Roy Halladay will mostly be remembered as a Toronto Blue Jay. But his untimely death will hit the city of Philadelphia just as hard as Toronto.
He only spent four years of his 16-year career with the Philadelphia Phillies. Only two of those years saw him at the height of his power, but he is firmly entrenched in the lore of this team. He gave us so many incredible memories in that brief time that it's not a stretch to say he belongs in the pantheon of the ultimate Phillies greats, both because of the memories he provided and because of the way he went about his work.
Halladay arrived in 2010 in a three-team trade that sent prospects to the Blue Jays and another ace pitcher, Cliff Lee, to the Seattle Mariners. That end of the trade puzzled fans, but the main feeling was one of euphoria. The city still wasn't used to the success that the Phillies had had in the previous three years, and now the best pitcher in baseball was ours! It was the start of something big.
The memories started early. Within a month Halladay had thrown a pair of shutouts—then delivered one of the greatest moments in Phillies history.
I remember it well. As a Phillies fan growing up in New York, watching the team was difficult, but MLB Network was making things easier. I was eating in the kitchen when I turned on the channel and saw they were running bonus coverage: with the Phillies leading 1-0, Roy Halladay was pitching in the seventh inning and hadn't allowed a baserunner. I immediately called my father, who was having dinner at a family friend's apartment.
"Dad," I said into the phone, "Do you have access to MLB Network over there? Roy Halladay is pitching a thingy."