Roy Halladay and the Kobe Bryant Aftershock

By Mitch Nathanson, Historical Columnist 

First let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way.  Yes, Roy Halladay was a fantastic pitcher.  A Hall of Famer.  A wonderful part of baseball history; an indelible part of Phillies history, even.  His #34 should be retired (at least by the Blue Jays).  Okay, done.

Now let’s talk.  While a Hall of Fame pitcher for Toronto, Halladay was a great pitcher for all of two years here in Philadelphia.  He won a total of 55 games in pinstripes – two more than Don Carman.  Of course, he won a Cy Young Award in 2010 and pitched two no-hitters – one of them perfect – but other players have had excellent albeit abbreviated stints here, too.  We remember those seasons and those players but we manage to keep it all in perspective.  Hell, John Denny won a Cy Young Award here in 1983.  He even started two World Series games in pinstripes.  The Phillies seemed to have had a steady handle on Halladay’s tenure here, at least until Kobe Bryant’s tragic helicopter crash.  Then something changed.

After Halladay’s awful death in a 2017 plane crash the Blue Jays did the right thing and retired his number.  The Phillies did the…

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