Roy Halladay is Simply The Greatest

Roy_halladay_no_hitterSource: AP

I'm still not sure I have words to describe what happened last night.  You joke with friends about your team's pitcher throwing a no-hitter.  You say things like, "the Reds will be lucky to get a hit off Halladay."  You kind of mean it, but not really.

Roy Halladay did it.  In a playoff game.  And for those of you keeping score at home, that had only happened once before- 54 years ago.  Jamie Moyer wasn't even an idea yet.

What's more amazing, obviously, is that Halladay has thrown two no-hitters this year.  He came to the Phillies with the highest of high expectations.  The Phillies sold the farm and their ace to get him.  An ace, who had just turned in one of the greatest postseason performances of all-time.  Roy was going to have to be good, real good.

From the first day of spring training, he didn't disappoint.  He arrived at Bright House Networks Field at 5:45 in the morning to workout, inspiring some of his peers to do the same.  Despite a $20 million a year salary, he remained genuinely humbled by the opportunity to play for a conteneder, in fact, that's all he seemed to care about- winning.  He began the season as advertised, turning in dominant performance after dominant performance.  And then, just two months into the season, he made history.

The city was captivated by an improbable Flyers Stanley Cup run.  It was Memorial Day weekend, and every backyard barbecue and beachside happy hour was centered around Game 1 of the Finals.  Doc was pitching that night too, but his progress would be monitored via cell phone score checks and brief intermission channel changes.  But the city's focus quickly began to shift.  Halladay, the guy we all expected to be perfect, was doing just that.  He carved up Marlins one by one.  The Flyers game, a Stanley Cup Fianls game, became the afterthought.  It was Roy's night.

He was perfect.  He actually lived up to unrealistic expectations.

Doc remained brilliant throughout the rest of the regular season.  When he was given the chance to clinch his first ever postseason appearance, he threw a two-hitter.  Not bad, Ace.

Now, it was time for the playoffs.  He had never pitched in baseball's postseason, how would he react?  In a small way, the other guy was still in the back of everyone's mind.  Cliff Lee, who will never be mentioned again in this context on this website, just won another playoff game, striking out 10 and only allowing one run.  If Doc disappointed, you knew what the conversation was going to be.

I wrote this last year (before the resurgence of Hamels and the acquisition of Oswalt), arguing that swapping Halladay for Lee didn't make the Phillies' postseason rotation any stronger.

Sure Halladay might be better over the course of the season, but the best he can be in the playoffs is Cliff Lee.


I was wrong.  He could be better, he throws no-hitters.

This morning on Mike and Mike, our own Michael Jack Schmidt called it the greatest moment in Philly sports history- better than the 1980 championship he was a part of.  That, if nothing else, puts last night's events into their proper context.  And perhaps no other words need to be said.

Roy Halladay threw a no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS, his first ever playoff appearance.  It was the greatest moment in the history of Philadelphia sports.

Watch the video, see the pictures, and get the t-shirt that benefits Phillies charities here.


16 Responses

  1. I don’t know about THE ABSOLUTE greatest moment, but lemme tell ya, if its not #1, its #2. Seriously.

  2. He’s actually the 2nd greatest pitcher in playoff history…but only if we define greatest by ‘pitched a no hitter.’ Remember, Don Larsen of the Yankees not only pitched the FIRST EVER no hitter in MLB Playoff history, he’s the ONLY pitcher EVER to pitch a PERFECT GAME in MLB Postseason history.
    Once Halladay does that, I’ll call him a great. And by great I actually mean GREAT.

  3. @ Joe…..You don’t make sense you fuggin hater. In your 1st sentence, you said he’s the 2nd greatest pitcher in playoff history, then you say you’ll call him a great only once he throws a perfect game. Which is it? Because what I witnessed last night was GREAT, whatever your definition is.

  4. Hey, douche! Oh, I’m sorry, I mean Joe. Could you tell me how many times Larsen pitched a perfect game and a no-hitter in the same season? A perfect game in the post season is the only way a pitcher can be great? So in 130+ years off baseball, Don Larsen was the only great pitcher. Ever. You’re a jackass.

  5. the only way it could have been any better, was if Harry Kalas would have been here to call it.

  6. Seriously Joe, you’re way off base man. After Larsen’s perfect game he went 51-51 for the rest of his career and the season before his perfect game he was 3-21. He had one great game in the playoffs but by no means was he ever one of the best. Roy Halladay is one of the greatest pitchers to ever play the game. Period. Anyone who implies anything different, is either ignorant, isn’t a baseball fan, or combination of both.

    Seriously, Larsen was trash who got one good game.

  8. I think this line actually sums up everything about Roy… “He actually lived up to unrealistic expectations.” Don larsen is garbage. You ask ANYONE who they would build a team around, or if they would trade DL career for Roy’s… and people would take ROY all day, ALL DAY!!!! The only way Larsen beats roy is if you say “who had the most important one game pitching perfomance” and maybe you could say DL, but other then that, roy is a CAREER GREAT, Larsen was a One Game Great!

  9. Those of us who are against the Cliff Lee trade aren’t against it because we didn’t want Halladay. Just the opposite, we wanted Halladay AND Lee! The jury is still out on whether Hammels can hold up in the playoffs after going a shade over .500 this year and having a tendancy to melt down under pressure. Having Halliday AND Lee would have made up for whatever issues Hammels has. The need for “three aces” was proven with the Oswald trade. If they just kept Lee, they wouldn’t have had to trade JA Happ, a young pitcher with a tremendous future.

  10. Halladay one of the greatest to ever play the game? He has to build up his resume a bit more before you can say that. He’s the best pitcher in the MLB at the moment, for sure, but among the best ever? And, when I say best ever, I mean guys like Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, and Walter Johnson. He doesn’t even touch them. I love the guy, and last night is one more amazing thing for his resume. But, for him to touch the GREATEST pitchers ever… well, he has an up hill battle. He will always be remembered in Philly though, that’s for damn sure!

  11. 7 time all star selection, 2 Cy Young’s (when they hand him this years) a perfect game, a no hitter in his playoff debut, 169-86 career record, 3.32 career era, 58 complete games, 1,714 K’s. 7 season’s with at least 16 wins, 3 20 win seasons, and one 19 win season.
    Oh yeah he spent 13 years in the AL East pitching against the roided out Yanks and Sox and the emerging Rays. Did I mention he’s only 33? He’s in the conversation.

  12. Madux, Johnson and Steve Carlton have some other wordly numbers though, lol. He’ll get there.

  13. Kirk…
    Heck, MD10, and others…
    Why are you comparing him to Maddux, Clemens, Randy Johnson?
    That’s almost insulting at this point. This guy deserves to be compared with NOLAN RYAN.

  14. I found over the years that many times I would call on a customer just to say hello and would ask if their is something I could help them with. There would always be something they were thinking of doing but just had not called me.

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