This is our second annual "Top Ten Philly Sports Moments of the year." You can find last year's list here. We will roll out a new moment each day (one over the weekend) from now until New Year's Eve.
The man- he's a moment.
It's nearly impossible to choose which one of Roy Halladay's no-hitters was better, so we rolled them all up with the man, and a year's worth of dominance, to be our top moment of 2010.
There are a number of other Top Ten lists out there and, quite frankly, any of them that don't have Roy Halladay at number one are wrong.
You can make a case for Michael Vick and the Eagles. But let's be honest, up until September 19th, we all thought it was a mistake that Vick was still in this town. While his success is impressive and shocking, it is also divisive.
You can build a strong case for the Flyers' comeback. However, since they didn't eventually win the Stanley Cup, and most fans were long off the bandwagon until Game 7, it's hard to choose them as our top moment. I'm willing to bet that most fans, myself included, had, at best, a casual interest in Games 4 and 5.
You can also build a strong case for the acquisition of Cliff Lee. But since that didn't take place anywhere near a playing field, we can't, in our right mind, place that above any of those other moments.
Roy Halladay was different. He came to Philadelphia under the guise of an ace that would lead us to the promised land- only his presence, at least initially, was questioned because we just had such a person. Many, including myself, felt that Halladay couldn't possibly perform any better than Lee did in the playoffs.
We celebrated his arrival, created Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and even websites, but always lurking deep within our subconcious was the fact that we gave away Lee to get him. Of course, that feeling became buried deeper and deeper with each passing day.
Halladay showed up to Spring Training everyday at 5 A. M., inspiring teammates to do the same. He picked up an Opening Day win and followed with dominant performance after dominant performance. Then, on May 29th, he inserted himself firmly into baseball history, throwing the 20th perfect game of all-time and only the second in the Phillies' long and storied existence.
Much more, including video of the final out of his no-hitter, with my screaming and my Dad's epic yelling, after the jump.
That game, in and of itself, probably would have been our top moment of the year. But Doc didn't stop there. Halladay pitched his way to a Cy Young Award winning season, becoming the Phillies' first 20-game winner in 28 years (Steve Carlton, 1982). He led the National League in wins, and he led all of baseball in innings pitched, shutouts, and complete games.
On July 10th, he went toe-to-toe with rookie Travis Wood, who, oh by the way, took a perfect-game into the 9th inning. The Phillies won, 1-0, in the 11th.
On September 27th, he (it should almost be capitalized when you're talking about Doc) pitched a two-hit shutout against the Nationals to clinch the Phillies' 4th straight division title. He told us it would get funner. It did.
Throughout a season filled with the highest of high expectations, Roy delivered time and time again. If there was one question (if you can even call it that) that needed to be answered, it was: How will He perform in the playoffs?
Upon arriving at the ballpark for Game 1 of the NLDS, fans had just learned of Cliff Lee's (there's that name again) dominating performance against the Rays: 7 IP, 5 H, 1R, 0BB, 10K. Roy would have to be good, or that little thing, buried deep within our subconscious, would be brought to the surface again.
It was almost insulting to ask a guy, who performed so brilliantly and historically well for six months, to be any better. But there was that one last little expectation he had to live up to.
He threw a no-hitter.
He threw a no-hitter for only the second time in postseason history. What made it even more incredible was the fact that it was in his first playoff start, one that came with the usual, other-worldly expectations. And it was only the fifth time in history that someone had thrown two no-hitters in the same season.
For baseball fans, no-hitters are the most sacred of all feats. Rare enough to be improbable, yet achievable by almost anyone on any given day. On that day, Roy Halladay had the weight of an entire city, the eyes of an entire country (it was probably the most watched no-hitter in history), and perhaps the greatest burden of all- his own expectations- bearing down on Him. And all he did was pitch one of the most dominant games of all-time.
The next day, Mike Schmidt called it the greatest moment in Philly sports history. And while that may have stemmed from the recency of the event, it was, without a doubt, the best of the many moments produced by the man, Roy Halladay, in 2010.
And with Lee, the only person or thing that cast any shadow of doubt on Halladay, back in the fold… well, it's only gonna get funner.
Rest of the Top Ten here. As always, leave your memories of this moment in the comments.