Much has been both said and written about the greatness of Roy Halladay in the weeks since the tragic plane crash that took his life back on November 7, but until today it remained uncertain how the Phillies planned to honor the legendary pitcher this upcoming season. While the organization hasn’t revealed its full plans, we now know it will shelf Halladay’s No. 34 for the 2018 season, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
For those wondering, backup catcher Andrew Knapp wore No. 34 a year ago, but recently switched to No. 15 in the wake of Halladay’s passing.
The Phillies assigned Knapp No. 34 at the end of Spring Training when he made the Opening Day roster, but at the time he expressed reservations about wearing Halladay’s number. After Halladay died, the Phillies talked internally about what to do with No. 34. They called Knapp to see if he had any thoughts about it. Knapp said he actually planned to call the Phillies, seeing if he could switch numbers out of respect for Halladay.
It’s almost certain the team will unveil additional plans in the coming weeks and months to honor Halladay, whose passing elicited deep shock and sadness across baseball, particularly in Toronto and Philadelphia where he built a Hall of Fame resume over 16 seasons. His accomplishments include 203 wins, two Cy Young Awards, eight All-Star appearances, a perfect game, and a postseason no-hitter that was, aside from the World Series clinchers in 1980 and 2008, the most memorable game in the long and storied history of Philadelphia baseball.