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Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Roy Halladay (1977-2017)

My heart was heavy all day, because we lost Roy. Now, of course, I don’t know him. But baseball is a brotherhood, and no less for fans. I can’t know what his wife must feel. I know something about what his sons must feel, because losing your Dad is one of the hardest things you’ll ever go through.

But Roy was my friend, because we both love baseball. He loved it so much that he literally played until his arm and shoulder fell apart. Some guys never lose the fire, they just lose the ability. Our beloved Chris Carpenter was his close friend. There’s another guy who loved baseball until it hurt. No wonder they were close.

As Providence would have it, Carpenter and Halladay opposed each other in the deciding game of a playoff series. Carpenter and his Cardinals prevailed over Halladay and his Phillies, 1-0. Both pitchers started and dominated all the way to the end. The deciding run came in the first inning. It remains the greatest baseball game I’ve ever seen.

I couldn’t have been angry or disappointed if the Phillies had won that day, because it was Roy. He showed us the savage beauty of pitching every time he threw. He made you wish his team were your team.

Roy Halladay is one of my five favorite pitchers of all time. I’d sit through a Blue Jays game—inferior American League baseball, at that—to watch him pitch. I lack the words to describe how much I loved him playing the game I loved. It’s no effort to pray for his soul in this month of the dead. I never thought I’d be doing it so soon. We never do.

May God’s mercy comfort all of us who mourn.