Maxwell Kates: A Couple of No Hitters

Roy Halladay
Born: May 14, 1977
Died: November 7, 2017

“A COUPLE OF NO-HITTERS”

By Maxwell Kates

Whoever coined the expression “no crying in baseball” must not have been following the Tuesday evening news. Earlier in the day, a small private plane, an Icon A5, registered to Harry Leroy Halladay III crashed into the Gulf of Mexico near New Port Richey, Florida. The 40 year old right hander was the pilot and tragically, he did not survive. Halladay leaves a young widow, Brandy, and two sons, Ryan and Braden.

Halladay posted stellar numbers in a sixteen year major league career with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies. With a lifetime record of 203 wins against 105 losses, he registered 2,117 strikeouts against only 592 walks, good for a lifetime earned run average of 3.38. Perhaps most astonishingly, in the era of specialization in which he pitched, Halladay threw 20 shutouts amid 67 complete games. He went 22-7 for the 2003 Blue Jays and 21-10 for the 2010 Phillies, earning the Cy Young Award in both seasons. Nominated to eight All-Star teams, Halladay was brilliant in his five postseason starts with an earned run average of 2.37. In 2017, he was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

A late season push by the 1998 Blue Jays to unseat the Boston Red Sox as the wild card finalists proved to be unsuccessful. Still, failing to make the playoffs did not prevent 38,036 spectators from converging on SkyDome to watch the final game of the season on September 27. Entertaining the visiting Detroit Tigers, young Roy Halladay was about to pitch the second start of his big league career.

Roy Halladay
Rest in Peace

Not one Detroit batsman had reached first base through four innings. Leading off the fifth inning, Tony Clark reached second base on an error by Toronto infielder Felipe Crespo. However, the next base hit yielded by Halladay, the Blue Jays’ first draft pick of 1995, would be the first.

Halladay remained dominant through eight, throwing only 85 pitches, 66 of them strikes. No Detroit batter even saw a three-ball count all afternoon. Gabe Kapler led off the ninth by flying out to left field. One away. Then Paul Bako grounded out to second base. Two away. You could hear a pin drop at SkyDome when Detroit manager Larry Parrish summoned Bobby Higginson as a pinch hitter. Higginson swung on the first pitch he saw, and that ball landed in the centre field seats for a two-out solo home run. Roy Halladay’s no-hit bid was over.

The final score, Blue Jays 2, Tigers 1. It was no doubt a disappointing end to Roy Halladay’s afternoon. A year later, I was wandering around downtown Toronto after a game when I spotted Halladay. With his red beard and imposing 6’6” frame, he was not difficult to miss. After introducing myself with “Excuse me, Sir, is your name Roy?” he replied to the affirmative. I continued, “I was at that game last September against Detroit. Mark my words, you’re going to throw a couple of no-hitters before your career is over.”

Why I said ‘a couple,’ I will never know. On May 29, 2010, by now a member of the Phillies, Roy Halladay pitched a perfect game against the Florida Marlins, a 1-0 decision for him. Then on October 6, Game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the Cincinnati Reds, Halladay entertained a crowd of 46,411 at Citizens Bank Park with a 4-0 victory. Throwing only 104 pitches, after giving up a walk to Jay Bruce in the fifth inning, not one other Red reached base.

And there were his ‘couple of no-hitters.’

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Thank you, Maxwell Kates, for that fitting tribute to Roy Halladay. Our deepest sympathies go out to this fine man’s wife, children, and family. Nothing can take away the pain of such a loss for them, and only time can bring about the kind of relief that shall come about over the years that lay ahead for his surviving loved ones. And that relief takes the form of healing perspective about great loss. It is not the eradication of pain or caring, but a growing recognition that people who die living life fully may leave larger holes in the souls of those who mourn their everyday presence, but because they are who they are, full live-for-life people, they also often serve to awaken survivors to take a greater personal responsibility for filling those gaps that spawn from death with a pursuit of their own surviving life passions.

Rest in Peace, Roy Halladay. ~ And thank you for your passionate service to life during the time you were here.

~ The Pecan Park Eagle

 

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “Maxwell Kates: A Couple of No Hitters”

  1. Tom Hunter Says:

    There is a special sadness here in Denver, where Roy Halliday was born and where he played for Arvada West High School. He was one of many great pitchers to come out of Colorado, including Goose Gossage and Brad Lidge.

  2. COLONEL77 Says:

    MAXWELL – WE ALL THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THIS EXTREMELY WELL PUT TOGETHER TRIBUTE TO ONE OF THE VERY BEST PEOPLE WHOEVER APPEARED WITH THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS, BEING ANOTHER WHO DEPARTED THE SCENE MUCH TOO SOON AND AT FAR TOO YOUNG AN AGE … CM

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