Fam­ily, play­ers eu­lo­gize Hal­la­day

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - SPORTS - By Fred Goodall

Twotime Cy Young Award win­ner Roy Hal­la­day was re­mem­bered Tues­day as an amaz­ing hus­band, fa­ther, friend and team­mate who was one of the best pitch­ers of his gen­er­a­tion but an even bet­ter man.

A 91-minute “Cel­e­bra­tion of Life for Roy Hal­la­day” at­tracted more than 1,000 peo­ple to Spec­trum Field, the spring train­ing home of the Philadel­phia Phillies, one of two fran­chises Hal­la­day played for dur­ing a stel­lar 16-year ca­reer.

“The man made the ballplayer,” Phillies owner John Mid­dle­ton said, “not the other way around.”

Hal­la­day died Nov. 7 at age 40 when the pri­vate plane he was pi­lot­ing crashed into the Gulf of Mex­ico off the coast of Florida.

The eight-time All-Star who pitched a per­fect game and a play­off no-hit­ter, Hal­la­day played for the Toronto Blue Jays from 1998 to 2009 and for the Phillies from 2009 to 2013, go­ing 203-105 with a 3.38 ERA.

The public memo­rial be­gan with a video trib­ute and ended with Hal­la­day’s wife, Brandy, and sons, Braden and Ryan, stand­ing on the mound and re­leas­ing but­ter­flies from a con­tainer in a fi­nal “good­bye.”

“All eyes are on me,” the pitcher’s wife, the last of nine speak­ers, said from a ros­trum perched be­hind the mound, flanked by pic­tures of Hal­la­day with the Phillies and Blue Jays, along with flo­ral ar­range­ments bear­ing the 34 and 32 jersey num­bers he wore.

“I’m re­ally for­tu­nate that I’ve got­ten used to that feel­ing. I’ve literally been stand­ing next to a man for 21 years that peo­ple could not take their eyes off of,” she said.

“He was awe-strik­ing. He was beau­ti­ful in­side and out. With­out say­ing a word, he seemed to al­ways have just the right thing to say. When he did speak, peo­ple lis­tened.”

Other speak­ers in­cluded Hal­la­day’s dad, Roy Jr., for­mer team­mates Cole Hamels, Chase Ut­ley and Chris Car­pen­ter, long-time base­ball ex­ec­u­tive and for­mer Blue Jays GM JP Ric­cia­rdi, ex-Phillies man­ager Char­lie Manuel and Blue Jays trainer Ge­orge Poulis.

Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, for­mer Blue Jays man­ager Cito Gas­ton, Rays man­ager Kevin Cash, and one-time team­mates Cliff Lee, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Jose Bautista, BJ Ryan, A.J. Bur­nett and J.A. Happ were among other guests.

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