Fam­ily, friends, team­mates say fi­nal good­bye to Roy Halladay

The Sentinel-Record - - SPORTS - FRED GOODALL

CLEAR­WA­TER, Fla. — 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 1998-2009 and for the Phillies from 2009-13, 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, long­time 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.

“He didn’t like to lose, so ev­ery­thing he did, he did to win. But there was a joy to it. I’ll al­ways re­mem­ber that,” Rollins said. “He made you bet­ter. That’s what he did. Ev­ery­where you went, he made ev­ery­thing bet­ter.”

Carpenter grew up with Halladay in the Blue Jays or­ga­ni­za­tion; Hamels val­ued the 6-foot-6 right-han­der as a friend, team­mate and men­tor; and Ut­ley lauded the pitcher’s re­lent­less work ethic as a player.

“I saw ev­ery­day what it took to be a man among boys,” Ut­ley said.

Carpenter told a story about go­ing swim­ming in the Ama­zon River when he and Halladay took a trip to Brazil af­ter the close friends faced each other in the de­ci­sive Game 5 of an NL Di­vi­sion Se­ries be­tween Philadel­phia and St. Louis in 2011. Carpenter won 1-0.

“He was never afraid of a chal­lenge or do­ing some­thing oth­ers might not want to do — or dare to do,” Carpenter said.

“Re­mem­ber now, we’re in the jun­gle. The wa­ter is clear as a cup of cof­fee and we’ve been catch­ing pi­ranha all day. I told him, you’re nuts,” Carpenter said. “He said, ‘I know. Now come on Carp. … We can say we swam in the Ama­zon River. Who do we know who can ever say that?’ I was like: ‘All right. Good point. Let’s do it.’”

Brandy Halladay cried through­out her 17-minute trib­ute, re­mem­ber­ing her husband as a fam­ily man who loved his two sons.

For­mer team­mates echoed those sen­ti­ments, in­sist­ing that as great a pitcher as Halladay was, they were more im­pressed by the man off the field.

“He tried to be the best that he could be. Full of pas­sion and de­sire,” for­mer ma­jor lea­guer Raul Ibanez said. “He was not a one-di­men­sional man. Who he was, ev­ery­thing about him was just great and grace. He car­ried him­self with class and con­fi­dence and hu­mil­ity. Just a tremen­dous hu­man be­ing.”

The As­so­ci­ated Press

MOV­ING TRIB­UTE: Brandy Halladay, widow of Roy Halladay, talks about her husband dur­ing a me­mo­rial trib­ute at the Philadel­phia Phillies’ spring train­ing sta­dium Tues­day in Clear­wa­ter, Fla. Roy Halladay, a two-time Cy Young Award win­ner, died Nov. 7 at age 40 when the pri­vate plane he was pi­lot­ing crashed into the Gulf of Mex­ico off the coast of Florida.

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