Widely regarded as the best player in Toronto Blue Jays history, he was my favorite player. He was a throwback, capable of pitching 250 innings and more complete games than most teams threw on their entire staff. He was a decent guy and MLB abounds (well, there's a handful) of people that attempted to model their own pitching mechanics after him.
I was dating my now-wife when he threw a no-hitter in the playoffs against the Reds. I was listening on the radio in my car and we were going to have supper that night. I kept circling the block because Melissa didn't have a radio, not wanting to go inside till he let up a hit....
He was the best thing about the Blue Jays when he was there. We were as good as anyone when he was on the mound, it felt. One year he was going to pitch here in Denver. I bought tickets off StubHub but the game got rained out. I ended up writing a blog post about Stubhub's dumb refund policy where they asked me to take it down and then banned my account with them.
In 2003 he threw a 10 inning complete game against the Tigers. (My memory was that it was opening day, but it was not.) That has happened 5 times this century, it's rarer than a no-hitter.
I am going to be unfair to everyone by saying that one of the reasons what he did was so impressive is because he played in a division where two of the teams (the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox) had multiple important players taking performance enhancing drugs. MLB didn't do jack shit to punish the franchises and in fact gave one of them a break by letting the Yankees skip out of a $25 million payment to Alex Rodriguez. Roy just kept chugging, those teams filled with cheating a-holes were just normal guys to him. It wasn't like Toronto was going to go to the playoffs all the time if those guys didn't roid up, but you gotta give a man extra credit for pitching effectively against the best teams in the league. That were also enhanced.
My wife doesn't know a lot of baseball players but when I told her about Halladay she said that her good friend also went to the same high school and graduated in the same year. Which was amazing. That would have been great to know a week ago. Me and Roy through the friend of a friend thing could have been having a catch!!!! No, but it is funny that after 8 years it just came up. If I was a friend of a friend of Gianni Versace that would have been on my dating profile. I would have found a way to bring it up before I ordered the first gin and tonic.
RIP, Roy Halladay. I hope you're throwing unhittable cut fastballs and sinkers to my cat.