Few pitchers combine quality and quantity the way Roy Halladay did.
Halladay, who died tragically in a plane crash at the age of 40 Tuesday, could be untouchable on the mound, as his two Cy Young Awards, perfect game and playoff no-hitter would suggest.
He offered more than occasional brilliance, though. Halladay led the league in complete games seven times, led the league in innings four times and pitched 2,749.1 career innings. At his best, he was a strikeout- and ground ball-inducing innings eater.
Eventually, that should land Halladay on the Blue Jays’ Level of Excellence and in the Hall of Fame. In the meantime, here’s a look back at some of the more memorable moments from his 16-year big-league career…
June 1, 1995 – The Blue Jays select Halladay in the first round of the amateur draft, right after the Giants take Joe Fontenot and right before the Mets take Ryan Jaroncyk.
September 20, 1998 – Halladay makes his MLB debut in Tampa Bay against the Devil Rays. He lasts five innings, allowing two runs in a Blue Jays win.
September 27, 1998 – With two out in the ninth inning of Halladay’s second career start, Bobby Higginson ends his no-hit bid. None other than Dave Stieb catches the ball when it ricochets off the back wall of the bullpen.
September 28, 2000 – A miserable season comes to an end, as Halladay allows seven runs in a game against the Orioles. Technically the runs are unearned, so Halladay’s ERA drops from 10.75 to 10.64.
Spring, 2001 – Halladay goes to class-A Dunedin to rebuild his delivery following his dismal 2000 season.
July 2, 2001 – Halladay returns to the big leagues and allows six earned runs to the Red Sox. He’d rebound from there, however, and finish the season with a 3.16 ERA in 105.1 innings.
July 9, 2002 – Halladay makes the first of eight all-star teams. He pitches the bottom of the third inning against the NL all-stars and allows three runs, including a two-run homer by Barry Bonds. Hours later, the game ends in a 7-7 tie.
September 6, 2003 – After nine innings, the Blue Jays and Tigers are tied 0-0. Halladay takes the mound for the 10th, his pitch count still just 89. After another three-up, three-down inning from Halladay the Blue Jays walk off against Fernando Rodney.
November, 2003 – An exceptional season ends with a Cy Young Award. Halladay’s 2003 numbers: 22-7, 3.25 ERA, 266 innings, nine complete games.
July 8, 2005 – A line drive off the bat of Kevin Mench hits Roy Halladay on the left shin, ending one of the right-hander’s best seasons yet.
March 16, 2006 – Halladay signs a $40-million extension to stay in Toronto through 2010.
May 31, 2007 – Halladay and Mark Buehrle face off at Rogers Centre. Buehrle pitches a complete game, but Halladay pitches seven scoreless innings and the Blue Jays win 2-0. Time of the game: 1 hour and 50 minutes.
May 12, 2009 – A.J. Burnett returns to Toronto to face the Blue Jays for the first time since signing with the Yankees in free agency. Halladay out-pitches his former teammate, allowing just five hits in a complete-game win.
December 16, 2009 – After months of rumours and speculation, the Blue Jays trade Halladay to the Philadelphia Phillies for prospects Travis d’Arnaud, Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor.
May 29, 2010 – Halladay retires 27 consecutive Florida Marlins to pitch the 20th perfect game in MLB history.
October 6, 2010 – In his playoff debut, Halladay pitches a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds. It’s just the second no-hitter in MLB post-season history and the first since 1956, when Don Larsen pitched a perfect game.
November, 2010 – Halladay wins his second Cy Young Award, this time as a member of the Phillies. His season numbers: 21-10, 2.44 ERA, 250.2 innings, nine complete games.
July 2, 2011 – Pitching in Toronto for the first time since being traded to the Phillies, Halladay’s at his best. True to form, he pitches a complete game, allowing just three earned runs while striking out eight in front of 44,078.
December 9, 2013 – Halladay retires in a Blue Jays uniform. His career totals: 203-105, 3.38 ERA, 65.6 wins above replacement and 67 complete games.