Lake Buena Vista, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Two-time Cy Young winner Roy Halladay announced his retirement Monday after signing a one-day contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, ending his 16-year career with the team that drafted him out of high school in 1995.
During a press conference at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort, Halladay said the contract was his way of thanking the organization that he called home for 14 years and the people who helped shaped him into one of the greatest pitchers in recent history.
“I very easily could have been out of baseball in 2000, 2001 and never had a shot,” Halladay said. “So to me, that was the most important thing was I felt like everything that the organization had done for me, the player that they allowed me to become, I felt like it was really important to acknowledge that.”
According to Halladay, he approached Toronto with the idea to retire as a Blue Jay in late November.
There surely would have been some offers in free agency, but after two injury plagued seasons in Philadelphia, Halladay decided it was time to step away.
Halladay ranks second all-time in Blue Jays history with 148 wins, 1,495 strikeouts and 15 shutouts. He’s also third with 2,246 2/3 innings, a 3.43 ERA and 287 starts.
“It speaks volumes to the organization and everyone that has been involved in the organization for him to feel that strongly,” general manager Alex Anthopoulos said.
“The fact that he still feels those ties was great. He approached us, let us know he was going to retire. He wanted to retire a Toronto Blue Jay, it was very important to him,” he added.
Halladay was selected by Toronto in the first round of the 1995 First-Year Player Draft, and he debuted just three years later.
Halladay’s best season in the American League arguably came in 2003, when he won the AL Cy Young Award with a 22-7 record, a 3.25 ERA and 204 strikeouts in 266 innings.
He finished his career with a 203-105 record, a 3.38 ERA, a perfect game and even a no-hitter during his postseason debut.