Teammates get emotional at Halladay memorial

Annette Crawford
November 15, 2017

“He was awe-striking. He was handsome inside and out, ” Halladays wife Brandy said through tears as she addressed the large gathering.

"I wanted to get in early, I wanted to show my teammates I was ready to go", Utley said.

Halladay's father, Roy Halladay Jr., recounted how his son didn't immediately take to baseball as a child, once running to third base instead of first after making contact with the ball, and beamed at the way he grew into a better son than baseball player. The adventure that spoke volumes about Halladays personality. "It was like 100 degrees out and he wanted to jump into the Amazon River". Remember, were the jungle, ” Carpenter said.

"I remember facing him once in Toronto", Ibanez said.

“Before I knew it, Doc belly flopped into that coffee-coloured water. He proceeded to backstroke around.

The stories on Tuesday flowed like the pace of the game when Halladay pitched.

As Aaron Hill, one of several former Blue Jays teammates in attendance, put it afterwards, "It was so nice to hear some of the words today and what he meant to so many people".

Speakers scheduled for the service included representatives of both teams, including John Middleton, Cole Hamels, Chase Utley and Charlie Manuel from the Phillies side and JP Riccardi, George Poulis and Chris Carpenter from his time in Toronto.

The two-time Cy Young Award victor died last week at age 40 when the private plane he was piloting crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.

“On the days the Doc pitched, we had a saying between us.

"Going through my struggles early, he always said, 'Ben, here's the main thing I want you to know in this game, if guys see you not being a true teammate, just pouting about yourself, that's when you won't last long, '" he said. "I never expected something like that". But the memories of his life and the passion of how he lived and how many peoples lifes he touched will live on forever. I was like: All right, good point, let's do it.

The public memorial began with a video tribute and ended with Halladay's wife, Brandy, releasing butterflies from the pitchers mound at the Phillies' spring training ballpark.

It's a sentiment echoed by Godfrey, who served as Jays president/CEO from 2000 to 2008. We can say we swam in the Amazon River.

“I have people come in all the time and offer me thousands of dollars for it, ” Godfrey said.

When the idea of elite athletes needing bigger and bigger challenges just to feel normal was presented to Halladay's former Blue Jays pitching coach Brad Arnsberg (2005-09), an intense instructor who treated all of his pitchers like sons, he agreed and added to the discussion. After winning the first of his two Cy Youngs in 2003, Halladay took care of his teammates, including buying two high-end fishing rods and reels and a Bass Pro gift card for a young backup catcher who was up for only part of the season: Kevin Cash, now the Rays manager. He was also an eight-time all-star. Later, he described the right-hander's selflessness and determination to win with the Blue Jays. "Craziness", Brandy said, nervous laughter giving way to tears. “I told him 44 years and he started to chuckle. Even when they were cutting payroll (in Toronto) and we were talking about trading Doc, we went to him and said, 'Doc, listen, we're not going to trade you anywhere you don't want to go. He was the best of the best.”.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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