Posted tagged ‘philadelphia’

Roy Halladay: The Professional’s Professional

November 13, 2017

A wife lost her husband, two boys lost their father and we all lost an incredible role model and pitcher.

Obviously, this is a difficult article to write. Like you, I am still numb and devastated. Forget for a moment that he was a major league pitcher. We are grieving for a man who was only 40 years old; taken away so suddenly and horrifically. Painfully, we are reminded that life is not fair.

Roy Halladay was a Toronto Blue Jay. During a period of futility, he was one of the few bright spots. The Jays struggled in the standings, attendance fell and they had become an afterthought to some. It was a tough time, but at least we had Roy Halladay.

A lot of wonderful articles have been written about Doc’s impact. For me, I am reminded of an interview former U.S. President George W. Bush gave to Politico.com in 2008.

Bush – the one-time owner of the Texas Rangers – was asked about putting together a team if he were to hypothetically return to the sport and every player was available. The President’s number one choice for a pitcher: Roy Halladay.

The most powerful person on the planet (at the time) and the leader of the free world wanted our guy to be his ace hurler. That said something.

Halladay was a professional’s professional, with an inspiring rise to greatness. He started his big league career with a bang, fell apart and was sent down to A-ball. But he overcame the glaring setback with a hard work ethic and a flawless mentality.

As someone who chronically overthinks, I am envious of that “next pitch” mindset. The ability to block out the past, ignore any worry about the future and just focus on the moment at hand is hard to achieve. Roy Halladay achieved it and that’s why he was one of the best and will one day (hopefully) have a plaque in Cooperstown.

We must take as much time as we need to grieve. One day, the sadness we are all feeling right now will be replaced with happy memories. Until then, I join those on social media and call on the Blue Jays to retire Doc’s uniform number and add his name to the Level of Excellence.

More importantly, let’s remember that he was a son, a husband, a father, a teammate and a fan favourite. From all accounts, he was also an incredible human being. It was an honour to watch him apply his craft every five days.

May his memory be a blessing.

ER

Episode 65: The life and times of John Bateman

May 12, 2016

In addition to playing for the Astros and Phillies, the late John Bateman was an original Montreal Expo. Overall, he was behind the plate in over 1000 big league games during the 1960s and early 70s.

Since 2011, Bateman’s life has been celebrated through a fictitious Twitter account. It was created by a Texas-area artist, who as a child, chose the catcher as his favourite player. The account features diary style tweets, as if the social medium existed during Bateman’s playing day.

Episode 65 Direct MP3 Download

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One of the many tweets from @JohnnyBateman7

Doc Calls It Quits

June 12, 2014

The Spanish Sportscaster
informs me Doc has hung up his
cleats, glove and uniform.

My mind reflects on all those
1-run,
2-run,
3-run losses.

A little more run support
and things would have been different.

A couple more Cy Young awards
and Cooperstown would be an easier ticket.

Eric aka @TheHek

Some Words on Jim Fregosi

March 9, 2014

When I learned of Jim Fregosi’s passing on February 14, an image immediately popped into my mind.

I believe it’s from the 2000 season; a mid-season game between the Jays and Rays. The Jays won the match on a walk-off homerun.

The next day, the Toronto Star ran a photo of Fregosi reacting to the game-winning blast. His arms were victoriously extended into the air as he was running out of the dugout. Mouth was wide open.

It was quite the sight.

Here was a grown man in his late 50s; a Major League Baseball manager no less. And yet, he looked like a child on Christmas Day receiving the gift he always wanted.

It was a beautiful image, capturing the essence of baseball.

For one brief moment, the roles disappeared and were replaced by pure emotion. Fregosi was supposed to be the manager and leader; the man who sets an example. But he dropped all that and chose to be full of jubilation and ecstasy.

The image filed itself in my memory bank because it was something a Blue Jay manager would never do.

Think of all the managers from Cito Gaston on. They usually sat/sit on the bench, slightly motionless. There’s a stoic look on their faces, maybe polite applause when things are going right. It’s not a bad thing, just a pattern. But in my mind, that wasn’t Jim Fregosi. He wasn’t a typical Blue Jay manager.

It’s a shame his tenure as Jays manager lasted just two seasons. Looking back, it feels like things could’ve been different. Of course, that’s just hindsight.

Jim Fregosi will be remembered for his extensive work. Though I never met the man, he struck me as the type of person that is remembered for many individual reasons.

For me, it’s the picture.

PS: I looked everywhere for that picture. Searched high and low. Couldn’t find it. I know it’s out there…


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