Roy Halladay signs contract so he can retire as a Toronto Blue Jay - InfoNews

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Roy Halladay signs contract so he can retire as a Toronto Blue Jay

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Roy Halladay throws against the Seattle Mariners during first inning AL baseball game action in Toronto September 25, 2009.Halladay is retiring as a Toronto Blue Jay.The Blue Jays announced Monday they've signed the veteran pitcher to a deal that will allow the right-hander to retire in Toronto colours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill
December 09, 2013 - 10:20 AM

TORONTO, Cananda - Roy Halladay is retiring as a Toronto Blue Jay.

The Blue Jays announced Monday they've signed the veteran pitcher to a deal that will allow the right-hander to retire in Toronto colours.

Halladay was Toronto's first-round selection in the 1995 major league draft and pitched 12 seasons with the Blue Jays, winning the 2003 Cy Young award.

Halladay spent his final four major-league seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, winning a second Cy Young award in 2010.

While he said he wished he could have retired with both teams, Toronto won out as the team that gave him his start and stuck with him when he struggled early in his career.

"To me the biggest thing was, had I not been fortunate to come up with the Blue Jays and have the people around me that I did, and have the people develop me that I did, I would never have had that chance to play for the Phillies," Halladay said at a press conference Monday.

"I very easily could have been out of baseball in 2000-01 and never had a shot. To me that was the most important thing."

Halladay was traded to the Phillies after the 2009 season for minor league prospects Travis d'Arnaud, Kyle Drabek, and Michael Taylor. With the Jays in a holding pattern in the competitive American League East, Halladay wanted a chance to compete in the post season.

On May 29, 2010 he pitched the 20th perfect game in major-league history and threw a no-hitter Oct. 6 in his first playoff start — just the second no-hitter in baseball post-season history. The Phillies lost to San Francisco that season.

His last shot at an elusive World Series title ended when the Phillies were beaten by St. Louis in the 2011 NLCS. The Phillies failed to make the playoffs the past two seasons.

Halladay said he appreciates that Toronto fans were understanding of his desire to try to win a World Series, and were supportive of him even after he left in the prime of his career.

"As much as I loved it there (Toronto) I felt like I needed to make a decision to give myself a chance to get to the playoffs. Thankfully the fans understood that and were very supportive, and hopefully they get the chance to experience that also because it's a tremendous feeling."

Halladay amassed a career record of 203-105 in 416 games, 390 being starts.

The eight-time all-star also has an earned-run average of 3.38.

Halladay retires ranked second among Toronto pitchers in wins (148), strikeouts (1495) and shutouts (15) and third in ERA (3.43), starts (287), complete games (49) and innings pitched (2046.2). His .661 career winning percentage (148-76) is the highest in club history.

Halladay and Roger Clemens are the only two Blue Jays with two 20-win seasons, and Halladay's 22 victories in '03 are the most in club history.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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