Tuesday, November 7, 2017

RIP Doc Halladay

Like so many of you, I was shocked and saddened Tuesday by the sudden death of former Major Leaguer Roy Halladay.  Flashbacks to Thurman Munson and Corey Lidle came to mind when I heard that Halladay was killed while flying his Icon A5 amphibious light aircraft. He was just 40-years old.

Halladay loved flying his plane but something went terribly wrong on Tuesday when he crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. It wasn't immediately clear if any passengers were on board but no other bodies were found.

Halladay was the fiercest of fierce competitors. After a slow start with the Toronto Blue Jays, Halladay began to dominate American League hitters. And, he did it by putting batters away quickly. It's the reason he was able to pitch deep into games on so many occasions (he led baseball in complete games seven times). As Sports Illustrated writer/MLB Network commentator Tom Verducci pointed out, when Halladay put a hitter in an 0-2 hole, he didn't waste a pitch. He aggressively went after the hitter.

He was the type of pitcher that made you say "oh crap" (out loud) when you realized he would be facing your team that night. In 2002, his career began to take off when he led the AL in innings pitched and wins.

The Colorado native had precise control and led the AL and NL a combined five times in strikeout-to-walk ratio. In his 16 years in the bigs, he surrendered less than one home run per nine innings pitched. He was that good.

When the Blue Jays decided it was time to rebuild, Halladay accepted a trade to the Philadelphia Phillies prior to the 2010 season. He merely went out, won 21 games that year, led the NL in complete games and shutouts, and took home his second career Cy Young Award.

The 2010 season was highlighted by a perfect game on May 10 against the Miami Marlins. Then, in his first career postseason appearance, he no-hit the Cincinnati Reds in the Division Series. In doing so, he joined the Yankees' Don Larsen as the only pitchers to throw a no-hitter in the postseason.

A year later, Halladay won 19 games and pitched 233.2 innings. But, then his prized right arm started to get cranky. He pitched for two more years in Philly but made just 13 starts in 2013. He then retired to spend time with his family, flying, and coaching youth baseball.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Brandy and their sons Ryan and Braden.

RIP Doc.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Get Bobby Murcer his plaque

Today, May 20, would have been Bobby Murcer's 71st birthday. If you follow my blog or other sites that I have written for, you know that Bobby Murcer was my guy growing up. You may also know that there is a special connection because like Bobby, my Mom passed away from brain cancer.

With Derek Jeter obvious entrance into Monument Park, it's time once again for me to make a pitch for a plaque out beyond centerfield.

Click here to read the column I wrote for Bronx Pinstripes last year. And, contact the Yankees front office and tell them to get Bobby a plaque.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Derek Jeter is Topps - Commemorate His Big Night

Derek Jeter's.induction into Monument Park on Sunday was the capper on his illustrious Yankees' career. Now, you can own a part of the evening.

Topps has issued special baseball cards to commemorate the night. But, you have to hurry to purchase the six-pack. They are only available from the Topps website until Thursday, May 18, 3:30 EDT.

Below are a couple of samples from the card pack: