I'm still trying to process what happened yesterday. The sense of the thing isn't readily available.
The CBC asked me to write something about Roy Halladay last night. You can find that here.
It's a strange thing to be proud of my first byline in a national forum when it's about the untimely death of a centrepiece in all my early baseball writing, but here we are.
And in the true celebration of The Ballad of Doc and AJ, here is A.J. Burnett on the Jeff Blair show this morning.
I finally met Roy Halladay in June 2017 at a reception in Toronto as part of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame induction celebration.
He sat on a makeshift stage and was interviewed by Dan Shulman and Mike Wilner about his career, his time playing in Canada and how he spends time in retirement. He talked about coaching his kids’ baseball teams, (his Toronto-born son is a pitcher), fishing and flying. His wife Brandy heckled him from the audience about the lack of date nights. She also bid on all the Roy Halladay related silent auction items, a detail that charmed me.
Halladay was low-key and funny, honoured but maybe a little bewildered about all the attention.
I introduced myself and congratulated him on his career and the induction. “You were always so great to watch. Even when you were terrible, it was entertaining.” Halladay laughed, he genuinely laughed like he enjoyed it.
I felt the satisfaction of making a subdued person a little less subdued.