Rick Zamperin: Roy Halladay won’t enter Hall of Fame as a Blue Jay
Shocked, disappointed but understanding.
Toronto Blue Jays fans experienced a roller-coaster of emotions after learning that Roy Halladay’s Baseball Hall of Fame plaque will not include a Jays logo. His plaque will also not include a Phillies logo — the plaque will be logo-less.
Halladay, who died in November 2017 after crashing a small sport plane in the Gulf of Mexico, received baseball’s highest honour Tuesday when he was elected to Cooperstown posthumously.
Blue Jays fans were elated upon hearing the news. One of their own, just like Roberto Alomar in 2011, would be representing the franchise in the hall.
But his widow, Brandy Halladay, broke the news Wednesday afternoon when she said that Roy was “a Major League Baseball player, and that’s how we want him to be remembered.”
I don’t like the decision, but I do respect it.
Halladay is considered one of the best Blue Jays in franchise history, right up there with players like Alomar, Dave Stieb, Carlos Delgado, Jose Bautista, Tony Fernandez, George Bell and Joe Carter.
It feels like — at least, to me — fans are going to be robbed of experiencing something almost magical when they see Doc’s plaque, either in person or online. It is going to leave some fans with a bit of an empty feeling.
Many Jays fans won’t be fazed by this decision because they will always consider Halladay a Blue Jay, as he was not only drafted by the team but suited up for 12 seasons in Toronto compared to four in Philadelphia.
Logo-less Hall of Fame plaques aren’t a new thing. Greg Maddux decided when he was elected in 2014 to enter the Hall of Fame without a logo given his success with both the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs. Former Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa came to the same decision.
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The Hall of Fame has said that it “suggests” to each inductee which logo should appear on their plaque. Back in 2003, however, officials at Cooperstown decided that Gary Carter’s plaque would have a Montreal Expos logo, even though he wanted to represent the New York Mets, the team with whom he won the World Series in 1986.
The same scenario played out in 2010 when Andre Dawson wanted to go in as a member of the Chicago Cubs, but instead, hall officials decided that his plaque would feature a Montreal Expos logo.
Even though Halladay was quoted as saying after he retired in 2013 that he’d like to enter the Hall of Fame as a Blue Jay, we should respect his family’s decision. Roy was a very private man, and his family obviously knew him best.
Perhaps, unbeknownst to all of us, Doc may have wanted to go the logo-less route.
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