I never met Roy Halladay. Never got his autograph. Never shook his hand. Never spoke to him.
But, like a lot of Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays fans, I feel like I lost a friend today.
Halladay was an elite pitcher who arrived in Philly in the middle of the franchises’s glory run and immediately became an indelible member of the team’s history. He threw a perfect game and the second post season no-hitter in Major League Baseball history. His dedication to the craft became legend.
I didn’t really have time to grieve that he died in a plane crash, though, because I was working the election, having been called to fill in and help monitor the machines at a polling place.
Then it hit me. Halladay was the starting pitcher on Opening Day in 2012. It was the first time I watched a Major League Game with my son. He saw Halladay pitch the second time I took him to a Phillies game.
Since he wasn’t even six-months-old, he won’t remember it. But I will.
My heart goes out to Halladay’s family and friends, as well as his fellow fans.
The athletes we root for might not be our actual friends, but it feels like there’s a stronger relationship because of the spotlight they live under.
I hope Halladay and his family understood what he meant to so many people.