Mixed reaction to Halladay’s Hall of Fame cap choice

Not everyone is happy about the decision not to go in as a Blue Jay

Roy Halladay
Roy Halladay salutes the crowd after his final start for the Blue Jays. Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

The news of Roy Halladay’s election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame was met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction. The same can’t be said for the decision to have neither the Toronto Blue Jays nor Philadelphia Phillies represented on his Hall of Fame plaque.

Halladay’s widow explained the decision by the family:

Halladay played 16 seasons in the big leagues, 12 with the Toronto Blue Jays and four with the Philadelphia Phillies. Drafted by the Blue Jays in 1995, he made his debut in 1998 and in just his second big league start, was one out away from a no-hitter.

The eight-time all-star led the league in innings pitched four times, complete games seven times, and was just the sixth pitcher in MLB history to win the Cy Young Award in both the American and National Leagues.

His 67 career complete games are still the most in baseball since his debut. In 2013, he signed a one-day contract to retire as a Toronto Blue Jay. He died in a plane crash in 2017. The team honoured Halladay’s memory by retiring his #32 at the 2018 season opener at Rogers Centre.

Not everyone has been happy about the decision to not recognize his time in Toronto on the plaque. Many Blue Jays fans believe that Halladay should go in wearing a Blue Jays cap. After all, he was drafted, developed, and made his name in Toronto. He is even on record in a 2016 interview as saying he would prefer to go in wearing a Blue Jays cap.

Some went so far as to blame Halladay’s widow for somehow snubbing Canadian fans.


Ultimately, the Hall of Fame makes the final decision on which team, if any, will go on his plaque at Cooperstown. (Before 2001, the players were allowed to choose which caps were displayed on their plaques.) Halladay is far from the first player to go in with a blank cap. Greg Maddux and Tony LaRussa in 2014 are recent examples, and fellow 2019 inductee Mike Mussina will also display a blank cap on his plaque.

Ian Hunter, of the Blue Jays blog Blue Jay Hunter, believes it shouldn’t matter which cap Halladay wears on his Hall of Fame plaque.

“I think that whole cap argument is irrelevant,” he said. “Roy Halladay is in the Baseball Hall of Fame because of Roy Halladay, not because of the Toronto Blue Jays or the Philadelphia Phillies.”

On July 21, Halladay will be officially inducted, along with Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera, and Today’s Game Era Committee electees Harold Baines and Lee Smith, at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y.

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Posted: Jan 30 2019 10:30 am
Filed under: Baseball News Sports