On Sunday, August 8, the Phillies retired the late Roy “Doc” Halladay’s number, 34. On the diamond where Halladay pitched his way into Phillies fans hearts and into baseball history.
Former players Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, former manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee were all in attendance for the ceremony at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies beat the Mets 3-0.
However, Halladay’s wife, Brandy, and two sons, Braden and Ryan, were unable to attend after a family member tested positive for COVID-19. Brandy did send a message, which was delivered through Ibanez. She said, “Philly will always be their home away from home.”
Ibanez went on to say that after his perfect game, the right-handed pitcher went on to give everyone on the team watches with the inscription, “We did it together.” However, he said the true gift was being a ‘part of his team and his life.’
Doc was posthumously inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2019 and his number was supposed to be retired on May 29, 2020, the anniversary of his perfect game, but after the stadiums were shut down due to COVID-19, the ceremony had been pushed back to this year. His number was the eighth retired number for the Phillies.
Today’s for you, 34. ❤️️ pic.twitter.com/uHpPnAiO1P— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 8, 2021
The former catcher, Carlos “Chooch” Ruiz, unveiled a number ‘34’ statue, along with the Phillies owner, John Middleton. After removing the sheet, he kissed the statue and touched his heart. “It’s an honor. He’s always present and has a very dear place in my heart,” he said.
He spent four seasons with the Phillies from 2010 to 2013. The pitcher won the National League Cy Young Award in 2010 and made two all-star games in 2010 and 2011 and threw two of the greatest games in Phillies history.
Halladay tragically died in a plane crash on November 7, 2017 at 40 years old.