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Roy Halladay Showed Us What Determination Means

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Roy Halladay’s life ended too soon. In the time he spent here on earth, he showed us strength, charisma, and how to work hard.

Halladay pitched in the Major Leagues for the Toronto Blue Jays (1998-2009) and the Philadelphia Phillies (2010-2013). He is one of six pitchers to win the Cy Young award in both Major Leagues (2003 A.L., 2010 N.L.). He was the Toronto Blue Jays first round selection in Major League Baseball’s 1995 Amateur Draft. Halladay reached the Major Leagues in 1998; became an eight-time All-Star and won 20 games in a season on three occasions. Sadly, Roy Halladay died on November 7, 2017, when the plane he was flying crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.

Roy Halladay was a terrific pitcher, a great competitor, a fine man, and I feel he earned his way into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. After more than a year in the Major Leagues, Halladay struggled so much that not only did he go back to the Minor Leagues, but he had to go all the way back to Class A Ball. With the help of Mel Queen, Halladay made some major adjustments to his style of pitching. He dropped his arm angle a bit (over the top to three quarters) and that gave him some deception. His four-seam fastball was straight so he changed to a two-seam fastball, which gave his ball sink. With those changes, in a few years Halladay became a great pitcher. He threw a perfect game and then pitched a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in the Post-Season in 2010.

roy halladay success

© Flickr user Keith Allison

Roy Halladay was such a fine competitor that he led his League in complete games on seven occasions. He was so dedicated to his craft that he attributed a lot of his confidence to preparation. Roy Halladay was giving of his time and dedicated himself to helping underprivileged children. He won over 200 games, died much too young, and always will be remembered for what he stood for both on and off the field. ESPN followed the story closely and reached out to Halladay’s friends, family, and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

“All of us at Baseball are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic passing of former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “A well-respected figure throughout the game, Roy was a fierce competitor during his 16-year career, which included eight All-Star selections, two Cy Young Awards, a perfect game and a postseason no-hitter.

“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to his family, including his wife, Brandy, and two sons, Ryan and Braden, his friends and countless fans, as well as the Blue Jays and Phillies organizations.”

By all accounts, Halladay was a great man. What makes a man great? Is it his skillset? Maybe it’s his knowledge and determination. Jack Klemeyer took an in depth look at what all great people have in common and there are 3 keys that they all share.


  • Know just what they want = (Belief, Enthusiasm)
  • Want it hard enough = (Desire)
  • Are determined to get it = (Will)

It is these 3 things, which separate the men and women who have a strong sense of purpose, determination and desire, from the rest of us who merely “wish for things.”

Halladay most definitely proved that he possessed all three of these keys. He believed in himself enough to make it to the Major Leagues. He desired to learn how to become a better pitcher and perfected his technique. He was so determined to change his pitching style and inevitably reaped the rewards of his labor. The world has lost a great man and a great pitcher!

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Howard Kellman

Howard Kellman

Howard Kellman is the longtime radio and television “voice” of the Indianapolis Indians and a professional speaker. When he’s not broadcasting, he travels around the country inspiring audiences.
Howard Kellman


Play-by-play broadcaster for the Indianapolis Indians Professional Speaker 2009 inductee Indiana Sportscasters Hall of Fame
@pjdaly7 @sigg20 Thanks Patrick! - 4 hours ago
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