Roy Halladay spent just a fourth of his major-league career in Philadelphia, but the impact he made in those four seasons was enough for the Phillies to announce on Tuesday that they will retire the Hall of Fame right-hander’s No. 34.
The Phillies will retire the number in a ceremony on May 29, the 10th anniversary of his perfect game, before their game against the Washington Nationals. Halladay, who died in November 2017 when the plane he was piloting crashed into the Gulf of Mexico, was added to the team’s Wall of Fame in 2018 and inducted last summer into the Baseball Hall of Fame, his bronze plaque adorned with a blank cap. The Toronto Blue Jays, Halladay’s team for his first 12 seasons, retired his No. 32 in 2018.
The Phillies last retired a number in 2001: Jim Bunning’s No. 14. They have also retired Richie Ashburn’s No. 1, Mike Schmidt’s No. 20, Steve Carlton’s No. 32, and Robin Roberts’ No. 36. Each of those players has been inducted into the Hall of Fame, which is an unofficial prerequisite for the Phillies to retire a number. That prerequisite could soon be questioned if Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and/or Ryan Howard fail to reach Cooperstown.
“Roy Halladay made an indelible mark on Phillies history with so many spectacular moments, including his perfect game and postseason no-hitter,” said Phillies executive vice president David Buck. “His impact on the game was evident by his induction into the Hall of Fame. We are honored to have Roy join an elite group of players to have their numbers retired by the Phillies.”
Halladay won the 2010 National League Cy Young Award unanimously in his first season with the Phillies and finished second in 2011. Over his first two seasons in Philadelphia, Halladay went 40-16 with a 2.40 ERA and led major-league pitchers in WAR, ERA, innings and complete games, and had the second-most wins.
His perfect game in May 2010 against the Marlins in Miami came in just his 11th start with the Phillies. Halladay followed it that October by throwing a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park in the first postseason game of his career. The Reds’ only baserunner, current Phillie Jay Bruce, reached on a fifth-inning walk.
He retired after the 2013 season, having posted a 55-29 record and a 3.25 ERA over his four years with the Phillies.
The Phillies will paint his No. 34 on the brick-walled rooftops above Ashburn Alley and also unveil a statue of Halladay’s number in the stadium’s left-field plaza.
Five players — A.J. Burnett, Aaron Harang, A.J. Ellis, Brett Oberholtzer, and Andrew Knapp — have worn No. 34 since Halladay retired. Knapp voluntarily gave up the number after Halladay died. Bryce Harper wore No. 34 with the Nationals but changed to No. 3 when he signed with the Phillies before last season.