The first thing Roy Halladay did during his introductory press conference at Citizens Bank Park last week was thank the fans of Toronto. Halladay was a fan favorite during his 15 years there, even up to his final, uncertain moments with the franchise. His wife, Brandy, said it wasn't so much about wanting to leave Toronto but instead to find a place where Roy could win.
On Tuesday, Halladay once again thanked the Toronto fans with a full-page ad in the Toronto Sun. Here is the full text of his message:
My wife Brandy, sons Braden and Ryan and I would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Toronto Blue Jays organization, its incredible fans, and the City of Toronto.
I feel blessed to have been a part of the Blue Jays since 1995 and am extremely thankful for the opportunities it has provided. Thoughout the past 15 years, there have been so many people within the organization that have made a wonderful and significant impact on my life, it would be impossible to name them all.
I am sincerely grateful for the incredible support and compassion the Blue Jays fans have always shown me. I am in awe of your overwhelming passion and devotion.
Toronto will forever have a special place in my heart.
The memories will last a lifetime and so will my gratitude.
Brett Clarkson, a columnist at the Sun, wrote about Halladay's farewell and said, "Philadelphia is one lucky town."
Halladay will have another chance to pitch in Toronto during the 2010 season when the Phillies visit the Blue Jays for an interleague series on June 25-27. Blue Jays president Paul Beeston told the Sun that the organization will honor Halladay in some manner during that series.