Phillies

Why Roy Halladay's death hits so hard

This one hurts. It's a pain all too familiar if you're a Philadelphia sports fan. One of ours gone too soon. I covered Roy Halladay during his short tenure here. He was always professional, cordial and courteous. He genuinely tried to give you an honest answer. And as a media member, you appreciated that.

That was the extent of my relationship with Mr. Halladay. I did not know him beyond the field. But when the tragic news of his death was confirmed on Tuesday afternoon, it sure felt like I lost a family member or friend. I had the chills, a numbness that only something catastrophic can bring about. He wasn't a buddy or a relative but he was one of us. He represents a special time in the pantheon of Philadelphia sports despite the fact that he never won a championship here.

Sadly, we've lived this before. Pelle Lindbergh and Jerome Brown to name two individuals with so much life in front of them, cut down at a young age. Despite our experience, it doesn't get any easier. That pit that forms in your stomach is the same one I had as a kid when I heard about Pelle, then as I got older and heard about Jerome. 

The Phillies' organization itself has suffered an unfathomable amount of loss over the last fifteen years or so, from Tug McGraw to John Vukovich to Darren Daulton and if you've been around long enough, each of those names holds a special place in your heart.

Halladay walked the walk as a man. He stepped away from baseball to spend time with his wife and two boys and that's exactly what he did. No aborted comeback or job coaching in the big leagues, not that there's anything wrong with that. That just wasn't him. The sad, ironic part is he got only four years post-baseball life with his loved ones. But if you speak with people who knew him or a scroll through his Twitter timeline, you see images of a proud father, coaching and spending time with his kids.

Sports create memories. My son was seven when the Phillies won the World Series in 2008. That team was his gateway to sports, we watched every game together, banged pots and pans together when they won it on that cold, rainy night. And he and my daughter were there on that beautiful Halloween day of the parade. That love of that team and sports carried over to the 2010 season when Halladay arrived in Philadelphia. We watched every one of his starts together, including the perfect game in May and the playoff no-hitter in October.

That's what I'll remember about Halladay. The memories and moments that he created for us. And a life well-lived.