Every Phillies fan remembers Roy Halladay’s perfect game against the Miami Marlins that took place 10 years ago today.
The image of Doc embracing Carlos Ruiz is crystal clear in all of our minds. It’s how many fans remember Roy.
What’s not as clear — something we’ve all heard rumblings about — is Halladay’s battle with addiction after walking away from the game of baseball.
That battle will be on full display this evening when Imperfect: The Roy Halladay Story airs as an E:60 Special on ESPN at 7:00 pm.
The one-hour program dives deep into the battle Halladay fought with addiction by speaking to those closest to him. Roy’s widow Brandy shares honest and hard details about her husband’s dependence on pain medications throughout his life, including during his playing days in Philadelphia.
The special shares that at the end of the 2013 season Halladay checked in to a drug rehabilitation center in Florida to treat his opioid addiction. Brandy speaks about her memories of that experience and the shame that contributed to it not proving successful for her husband. Roy entered rehab for a second time in 2015 that lasted three months, according to a trailer for the series.
Brandy shares that Roy was formally diagnosed with ADD, depression and anxiety.
“Everyone sees him as this very strong, dominant person, but he was terrified. He was terrified that people wouldn’t think he was good enough. He didn’t want to let anybody down. He, for whatever reason, didn’t feel that he had the luxury of making mistakes. He was tormented. He truly was. He was a tormented man,” Brandy said.
In addition to Roy’s son Braden and baseball great Alex Rodriguez, the special features former Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee and teammate Kyle Kendrick. The special spans Roy’s early days in baseball through his peaks with the Toronto Blue Jays and Phillies, as well as the tragic plane crash that took his life and how those who loved him attempt to come to terms with the loss.
“For Brandy, reliving her husband's tragic last years has been painful but, by her own admission, necessary as she strives to contextualize her late husband's drug use and struggles with mental health. She wants people to know: There was more to her husband than what haunted him,” the special’s creators wrote.
“Everybody should be able to ask for help and they should not be judged and looked down on for that,” Brandy said.
The one-hour special airs tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPN. You can watch the trailer for it below.