He was already arguably the best pitcher in baseball. And now the Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay is on his way to immortality (or at least the baseball hall of fame) after becoming the 20th member of the perfect club.
The 33 year-old Halladay sent 27 Florida Marlins straight back down Saturday night in the Phillies 1-0 win. He struck out 11, was cheered by the crowd of 25,086 for much of the night (despite being in Miami) and then received a call from a very well-known fan as Vice President Joe Biden called the clubhouse to offer his congratulations. “It’s never something that you think is possible,” the ever modest “Doc” Halladay said about his perfect achievement.
Most perfect games rely on stellar defensive plays but Halladay didn’t really need the helping hands of his teammates, other than them going about their normal business. Nobody in baseball will be shocked that “Doc” has managed the feat and, ironically, he came within one out of a no-hitter in just his second major league start back in 1998, when pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays against the Detroit Tigers.
But back to Saturday night and Halladay even managed to upstage his new town’s hockey team. The Philadelphia Flyers’ return to the Stanley Cup finals was briefly halted when NBC broke up coverage of Game 1 between the Flyers-Chicago to show a replay of the final out.
There have now been three perfect games in the last 10 months, with a staggering two in the month of May, with the Oakland Athletics’ Dallas Braden throwing one on May 9. But Saturday May 29 was, without doubt, The Philadelphia Story, on what will be forever remembered as the Halladay weekend.