Halladay: 'I have no regrets'
Chase Utley called Roy Halladay "by far the hardest worker that I've ever seen." (USA Today Images)
Plenty of players have talent. Plenty pile up stats and wins and All-Star Game appearances.
What separates a Roy Halladay from the rest of the pack is work ethic. Long after fans, analysts and his former teammates have forgotten about specific shutouts or double-digit strikeout games, they'll remember the fire and the drive that Halladay personified.
"Roy was probably the best influence in my career," Kyle Kendrick said in a statement released by the team.
"Being able to spend the last four years with him taught me what work ethic and commitment are all about. In my eyes, the game just lost the best pitcher of the last 10 years."
Some of Kendrick's rotation-mates, past and present, agreed.
"[Halladay] was one of the best competitors who ever played this game and taught everyone around him to prepare the right way in order to be the best," Cole Hamels added. "For me, personally, he helped me understand the game more and gave me insight on how to become a top of the line starting pitcher."
While Halladay tailed off as his shoulder deteriorated in 2012 and 2013, he and Hamels shared elite years together in 2010 and 2011. In Doc's first two years here he went 40-16 with a 2.40 ERA, pitched a perfect game and a playoff no-hitter, and finished first and second in NL Cy Young voting.
In those same years, Hamels went 26-20 with a 2.92 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 405 strikeouts to just 105 walks.
Though position players tend to spend more time with other position players rather than pitchers, Halladay's intensity was shared by Chase Utley, and the two share a mutual respect you don't find in many clubhouses.
"Roy Halladay is the ultimate competitor," Utley began. "He is by far the hardest worker that I've ever seen and treated every game as if it were his last. It was no coincidence why he was the best pitcher of his era. I'm honored to have had the opportunity to watch him pitch for four years. I'll miss his presence and passion but, most of all, I will miss his intensity.”
Hall of Famer? You bet.
"Roy was one of the best pitchers and students of the game I've ever had the honor of playing with," said former teammate Roy Oswalt, who himself may one day be destined for Cooperstown.
"Hands down, he was the best pitcher of this era and a first-ballot Hall of Famer."