Friday, November 10, 2017

Rest In Peace, Roy

The premise of this site never would have worked had it been about some normal player. It worked because Roy Halladay was a superhero, someone who made Chase Utley question what time he arrived at the facility, worked out while they built the Winter Classic rink around him and threw no-hitters in his first crack at a playoff game. He was a storybook character come to life, not of his era but revered by everyone in it because, well, we all seemed to just happily concede that he was better than us. And somehow we didn't mind the concession, because he worked harder... and on top of that was humble... and top of that was selfless. In all of baseball, he just was that guy. Brandon McCarthy of the Dodgers summed it up perfectly: he was your favorite player's favorite player. Roy Halladay was the apex. If he were that player, it seemed to reason there'd be a chance he could also be that person. And if he were that person, maybe he'd look at penguins with an idiot (who had totally proven that he was not a stalker) because no normal professional baseball player ever would. There was more likely a chance he worked so hard because he was a cyborg and not the coolest human ever, but I was willing to take the gamble. But like I said, it was all an absurd premise. It made the tone of the site funnier.  I never actually anticipated anything to come of it. And if it ever did happen then he'd be even more special. Can you be better than the best?

It happened. I wrote about it then. It seems wrong to write any more about it now. You can read all of that. I did the night of the seventh and that brought tears.

Over time, I got to know Roy as a person, and he was more impressive to me then than the baseball player, as you'd imagine. That sounds like a cliche, but it's true. He had no reason to care about me, about my family, but he did. He'd reach out randomly and I'd almost be like, "Dude what are you doing you're Roy Halladay I'm not a baseball guy and I'm not a player and I'm not even a real writer and I'm not your friend... why on earth are you talking to me?" That would have been rude to say, so I would just reply with obnoxious jokes. Once I offered to teach him new pitches.

More people than I ever would have imagined have reached out to me over the course of the last few days. To be totally honest, I feel guilty about that because I don't have any more right to be devastated about this than each of you. But I do appreciate the kind words and offers of consolation, with every bit of me; it means so much. Thank you. There are more eyeballs on this than I'm comfortable with and I think I'm failing entirely to say what I feel, but I'm incapable of it altogether and it won't change with time so that is what it is. I'm very sad. We all are, this doesn't feel right or possible.

If this- all of us- has evolved into a loving, light-hearted, shared-joke-getting community that lives as a subset of a greater Phillies (or baseball) fandom, then I ask that the entirety of its thoughts, prayers, and love go to Brandy and her boys.

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