When the Philadelphia Phillies signed Bryce Harper last March, he ditched the No. 34 that he wore for the first seven seasons of his career in favor of No. 3. His reasoning? He thought that the late Roy Halladay should be the last one to wear the number.
He’ll get his wish – sort of.
While A.J. Burnett, Aaron Harang and Andrew Knapp have worn the number since Halladay retired after the 2013 season, Knapp switched numbers last year out of respect for Halladay. Monday, the Phillies announced that they’ll retire the No. 34 on May 29, the 10-year anniversary of Halladay’s perfect game in Miami.
The man affectionally referred to as “Doc” spent the final four seasons of his illustrious career in Philadelphia.
In 2010, Halladay went 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA, 3.01 FIP and 6.2 fWAR, winning the National League Cy Young Award. In addition to the aforementioned perfect game that Halladay threw in May of 2010, he also became just the second pitcher in MLB history to throw a no-hitter in the playoffs, doing so in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds, his first playoff start ever.
2011 is less remembered individually for Halladay, but it may have been the best season of his career. In his age-34 season, Halladay went 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA, 2.20 FIP and 8.7 fWAR. He finished second in National League Cy Young voting to Clayton Kershaw, though there’s a case to be made that the voters got that incorrect.
Halladay’s No. 34 will become the seventh number that the Phillies have retired. In addition to Jackie Robinson’s No. 42, which is retired across baseball, Steve Carlton’s No. 32, Mike Schmidt’s No. 20, Robin Roberts’ No. 36, Jim Bunning’s No. 14 and Richie Ashburn’s No. 1 are also retired.
The irony here is that when Halladay was traded to the Phillies, he had to switch from the No. 32 that he wore in Toronto because it had been retired in Philadelphia to honor Carlton. In August of 2018, Halladay was inducted posthumously onto the Phillies Wall of Fame. Last summer, he joined Carlton in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Now, he’ll join him in the most exclusive Phillies club there is.
This story will be updated…
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