A former Philadelphia Phillies ace starting pitcher has a teenage son who is now following in his footsteps.
Now 38-year old righthander Roy Halladay, who finished his career by pitching more than three seasons with the Phillies after more than a decade with the Toronto Blue Jays, retired following the 2013 season.
His 15-year old son, Braden Halladay, is also a right-handed pitcher, as well as a first baseman, and the popular Phils’ hurler is not only his mentor, but also his biggest fan.
Of course, there is the typical struggle at times between a father and teenage son. Braden was quoted by Jeff Dahn for Perfect Game: “I try to listen to everything he says, but he is my dad so sometimes I get annoyed. Being a 15-year-old kid I think that I’m doing everything right but I just have to remind myself that he’s the one who played in the big leagues and I need to listen to what he has to say.”
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Dahn was there, and got to witness Braden’s performance at this week’s Perfect Game showcase event in Florida. He described the young Halladay’s outing as “a noteworthy one. He threw three hitless, shutout innings with three strikeouts while showing a 75 mph fastball that sat 71-74 mph, with a 64 mph slider and a 68 mph changeup.”
Braden is a freshman attending high school in Clearwater, Florida, the Phillies’ spring training home where the Halladay family has now settled. If he continues to develop as expected, he would likely be selected in the June 2019 MLB Amateur Draft.
While ‘Doc’ still coaches his 11-year old son Ryan’s team, he has taken a step back as Braden advances into more organized competition in high school and on the tournament circuit.
“I coached Braden’s (youth) team for a long time and I was glad to be able to step back and just watch,” Roy was quoted by Dahn. “I try to stay out of his baseball career as much as possible and help where I can and let it be his. I don’t want him to feel like he’s playing for me – this is his deal – and he can take it as far as he wants to take it.”
Roy Halladay went 55-29 over his 3+ seasons with the Fightins. He fashioned a 3.25 ERA, 1.119 WHIP, and 3.17 FIP mark while allowing 649 hits in 702.2 innings across 103 starts, with a 622/137 K:BB ratio during his time with the Phillies.
Halladay won the 2010 Cy Young Award while here, finished 2nd in the 2011 voting, and was a part of the “Four Aces” starting pitching rotation that included himself, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, and Cliff Lee for the 2011 team that set a Phillies franchise record with 102 victories. He also pitched a 2010 Perfect Game, and tossed a no-hitter in that season’s NLDS.
Certainly the young Halladay boys couldn’t ask for a better coach as they grow up. But while the blood lines and the home coaching are strong, it will now be up to Braden, and possibly Ryan down the road, to develop their own individual skills and show the desire and determination necessary if they wish to actually make a career for themselves in the game that their famous father dominated for more than a decade.