Phillies: Teammates sought help for struggling Roy Halladay

Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)
Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images) /

In 2013, Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick alerted the team that Roy Halladay might need help; that October, Doc checked into a drug rehabilitation center.

This Friday, ESPN will feature the life and career of late Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay on the 10-year anniversary of his perfect game against the Marlins — the 20th ever in Major League Baseball history.

And, while the documentary titled “Imperfect: The Roy Halladay Story” will highlight the right-hander’s on-the-field accomplishments, it will also take a close look at his off-the-field battles.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released a revealing report regarding the details of the tragic crash that killed Halladay.

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“This is a guy who was in the ultimate spotlight job. The mound, where all eyes are on you. He was never comfortable in the spotlight,” documentary reporter John Barr told 6ABC’s Jamie Apody.

In the documentary, Barr asked Halladay’s widow, Brandy, what barriers existed in the eventual Hall of Fame pitcher’s mind.

“The fear of people knowing,” she replied. “Of that public scrutiny, of the media going ‘Roy Halladay went to rehab. He is an addict.’ It’s terrifying. Everybody should be able to ask for help and they should not be judged and looked down on for that.”

Brandy said in her emotional interview with Barr that she hopes the documentary that delves into her late husband’s personal battles can help at least one family.

Further into Apody’s preview of the Friday feature, a shocking reveal suggests Halladay may have faced these battles as early as near the end of his final season with the Phillies and career in 2013.

“As a friend, I felt like I should say something and felt like he might need help,” former fellow Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick told Barr. “A teammate and I said something to someone that works with the team.”

That October, while still an active member of the team, the then-36-year-old traveled to West Palm Beach to check into a drug rehabilitation center to treat his opioid addiction, according to Barr. Before his tragic plane crash, NTSB reported that Halladay flew recklessly and had amphetamines, morphine and an antidepressant in his system, among other medications.

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Brandy told Barr that her husband was formally diagnosed with depression and anxiety: “We worked so hard to keep that private for him. Everybody sees him as this very strong, dominant person, but he was terrified. He was terrified that people would think he was not good enough.”

Halladay went just 4-5 with a 6.82 ERA in 13 starts that year, capping off of a 16-year, 203-win career. He battled through a known injury then, placed on the disabled list with a right shoulder injury. However, tragically, it appears he had another lingering issue that kept him from being the Doc baseball fans around the world knew and loved.

“[Roy] projected himself to the world as someone who was so in control, so in command. Yet, inside, he was wrestling with some real demons,” Barr told Apody. “The tragedy is that he’s gone. And that’s not only left his family, but the entire baseball world grieving.”

“I think if his story teaches us anything, it’s that it is OK to ask for help.”