Braden Halladay, son of late Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay, wants to create his own legacy.
Braden Halladay, son of the late great Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay, grew up watching his dad’s 16-year career.
Eight All-Star selections. Two Cy Young Awards. A perfect game. And, the playoff no-hitter.
Braden followed his dad’s footsteps and says he started playing baseball as soon as he could swing a bat. Now, as a freshman Penn State University right-handed pitcher, he is well on his way to creating his own legacy.
“Baseball’s literally been my whole life since I was a kid,” he told ESPN, who aired a documentary about his father on Friday on the 10th anniversary of his perfect game. “I showed up to tee ball and I was like, ‘Where’s the clubhouse? Where’s the team plane?’ My mom was like, ‘We don’t have any of that. It’s tee ball.’ And, I just didn’t get it.”
Brandy says that going into preschool, when talking to friends Braden often introduced himself and asked, “Who does your daddy play for?”
“That’s just what he thought everybody’s daddy did,” Brandy says.
Born in August 2000, Braden could proudly say two teams that his father played for over the years. The Toronto Blue Jays through 2009, and, of course, the Phillies from 2010 to 2013.
Then, after retirement, Roy joined a third team.
“I have my new team hats up here. These are the hats of my my sons’ teams,” Roy said at his retirement press conference. “I’m helping out coaching. I’m trying not to ruin them. These are my new family and and my new teams so I’m looking forward to being a part of them.”
In the spring of 2017, Roy’s teaching role became official with being named assistant baseball coach of Braden’s team at Calvary Christian High School.
When he started coaching, Brandy says Roy “got so much satisfaction from helping and teaching.” Among the advice Roy gave was to not show emotion.
“Sometimes kids would say things like, ‘You’re not your father. He just told me don’t show it,'” Branden says. “I kind of realized I am stronger [and] tougher than I think I am, mentally and physically. He gave us the tips and pointers to help us become better.”
“With this guy behind us, we were invincible.”
Teammates and fellow coaches benefited from Roy’s presence, and that year, the team finished a perfect 30-0, winning a state championship. For the second time in his career, Roy was a part of perfection.
“I was there for his like surreal moments so for him to be there for mine it was awesome,” says Braden.
A few months later, tragedy shook the Halladay family and the entire world when it became known that Roy had tragically crashed his plane and passed away.
Braden was at school when the news broke; he says he rushed home, went out to the dock with his mom, sat there for a long time, and “just cried.”
“There’s been dark moments and I’ve struggled with pretty bad anxiety and periods of depression,” he says. “But, even though it’s hard, I kind of kept that positive attitude to keep going through.”
Braden continued that the last time he saw his dad, they talked about school: “He told me how awesome he thought Penn State was and said, ‘This is where you need to go.'”
“That’s the entire reason I’m here.”
Fast-forward to February 2020, Braden was able to pitch in two games, two innings each, before play was paused. As a reliever, he faced 16 batters and allowed just two singles and no walks while striking out one batter on 44 pitches overall.
His impressive stats do not indicate it, but Braden is far from satisfied, just like his father strove to always improve. Braden says he keeps a journal called “My Road to 90,” because he is trying to improve his currently slow velocity. He also wants to work his way into he starting rotation.
On the inside of the journal, Braden wrote a note that says his father “always taught me these things and it’s time I finally put him in action and get going … you’re not going to be the best pitcher in the house for a long time until you’re in Cooperstown.”
Brandy says that when she watches Braden and Ryan pitch, she sees Roy. Also, Braden says when he throws, he remembers his dad say things. “My dad gave me like a cornerstone,” he says. “I have this competitiveness.”
Then, in the short documentary, Roy is shown while saying: “When things aren’t going your way. When there’s other things in the back of your head. You don’t give up. You continue to grind you continue to battle you continue to work.
Last July, just as they did for Roy, the Toronto Blue Jays drafted Braden in the 32nd round of the draft. Braden says that he is proud of being the son of Roy, but at the same time, he has his own individual goals. to just “be able to be a person outside of baseball.”
“To just be Braden.”