While Roy Halladay spent the majority of his Major League career with the Blue Jays, some of his biggest moments came during his four seasons with the Phillies. This included winning his second Cy Young and pitching a perfect game during his first year in Philadelphia, both in 2010.
The 2010 season was also notable for Halladay throwing just the second no-hitter in MLB postseason history. The momentous occasion took place on October 6, in Game 1 of the NLDS versus the Reds.
That it happened in the first postseason start of Halladay's career only enhances just how great he truly was. Renowned for his intensity and mental toughness, this was the game which encapsulated his essence perfectly.
A fascinating insight
Back in 2019, prior to the eight-time All-Star being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the MLB Network released an oral history of his postseason no-hitter. The documentary provided a fascinating insight into the special game.
One of the opposing batters in the game was Joey Votto, who that season was named NL MVP. As with the rest of his teammates, he couldn't get anything going versus one of the best pitchers to ever do it.
As such, when Votto came up to bat in the top of the seventh inning, he was desperate to do anything to get on base. Anything. As per Tim Kelly of Phillies Nation, he said:
"What I was thinking before that at-bat was that I needed to throw him off in such a way that maybe he gets rattled and hits me. So I get in the box, and as Roy gets on the mound, I call timeout. I take a pitch or two, and then I say, ‘I’m gonna call timeout again.'"
A deadly conversation
Votto's 'fiendish' plan ultimately didn't work out and he thought nothing more of it. However, the same couldn't be said of Halladay.
The Reds' first baseman went on to talk about a conversation he had with the two-time Cy Young winner the following year at the All-Star Game. He said:
"Next year at the All-Star Game, [Halladay] said, ‘Hey, remember when you called timeout twice during that at-bat? I wanted to kill you. If I could have, I would have walked to home plate and choked you to death.'"
As much as the no-hitter captured the essence of Halladay's game, the exchange with Votto achieved the same in summing up his personality. While he had a wicked sense of humor, you couldn't help but wonder if -- on some level -- he was actually being serious.
Certainly, Halladay was an intimidating presence, both on and off the mound. As such, even though he was joking, Votto should be thankful there were 46,411 fans in attendance that day who could act as potential witnesses just in case...