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Roy Halladay’s life was celebrated yesterday


Yesterday was not Roy Halladay’s funeral. Rather, it was a “celebration of life” for the late Blue Jays and Phillies pitcher. It took place in Clearwater, Florida on the Phillies spring training field. It featured Halladay’s family, friends and teammates, all of whom shared their stories and memories.

Chase Utley, Charlie Manuel, Carlos Ruiz, Chris Carpenter and J.P. Ricciardi were among the speakers from Halladay’s baseball life. His father, Roy Halladay Jr. and his wife Brandy Halladay likewise spoke.  In attendance were former teammates and friends Frank Thomas, Jimmy Rollins, Jose Bautista, Cito Gaston, Ryan Howard, A.J. Burnett, Carlos Ruiz, Aaron Hill, Shane Victorino, Orlando Hudson, Brad Lidge, Scott Rolen, Cliff Lee, B.J. Ryan, Raul Ibanez, John McDonald and Kyle Kendrick.

From Brandy Halladay’s 18-minute speech, which invoked her sons, Braden and Ryan Halladay, who are 17 and 13, respectively:

“We miss him, but we still have so much of him. We still have a million phone cords and iPads. We have enough cigars to open our own store. We have a garage full of model airplanes. We still have his not-so-secret stash of hidden ice cream sandwiches. And best of all, I still get to see him every day because I look at you. And if this is what it took for me to have you boys, then it’s worth it.”

Tough stuff, but warm memories of a man who will be long remembered:

Video: Braden Halladay pays homage to Roy Halladay in spring game

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While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.

Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”