Kevin Gausman will wear No. 34 in honor of Roy Halladay

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Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman tweeted on Thursday that he will change his uniform number from 39 to 34 in honor of late Blue Jays and Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay. The right-hander said,

Being a kid in love with the game of baseball, many of my afternoons and fondest childhood memories are of watching the game with my dad. Naturally I became a huge fan of fellow Colorado native Roy Halladay. He instantly became my idol. For years I watched him dominate his competition. To me, Roy gave me the inspiration that I could fulfill even my biggest of dreams — being a pitcher just like him. The older I got the more I began to understand the challenges of being a baseball player in Colorado. There have been less than 100 Major League Baseball players that were born there. I’d like to think we have our own fraternity amongst ourselves.

The loss of Roy was tragic and is saddening, but I feel honored to have watched everything he achieved. I plan to wear #34 next season to honor Roy Halladay both on and off the field.

Halladay died at the age of 40 last month in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gausman, 26, has had a solid career across five seasons with the Orioles. He owns a 4.18 ERA with 593 strikeouts and 198 walks in 639 2/3 innings in his career. He’s under team control for two more seasons after the upcoming one, becoming eligible for free agency after the 2020 season.