Former Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay officially retired on Monday after signing a one-day contract with his original team, the Toronto Blue Jays.
That type of short-term agreement is a little unusual in MLB — at least compared to the other major sports — but allowed Halladay’s career to come full-circle, while also affording him an opportunity to say a proper good-bye to the organization and fans that practically raised him out of high school. From that perspective, it was cool to see his career wrap up as a Blue Jay. But it was just as cool to see that on Tuesday, Halladay made sure the fans in Philadelphia got their proper thank you and good-bye as well in a newspaper ad that ran in the Philadelphia Daily News.
— Chuck Bausman (@ChuckBausmanDN) December 10, 2013
Transcribing the small print, Halladay says:
To the City of Philadelphia, and Phillies fans everywhere:
My family and I want to thank you for four amazing years. We have so many great memories of our time with the Phillies, on and off the field, and we will cherish those always. We want to also express our appreciation to my teammates and the wonderful people of the Phillies organization, especially Ruben Amaro and David Montgomery, for all they have done for us. And to the fans, thank you for always making us feel welcome here and for all your support at Citizen’s Bank Park.
As Halladay noted on Monday, he initially dreaded going to Philadelphia based on the comfort level he'd built in Toronto and the things he'd heard about the media, but ended up enjoying his four years immensely. The fan support he received was a big part of helping the transition, especially for his family, and he obviously wanted to make sure the fans knew how he felt.
It's a classy gesture on his part. It's also another reminder that Philadelphia sports fans aren't nearly as over-the-top as their reputation might suggest. Sure, they're passionate and a little crazy, there's no denying that. But they're also kind and welcoming when they need to be.
BLS H/N: For The Win
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