Former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay had a huge impact on the game of baseball. After his tragic death in a plane crash, a number of pitchers sent heartfelt messages revealing just how much Halladay inspired them over the years.
Baltimore Orioles righty Kevin Gausman is one of the many pitchers who looked up to Halladay. Gausman has decided to honor his legacy by wearing Hallday’s No. 34 next season.
Gausman’s note reads:
“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.”
Gausman has worn No. 37 and No. 39 since breaking into the majors.
Halladay died in a plane crash in November. He was 40. His impact on the game went far beyond his contributions on the field. Halladay was a source of inspiration to a number of prominent players and coaches around the league and his family.
Gausman was drafted by the Orioles just as Halladay’s career was winding down with the Philadelphia Phillies. Their playing careers did overlap briefly, though. Gausman reached the majors in 2013, Halladay’s final season in baseball.
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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik