BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Before Roy Halladay became a Cy Young award winner, all-star, and the second person to throw a perfect game in the playoffs, he took the mound at Coca-Cola field in downtown Buffalo.
The standout pitcher played several games in the Queen City against the Bisons – they weren’t the minor league affiliate for the Blue Jays at the time Halladay signed with Toronto.
“When he’d pitch against us, fans would come out because they heard about his Halladay kid coming through the [farm] system,” said Mike Buczkowski, the Vice President and General Manager for the Buffalo Bisons.
According to Bisons GM, on the mound, opponents feared him.
“He was like a surgeon on the mound. He was able to pin point control.”
Other pitchers envied his abilities.
“I think he’s going to be one of the last guys that took the ball and was going out to pitch nine innings.”
Off the mound, across the league, people loved him including those same opponents. Many took to social media after hearing about the 40-year-old’s untimely death.
“They talk about his preparation and work ethic and he was a perfectionist,” said the Bisons GM. “Hopefully his legacy will be that people talk more about what he did off the field; about the kind of guy he was off the field, helping out his community. If more athletes can be like, be more human and connect with people i think sports in general will benefit from it.”
And the general manager says he thinks the league benefited from having Halladay suiting up, taking the mound for 16 seasons.
“The way he prepared and respected the game, I think, will leave and has left a lasting impression on a lot of people.”