WASHINGTON — Max Scherzer didn’t know the late Roy Halladay, who died on Tuesday, but he didn’t need to. They were cut from the same cloth, and the elder ace still left Scherzer with a lesson that still resonates today.
Scherzer shared his thoughts in a tweet on Wednesday, thanking Halladay for the inspiration.
“I never knew Roy [Halladay] personally, but his work ethic impacted me from the one time we squared off in a ST (Spring Training) game in Lakeland,” Scherzer wrote. “We each threw a few innings and I had gone to the clubhouse, ate lunch and showered up.
“I was walking out to my car behind [the stadium] and saw Roy drenched in sweat, running poles on the back field. I’ve never forgotten that day, as it was clear he never needed the cameras or coaches around to push himself and no matter what, he was going to get his work done.
“That’s the Roy Halladay I will always remember…”
The Roy Halladay that Nationals fans are likely to remember is a dominant force. He was 12-2 against the Nats, tied for the best mark against any team with 10 or more starts. He also had 110 strikeouts in 129.2 innings and had a dominant 2.50 ERA.
Work ethic and love for his teammates were common themes among the memories that surfaced in the hours after his passing. According to The Athletic, Halladay never wanted to be the highest-paid pitcher in the game and told his agent to negotiate accordingly. At a time when the Phillies had four stellar pitchers in their rotation, he insisted that Joe Blanton, the fifth starter, be included in media availability.
The Roy Halladay that Jayson Werth remembers is that good guy who loved his team. He told Ken Rosenthal about telling Philadelphia teammates to hold a champagne celebration in the locker room until Halladay could join them.
“For a guy that was very serious, quiet and reserved, I can remember it like it was yesterday, the look on his face to see us waiting for him to celebrate together,” Werth said. “He loved the game but played for his teammates. For us to love him back like that you could tell it meant a lot. I’d never seen him so genuinely happy.
“I’ll never forget the expression on his face.”