October 01, 2009
One day, I will tell my unborn children about the legend that is Harry Leroy Halladay III. They will learn how Doc dominated baseball's toughest division, throwing complete game after complete game, while forever protecting the honour of his teammates.
Thanks to a ball aimed at the bulbous David Ortiz, with Boston having clinched a playoff spot, and the Toronto Blue Jays once again playing out the stretch, the legend of Doc grew to larger than life proportions on a chilly autumn night in September. No matter the standings, and no matter the score, Roy Halladay will let no one, especially not Jonathan Papelbon, take advantage of his team.
The incredible irony of it all: it went down in what might have been Halladay's final start as a Toronto Blue Jay. Poetic, no? Doc could have been ejected, but it certainly didn't matter to him.
If it was goodbye, Doc ended the Toronto chapter of his career the only way he possibly could have: with a complete game shutout in Fenway Park. And that's how I'll remember him. As the man who brought the Evil Empires to their knees.
We all thought we couldn't possibly respect, adore, and appreciate Roy Halladay any more than we already did. We were wrong.
I’ve said my piece about Mats Sundin. Over and over and over and over again. I also said goodbye, back in February.
So it was with less of a heavy heart than expected that I learned that Sundin had officially hung up his skates for good.
First: relief. There will be no repeat of last year’s “will he or won’t he?” fiasco.
Second: rage. The garbage spewn about on Twitter after Sundin’s announcement is not worth linking to. It only reaffirms the fact that there are a legion of so-called Leafs fans whom I want absolutely nothing to do with. If you chose the day Sundin officially left the game as yet another day to bash him, you’ll never fully grasp what he accomplished as a Toronto Maple Leaf. (Read: You're an idiot.)
Finally: adulation. I felt, and still feel, the urge to scale Toronto’s highest building and yell at the top of my lungs: “Mats Sundin: Greatest Maple Leaf of All-Time!!!!1” I'm thinking my balcony will be suffice.
Many great men – Wendel Clark and Doug Gilmour in particular – have worn the “C” in Toronto. Sundin was better than both of them, and he will always be my captain.
Thanks for the memories, Mats.