NEW YORK -- Former Major Leaguer Jayson Werth was not surprised to hear that his former teammate Roy Halladay was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday. Halladay, who passed away in a plane crash in November 2017, and Werth played together on the Blue Jays (2002-03) and Phillies
NEW YORK -- Former Major Leaguer Jayson Werth was not surprised to hear that his former teammate Roy Halladay was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday. Halladay, who passed away in a plane crash in November 2017, and Werth played together on the Blue Jays (2002-03) and Phillies ('10).
It was more than just the numbers Halladay put up that impressed Werth. Halladay's work ethic and preparation before games were second to none.
"If anybody deserves [to be in the Hall of Fame], Roy does," Werth said via telephone. "I knew this guy very well. He was one of the fiercest competitors to ever play the game. The day that he pitched, Roy would wake up with his game face on. It would stay on until he got the last out or got into the clubhouse to do his postgame routine like ice his shoulder. We lost one of the best players that ever played the game."
What set Halladay apart from other pitchers? According to Werth, Halladay would do his best to communicate with all his teammates, not just the catcher.
"[Halladay] was really open to working with his teammates to figure out what was the best way to make himself and the team successful," Werth said. "He would have all kinds of insight into the game that I never really heard from anyone else. I took a lot of that information that I learned playing from him and applied it to my career. It really helped me become a better teammate and a better baseball player just from a strategical standpoint of what we are trying to accomplish.
"Sometimes, what's best for you isn't always what's best for the team. I think Doc was the one that taught me that. He instilled that in all of us. He had a brilliant mind and maybe the most hardworking guy I played with. That's saying a lot."
Halladay's work ethic was on display when he pitched a no-hitter in Game 1 of the 2011 National League Division Series against the Reds. Werth, who played right field that night, said it was like they won the series.
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After getting Brandon Phillips to ground out for the last out of the game, the Phillies were dogpiling on Halladay, who looked at Werth and asked, "What just happened?" Halladay was so locked in on the game, he didn't realize what he accomplished until after the last out was made.
"The day Doc was pitching, you were under more stress because it was that much more serious," Werth said. "Doc was on the mound, and you knew how seriously he took it. It was always a little bit more higher stress level in his games. There was just more at stake. You were dealing with a guy who is a potential Hall of Famer, potential and Cy Young Award winner."
Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.