Halladay to enter Canadian HOF in June

Former Blue Jays ace joins Guerrero, others in 2017 Hall class

February 2nd, 2017

TORONTO -- Roy Halladay's standout career over 12 seasons with the Blue Jays has earned him a spot in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Halladay will be part of the 2017 induction class alongside longtime Expos slugger Vladimir Guerrero, former Baseball Canada president Ray Carter, umpire Doug Hudlin and the '15 Pan Am Games gold medal-winning men's baseball team.

The ceremony is set to take place on June 24 in St. Marys, Ontario, as part of induction weekend. Halladay was selected by Toronto during the first round of the 1995 MLB Draft, played for the organization from 1998-2009 and later returned on a one-day contract to retire in a Blue Jays uniform.

"Toronto has been my home away from home throughout my career and even to this day," Halladay said. "My oldest son, now 16, was born in Toronto and considers himself Canadian. It was a privilege to live and play in Canada for as long as I did. The people here were kind, supportive, respectful and always seemed to welcome me home, even when I came to visit and sat in the wrong dugout.

"To be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame is just another example of exceptional treatment I have received from Canada. I can't explain the feelings that accompanied goose bumps every time you showed me how much I was appreciated, and once again, after getting word of this honor Canada has given me, [I got] those same feelings to go along with the goose bumps."

Halladay rivals right-hander Dave Stieb as the best pitcher in Toronto franchise history. He finished his Blue Jays career with a 148-76 record, which equates to a franchise-best .661 winning percentage. Halladay also ranks second all-time amongst Toronto pitchers in wins, shutouts (15), strikeouts (1,495) and WAR (48.5).

The Denver native became the third Blue Jays pitcher to win the American League Cy Young Award for his efforts in 2003, and he would later win the same award in the National League for the Phillies in '10. Halladay joined Roger Clemens as the only pitchers in franchise history to win at least 19 games in back-to-back seasons, and he led his league in innings four times.

Halladay has a shot at Cooperstown (his first year on the ballot will be 2019), and he's a lock to be named to the Blue Jays' Level of Excellence. But this summer, the big honor he will receive comes from Canada's Hall of Fame, which officially opened its doors on June 4, 1998.

"Each member of this year's class has had a tremendously positive impact on baseball in Canada," said Scott Crawford, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame's director of operations. "I'm excited that we will not only be celebrating the careers of two of the greatest professional players ever to suit up for the Toronto Blue Jays and Montreal Expos, but also two highly respected grassroots leaders and a gold-medal-winning national team that made history on home soil."

It's rather fitting that Halladay will enter the Hall at the same time as Guerrero. Their time in Canada overlapped for five seasons; Guerrero was the main star in Montreal from 1996-2003. His son is now a top prospect in the Blue Jays' organization, but Guerrero will easily go down as one of the greatest sluggers to ever play north of the border.

Guerrero made the NL All-Star team four times, won three Silver Sluggers and led the league in outfield assists twice with his notoriously strong arm during his tenure in Montreal. Over a 16-year playing career, Guerrero hit .318 with 449 home runs and a .553 slugging percentage. He just missed getting enough votes for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this year, but it was a different story in Canada.

"I was surprised and excited to hear that I'm being inducted," Guerrero said through a translator. "I knew that I would need to wait at least one more year to join the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, but I'm very pleased to join the Canadian Hall of Fame first, since I was given my first opportunity to play Major League Baseball in Canada."

Carter became the president of Baseball Canada in 2000 and remained in the position for 16 years, which was the longest run in the organization's history. Hudlin worked as an umpire for more than 40 years in his home province of British Columbia, and along the way, he became the first non-American umpire to work the Little League World Series in Willliamsport, Pa., in 1967. He passed away in '14 at age 91.

The 2015 Pan Am Games team picked up the gold medal on home soil with a 7-6 extra-innings victory over Team USA for a second consecutive title. Skyler Stromsmoe and Pete Orr scored the tying and winning runs on a botched pickoff attempt in front of a sold-out crowd at President's Choice Pan Am Ballpark in Ajax, Ontario.

"On behalf of Baseball Canada and our 10 member provinces, I'd like to congratulate the 2017 Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame induction class, in particular our 2015 gold medal-winning Pan Am Games team and our former President Ray Carter, who dedicated so many years to Baseball Canada," said Baseball Canada president Jason Dickson, who took over from Carter in June 2016. "All of the inductees are very well deserving, and we look forward to watching them take their rightful positions in the Hall in June."