TORONTO – He’s not yet sure where or in what capacity, but Roy Halladay intends to work in baseball again soon.
The 39-year-old, whose upcoming induction to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame was announced Thursday, says he expects to be working for a big league team this spring. And who knows, it could be the Blue Jays.
“I do have plans to get back into baseball,” Halladay told reporters on a conference call. “At this point I don’t know what team it’ll be with or in what capacity, although I can say I have talked to the Blue Jays.”
With six all-star appearances and a Cy Young Award in 12 seasons in Toronto, Halladay ranks among the greatest players in franchise history. He built on that resume in Philadelphia, where he won a second Cy Young, pitched a perfect game and authored a playoff no-hitter.
Also up for induction in St. Mary’s, Ont., this June 24: longtime Expos outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, past Baseball Canada president Ray Carter, the 2015 Canadian men’s team that won gold at the Pan-Am Games and umpire Doug Hudlin, who will be inducted posthumously.
Halladay worked as a guest instructor for the Phillies in 2014, not long after he officially retired from baseball with the Blue Jays. Three years later, he’s ready to find another job in baseball. Now it’s a question of matching his skills with the needs of MLB teams.
“I really do want to get back into baseball,” Halladay said. “I really do enjoy working with younger players, younger pitchers.”
The Denver native says he feels a connection to Toronto after spending so much time playing in Canada. Not only did he enjoy lots of success with the Blue Jays, fans welcomed him back warmly when he returned as a member of the Phillies in 2011.
“I really feel like I was part of the city, part of the town,” Halladay said. “To get the (Hall of Fame) announcement I was obviously thrilled. Being able to retire with the Blue Jays and getting this honour it feels like everything’s come full circle.”
Of course much has changed since the Blue Jays traded Halladay following the 2009 season. After years spent chasing the Yankees and Red Sox, the Blue Jays emerged as legitimate contenders. The fans have returned, too, with an AL-best 41,878 fans per game in 2016. All told, the Blue Jays teams that reached the ALCS in consecutive years made a strong impression on Halladay.
“I am so jealous you have no idea,” he said. “It’s just completely awesome seeing that stadium sold out, seeing the excitement of the fans, the excitement of the city, across Canada. They deserve it.
“For the Blue Jays to get themselves back into the playoffs, it’s awesome for the team, it’s awesome for the fans, it’s awesome for the city.”