Blue Jays' Kevin Gausman plans to wear No. 34 in honour of Roy Halladay

Kevin Gausman grew up idolizing another Colorado based pitcher Roy Halladay, and says he's honoured to wear the same threads, and wear number 34 which Roy wore in his days with the Phillies.

New signing Kevin Gausman already has something in common with Toronto Blue Jays faithful: a deep admiration for franchise legend Roy Halladay.

Gausman grew up idolizing Halladay as a fellow Colorado native, and said when introduced as a Blue Jay on Wednesday that he plans to wear No. 34 in Halladay's honour. While Doc's No. 32 is retired by Toronto, the No. 34 he wore as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies is available.

"I grew up with huge Roy Halladay fan and I don't know how many starts I've watched of his over the career," said Gausman in the virtual press conference.

"His ability to make a ball move was incredible. And so being able to watch him do what he did in Toronto, and then really over his whole career, going to Philly as well. I was always a huge fan of him, not just on the field, but just the way that he carries himself, you know, kind of that even-keeled, and that's what I've always tried to be.

"Obviously (I'm) very honoured to now be wearing the same threads that he wore. I'll be wearing his number, not 32 because it's retired, but I'll be wearing 34 this next season and going forward. Any time I put on that jersey, I really think about him every time that I do."

This won't be Gausman's first time wearing his idol's number. After Halladay's tragic death on Dec. 7, 2017, Gausman posted on social media that he was changing his number from 39 to 34 with the Baltimore Orioles to honour Halladay "both on and off the field."

"Being a kid in love with the game of baseball, many of my afternoons and fondest childhood memories are of watching the game with my dad. Naturally I became a huge fan of fellow Colorado native Roy Halladay. He instantly became my idol. For years I watched him dominate his competition. To me, Roy gave me the inspiration that I could fulfill even my biggest of dreams -- being a pitcher just like him," said Gausman on social media.

"The loss of Roy was tragic and saddening, but I feel honoured to have watched everything he achieved."

Gausman also wore No. 34 as a member of the San Francisco Giants in 2020 and 2021.

Halladay, who died in a plane crash at 40 years old, played 12 seasons with the Blue Jays, earning a Cy Young Award in 2003.

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