Overtime

Roy Halladay left good memories through years in baseball

Column by Jim Benton
Posted 11/14/17

Ralston Valley baseball coach Brad Madden grew up playing baseball with Roy Halladay.

It didn’t take Madden long to realize that Halladay, who was his teammate at Arvada West, was a special player.

Halladay, 40, was killed Nov. 7 when the …

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Overtime

Roy Halladay left good memories through years in baseball

Posted

Ralston Valley baseball coach Brad Madden grew up playing baseball with Roy Halladay.

It didn’t take Madden long to realize that Halladay, who was his teammate at Arvada West, was a special player.

Halladay, 40, was killed Nov. 7 when the OICON A5 sport aircraft he was piloting crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.

He was a 1995 graduate of Arvada West and was a 17th-round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays. He was an eight-time all-star with Toronto and Philadelphia and a Cy Young Award winner in both the American and National Leagues.

“From the time I met Roy as a 9-year-old, he was a dominant pitcher, player and a fierce competitor,” Madden said.

Halladay, who is one of only two pitchers to throw a post-season no-hitter, had a 203-105 major league pitching record with a 3.38 earned run average. He was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 and likely will be a future inductee into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

“Baseball players in Colorado now could learn from him,” said Adams State baseball coach Jim Capra, who was Halladay’s coach at Arvada West. “Everything you hear about him at the major league level are the same as when he was young. He was as good off the field as he was on the field. He was very coachable and a good teammate. He was very level-headed about the things he might do in the future.”

Halladay was one of the reasons that pro baseball scouts and college recruiters now pay more attention to Colorado prospects.

“Roy’s success paved the way for Colorado players past and future to get a chance,” added Madden. “Before him it was unheard of for pro scouts to come to Colorado to find players. He put Colorado on the baseball map. Roy was the hardest-working person I have ever known and he dedicated all his effort to making himself one of the best pitchers in Major League baseball history and a future Hall of Famer.”

Halladay led Arvada West to the 1994 Class 6A state championship. The Wildcats lost to Cherry Creek in the 1995 5A title game but Halladay didn’t pitch because he was used in the semifinals.

“He pitched as a freshman but his sophomore year is when he really opened eyes of coaches and players,” recalled Capra. “It was like going from high school to the major leagues in one year. He has a great high school career and was one of the best players to come out of Colorado.”

Phil Ross, a retired former high school and college umpire, called Halladay an exemplary individual who was universally well-liked by his peers and fans.

He recalls working two games in which Halladay played.

“The first time in did a Wildcats game he was a sophomore, playing first base and I was the base umpire,” recalled Ross. “He was the best player I officiated in a two-decade umpiring career but also the most polite.

“The following season I was behind the plate when Roy pitched a no-hitter. I didn’t realize it. As I was walking towards the parking lot an excited man exclaimed, “Do you know you just called a no-hitter?” I saw the line score the next day. I felt good.”

Enrollment numbers

Enrollment splits to determine which classifications schools will play in for the 2018-20 cycle were set by the Classification and League Organizing Committee on Nov. 7.

I often hear coaches commenting about school size especially when playing a bigger school, so it was nice to see some figures, although enrollment numbers don’t always translate into athletic success, especially with open enrollment.

So to start with an easy question, what school has the largest enrollment?

Yep, Cherry Creek with 3,654 students but which school is second?

That would be Montbellow in far northeast Denver with 2,964.

Jim Benton

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