It was back on November 7th when the sports world was shocked after hearing about the passing of former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay. The former ace was killed after his plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico that day -- he was 40 years old. Looking like he will one day make Cooperstown, Halladay spent 12 of his 16 MLB seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. Today, before the home opener at Rogers Centre, they honored their late hero.

When the stadium opened, fans were treated to a beautiful set up around the mound featuring pictures of Halladay and his #32.

His number was then officially retired as Halladay's family were present on the field, greeted by a standing ovation. A ball in his honor was placed on the rubber as no ceremonial first pitch was thrown. His number #32 will now hang forever at Blue Jays home games.

An emotional day

The fans in Toronto will certainly never forget what Halladay did. Over his career he was one of the best starting pitchers in baseball, and though he never won a World Series in Toronto, his 12 years of dominance will be one of the brightest spots in Jays history.

Over that time with the Jays he won 148 games, putting up a 3.43 ERA, 1.2 WHIP and 1,495 strikeouts in 2046.2 innings. He was a six-time All Star and won the 2003 AL Cy Young Award.

While he had been out of the game since 2013, there are still plenty of people in baseball right now who knew him, played with and/or against him, and who still cannot believe he is gone.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone faced Halladay a number of times as a player, and talked about this character. "[Halladay] commanded so much respect around the game," Boone said, "For just who he was and the way he went about things. It was a lot of fun facing him." He was quoted saying this in the dugout before facing the Jays in their opener by Yankees beat writer Bryan Hoch.

Probably the most emotional part of the day was Halladay's family being on the field, proceeded by the thunderous ovation and the dimming of the lights to see a big 32 on the video board. Halladay's number is only the second number to be retired in Blue Jays history.


Halladay spent the last years of his career with the Phillies, as they got him in an attempt to win a World Series. He won the NL Cy Young in 2010 and was a two-time All Star in his four years in Philly.

While he did not have nearly as many years of service there as he did in Toronto, he will still likely be honored when they host their home opener. He helped the Phillies to several more playoff berths, but unfortunately never did win a World Series in his career.

It was reported that he will be put onto the Phillies Wall of Fame -- according to Philly Voice.