Wednesday, May 31, 2023

10 Career-Defining Roy Halladay Baseball Cards – Instant PC

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Roy Halladay was one of the last true workhorses to toe an MLB rubber, racking up 67 complete games and 20 shutouts over his 16-year career. The Hall of Famer is one of only six pitchers to win a Cy Young Award in both leagues.

All told, there are more than 5,000 Roy Halladay cards, according to the Beckett database. So where does one begin putting together a Roy Halladay PC?

These 10 cards serve as an excellent representation of his playing career and footprint on the hobby, making them a great place to start.

1995 Best #125 Roy Halladay SP

The Toronto Blue Jays selected Halladay with the No. 17 overall pick in the 1995 draft out of Arvada West High School in Colorado, and he made his pro debut in the Gulf Coast League that summer with a 3.40 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 50.1 innings.

The final 23 cards on the 1995 Best checklist featured players who were selected early in the 1995 MLB draft and were short-printed. Also included in that group was Todd Helton, Kerry Wood, Darin Erstad, Geoff Jenkins, Matt Morris and Jose Cruz Jr.

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1997 Bowman Chrome #212 Roy Halladay RC

After making his debut in rookie ball, Halladay jumped up to High-A Dunedin for his first full professional season and quickly established himself as one of baseball’s top pitching prospects. He finished 15-7 with a 2.73 ERA in 164.2 innings and began the next year at No. 23 on the Baseball America Top 100 prospect list.

His only Rookie Cards are found in 1997 Bowman, Bowman Chrome and Bowman’s Best Baseball. Each is among the most valuable cards in each of their respective sets.

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1998 Topps #264 Roy Halladay

Halladay spent the bulk of the 1998 season at Triple-A Syracuse where he continued to impress, ultimately earning a September call-up to close out the year. He made two starts down the stretch, tossing a one-hit complete game against the Detroit Tigers in the team’s final game of the year.

His first Topps flagship card is part of the 1998 set, and he shares it with Matt Clement and Brian Fuentes who both went on to All-Star careers of their own.

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1999 Upper Deck #269 Roy Halladay SR

Following his strong debut at the end of the 1998 season, Halladay served as a valuable swingman on the Toronto staff the following year, posting a 3.92 ERA in 149.1 innings while making 18 starts and 18 relief appearances on a staff that also featured a young Chris Carpenter.

After only being featured in a handful of sets in 1998, Halladay was a staple across most majors brands the following year, and his “Star Rookie” in the 1999 Upper Deck set is an affordable early option with a great-looking design.

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2001 Topps Gold #185 Roy Halladay

After his strong 1999 season, Halladay took a massive step backward the following year, finishing with an absurdly bad 10.64 ERA over 67.2 innings. That could have been the end of the line for the 23-year-old, but instead it proved to be the beginning of a stellar run of success.

Following his terrible 2000 season, Halladay only appeared in the 2000 Topps and 2000 Topps Heritage sets the following year. I’ve opted for the Topps Gold parallel with a print run of 2,001.

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2003 Leaf Certified Materials Mirror Blue #200 Roy Halladay

On the heels of his terrible 2000 campaign, Halladay posted a 3.16 ERA in 105.1 innings the following year before fully breaking out during the 2002 season, going 19-7 with a 2.93 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 168 strikeouts in an AL-high 239.1 innings. He followed that up with AL Cy Young honors in 2003, finishing 22-7 with a 3.25 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 204 strikeouts in a career-high 266 innings.

The high-end Leaf Certified Materials base set came with Mirror Red (/100), Mirror Blue (/50), Mirror Gold (/25), Mirror Emerald (/5) and Mirror Black (1/1) parallels. I’ve opted for the color-match Mirror Blue card.

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2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Memorabilia #RH Roy Halladay

After his second career 20-win season in 2008, Halladay played his final season with the Blue Jays in 2009, going 17-10 with a 2.79 ERA in 239 innings and finishing in the top five in AL Cy Young voting for the fourth year in a row. He wrapped up his time in Toronto with 148 wins and 48.4 WAR in 12 seasons to lay the foundation for his Hall of Fame résumé.

The memorabilia cards in 2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions were found in 1:10 hobby packs and that makes this an affordable relic option to add to this collection.

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2010 Topps Turkey Red #TR123 Roy Halladay

Prior to the 2010 season, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired Halladay in exchange for top prospects Travis d’Arnaud, Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor. The 33-year-old promptly won NL Cy Young honors in his first season with his new team, finishing 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 219 strikeouts in 250.2 innings.

The throwback Turkey Red inserts ran throughout all three of the 2010 Topps Baseball flagship releases. He appeared as a Blue Jay in Series 1, however this one from Update has him in his new Phillies threads.

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2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary #359 Roy Halladay

Not only did he win NL Cy Young honors in 2010, but Halladay also made history when he became just the second pitcher in MLB history to toss a no-hitter in the playoffs, blanking the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the NLDS. This was also his postseason debut.

The moment after he recorded the final out was immortalized with a subset card in the 2011 Topps flagship set, and there is a wide variety of parallel versions of the card also available. I’ve opted for the ultra-sparkly Diamond Anniversary parallel version, which was a 1:4 pack pull.

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2014 Topps #565 Roy Halladay

Halladay wrapped up his Hall of Fame career in 2013, finishing 203-105 with a 3.38 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 2,117 strikeouts in 2,749.1 innings. He finished in the top five in Cy Young voting seven times, and earned first-ballot Hall of Fame induction in 2019 when he received 85.4 percent of the vote.

While he didn’t play in 2014, he was featured in the Topps flagship set, which means his final card features a full stat back.

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