Born in 1977 in Denver, Colo., Halladay was the Blue Jays’ first-round pick (17th overall) in the 1995 major league amateur draft. On September 27, 1998, in his second big league start, he carried a no-hitter into the bottom of the ninth and had two outs when Detroit Tigers pinch-hitter Bobby Higginson homered. Halladay finished the contest with a one-hitter in the Blue Jays’ 2-1 win.
The intense right-hander became a mainstay in the Blue Jays’ starting rotation beginning in July 2001 and he established himself as the team’s ace the following year when he won 19 games and led American League hurlers in innings pitched (239-1/3) and WAR (7.4) and was selected to his first All-Star team. Halladay would top that the ensuing campaign when he led the league in wins (22), innings pitched (266), complete games (9) and WAR (8.1). For his efforts, he became the third Blue Jay to capture the American League Cy Young Award (Pat Hentgen (1996), Roger Clemens (1997, 1998)).
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