Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay to be inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame


Roy Halladay is headed to Cooperstown.

The late former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher was selected by voters to gain entry to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot.

Roy Halladay, a two-time Cy Young Award winner with a perfect game and a playoff no-hitter on his resume, earned induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Roy Halladay, a two-time Cy Young Award winner with a perfect game and a playoff no-hitter on his resume, earned induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.  (Tony Bock / Toronto Star file photo)

Halladay was part of a four-player class that included reliever Mariano Rivera, the first player to be named on every ballot, designated hitter Edgar Martinez and starting pitcher Mike Mussina. Reliever Lee Smith and DH Harold Baines were elected earlier by a veterans’ committee.

Halladay and Martinez received 85.4 per cent of the votes each, and Mussina received 76.7 per cent of the votes. A player must appear on 75 per cent of the more than 400 ballots submitted by eligible Baseball Writers Association of America Members to be inducted, and on five per cent to remain on the ballot another year.

Halladay, who died in a plane crash in November 2017 at the age of 40, will be the sixth player elected posthumously through the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s process and the first since Rabbit Maranville in 1954.

The native of Denver was selected by the Jays in the first round of the 1995 draft. He made his big-league debut as a September call-up in 1998 and went on to become one of the most dominant pitchers of his ERA.

« Of the countless players that have worn the Blue Jays uniform, few have done so with the determination and elegance of Roy Halladay,” said Jays president Mark Shapiro said in a statement. “Today is a bittersweet day for our community and organization, as we remember a beloved pitcher, teammate, and family man, but we can take comfort in the boundless impact Roy had on Canadian fans nationwide and the game of baseball. »

The two-time Cy Young Award winner went 203-104 with a 3.38 ERA in 12 seasons with Toronto and four with Philadelphia. He was known for his consistency and durability over the course of his career. The six-time all-star threw 67 complete games in 390 starts. Among Toronto starters, he ranks third with a 3.43 ERA, second with 1,495 strikeouts and 148 and first with a 1.20 WHIP.

In Philadelphia, he led the team to consecutive National League Championship Series. He pitched the second no-hitter in post-season history in 2010, the same year he pitched the 20th perfect game in MLB history.

Former teammate Pat Hentgen, now a special assistant to the organization, remembered Halladay as “one of the greatest baseball competitors I have ever seen. »

“His work ethic, mental toughness, professionalism, and consistency on the mound were unmatched, » Hentgen said in a statement. « Every fifth day that he pitched, he held an intense focus on one goal: to give his team the best possible chance of winning. Any player who had the honour of sharing a clubhouse with Doc will agree that they are better having known him.”

It will be up to Halladay’s family, including wife Brandy and sons Braden and Ryan, to decide whether he goes into the hall with a Jays logo or a Phillies logo. The induction ceremony will be held on July 21 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Halladay told reporters in Toronto in 2016 that he would go into Cooperstown wearing a Jays cap, because it’s where he spent the bulk of his career. It was for that reason that Halladay chose to sign a ceremonial one-day contract with Toronto when he retired, to finish his career as a Jays player.

If he enters as a Jays player, he plaque will bare the second Toronto logo in franchise history, after Roberto Alomar Jr. was inducted in 2011.

Read more:

Halladay looks destined for Cooperstown, but which hat will he wear?

Blue Jays saw hall in Halladay on and off the field

Richard Griffin: Halladay loved baseball but family was his biggest passion

There were 35 players on this year’s ballot, including 15 holdovers from last year and 20 first-timers. A player must play at least 10 full seasons in the big leagues and be retired for five years to be eligible for the Hall of Fame.

Those that fell short this year included pitchers Curt Schilling (60.9 per cent) and Roger Clemens (59.5 per cent), and outfielders Barry Bonds (59.1 per cent) and Larry Walker, the Maple Ridge, B.C., native who made major gains to get to 54.6 per cent. The former Montreal Expos outfielder, a career .313 hitter and a former National League MVP in Colorado, has one year left on the ballot.


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The Instant Pot Ace Blender, Reviewed


Do I really need this? This is the thought that ran through my mind as I lugged the new Instant Pot Ace Blender—the latest gadget from the company that brought us the electric pressure cooker that broke the Internet—onto a crowded subway car and then up two flights of stairs to my tiny Brooklyn apartment, where I certainly don’t have spare kitchen cabinet space.

As I unpacked the massive box and all its various bobs and doo-dads, I asked myself again: DO I NEED THIS? I already have a blender, which is about half the size of the Instant Pot version—it’s a Breville model that does a reasonable enough job of blitzing through kale for smoothies and breaking down herbs for chutneys. Why do I need another? When I received an Instant Pot, I thought the same thing. I already had a slow cooker, I didn’t need anything else! But the Instant Pot’s ability to more quickly and effectively produce all the things I made in my slow cooker (dal, pulled pork), and then even more (risotto, yogurt) changed my mind, and it’s since become one of my most-used appliances.

The Instant Pot Ace Blender, which was released this fall (just in time for soup szn!!), is the second appliance behind the upstart Canadian business that brought us the device that launched a thousand cookbooks/hot takes/Facebook groups. Here, the company is relying on the same logic it used to sell the Instant Pot: that this product can do everything this device you already have (in this case: blender) can do, but better. And more. The TL;DR? It’s a high-powered blender that can also heat and cool food.

The instruction manual claims it can make ice cream (or at least, soft serve), hot soup from raw ingredients, and—because this is where the world is headed, I guess—several kinds of alternative milks. Similar to the Instant Pot, there are preset buttons (three are for alternative milks) as well as a manual option. Even the lid is somewhat familiar, as it has latches for locking the top in place. The blender won’t operate unless the lid is securely on, which is comforting for someone like me, who has had several mishaps.

I spent a recent morning testing out all the features of this fancy new blender, and let me get the bad news out of the way: it cannot make ice cream. Following the instructions of this friendly-looking lady with a cute bob on YouTube, I combined heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in the blender, and hit the ice cream button, which promised to have my 7 a.m. dessert ready in a minute and twenty seconds. I was surprised that as the machine was running, it didn’t seem to be getting much cooler (there’s a temperature reading on the front of the gadget, though it was in Celsius because the Instant Pot company is Canadian and I got very confused!). Once my ice cream was supposedly done, all it had become was whipped cream. I gave the ice cream another shot, this time adding cornstarch as a thickener and frozen mangoes, which I thought would help cool everything down. What I got was more like melting soft serve. I stuck it in the freezer, and after several hours, it was technically ice cream, but more just cold cream dotted with ice granules.

Many articles I read also mentioned that this blender could churn butter. Let me just say that I bought several cartons of cream and tried “churning” it using every possible setting—puree, smoothie, ice cream, crushed ice—and no butter solids ever formed.

Where the Instant Pot Ace Blender fared better was alternative milks. I decided to try making oat milk, because it’s trendy and I already had large cartons of almond and soy milk in the fridge. On my first try, I forgot the water and unintentionally found out that this thing is great for making alternative flours (the oat flour was silky and homogeneous!). On my second try, after adding oats, water, and a little vegetable oil (there are step-by-step instructions in the manual), hitting the “nut/oat milk” button, and waiting the requisite 4 minutes and 32 seconds (the timings are so precise!), I had something that very closely resembled what I’ve seen in coffee shops. The blender even comes with its own cloth that you can use to strain your milk. I ended up with about a quart of oat milk, and it was nice, albeit more bitter and less creamy than the ones I tried.

But if you’re really going to buy this blender, it will be for the soup function. This is the most Instant Pot–adjacent feature, and it is also the best feature. Basically, you can dump any raw veggies into the blender, and the device will both cook and blend them into a soup. I decided to go with butternut squash, a veg that usually takes a while to cook. Into the blender I dropped about two cups of cubed, UNPEELED, squash, a sliced, sautéed onion, a small knob of ginger, water, and some salt and pepper. I pressed the Soup button, and the blender took about ten minutes to heat up, the equivalent of when the Instant Pot takes some time to build up the pressure before it starts the countdown clock (in this soup’s case, 20 minutes). It was pretty mesmerizing to watch the soup. At first, the water started to boil. Then, little cubes of squash would dance around and disappear into the blender, a few at a time. By the time 20 minutes was up, the blender made that familiar, comforting Instant Pot beep, and everything appeared to have puréed into a smooth soup. Common wisdom is that blenders can’t hold hot food, as they will explode due to pressure build-up, but the IP blender fared just fine.

The soup was good, albeit not deeply flavored. Neither the squash skin nor the ginger had fully broken down, though I imagine if I had puréed the mixture for a minute or so longer it would have, and I didn’t mind the couple of chunky bits. This blender obviates the need for an immersion blender, or a separate pot for cooking your vegetables. That said, unlike the Instant Pot, there is no sauté function on this blender, and so I had to use a separate pan to brown my onions. (Here’s how Carla Lalli Music uses an Instant Pot to make super delicious chicken or veggie stock.)

But would I buy this blender to replace my current one, exclusively to be able to make hot soup and oat milk? Nah. It’s a perfectly good blender, but not uniquely more powerful than my Breville. The hot and cold functions don’t feel like a game changer. I can make better-flavored soup in my regular ol’ Instant Pot, and I don’t mind using my immersion blender to purée it! Every alt milk imaginable is so widely available and reasonably priced. Also, even if the Instant Pot blender could make butter, we don’t live in settlement times anymore! You can buy great butter at the store!!!

And ice cream? While I don’t love paying five dollars a scoop at the incredible gelato shop within eyeshot of my apartment, this option is far more preferable than cramming yet another appliance into my cabinet, only to end up with melty soft serve.


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