Gausman grew up idolizing Halladay as a compatriot from Colorado and said during his presentation as Blue Jay on Wednesday that he planned to wear number 34 in Halladay’s honor. While Doc’s number 32 is retired by Toronto, the number 34 he wore as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies is available.
“I grew up a huge fan of Roy’s vacation and I don’t know how many departures I’ve watched from him over the course of his career,” Gausman said at the virtual press conference.
“His ability to move the ball was incredible. And so being able to watch him do what he did in Toronto, and then really throughout his career, go to Philly as well. I’ve always been a huge fan of him, not just on the pitch, but just the way he behaves, you know, a little balanced, and that’s what I’ve always tried to be.
“Obviously (I am) very honored to now carry the same threads as him. I will wear his number, not 32 because he is retired, but I will wear 34 next season and in the future. At all times I have put on this jersey, I really think of him every time I do it. “
This won’t be the first time Gausman has worn his idol’s number. Following Halladay’s tragic death on December 7, 2017, Gausman announced on social media that he was changing his number from 39 to 34 with the Baltimore Orioles to honor Halladay “both on and off the field.”
“Being a baseball loving kid, many of my afternoons and best childhood memories are watching the game with my dad. Naturally, I became a huge fan of Roy Halladay from Colorado. He instantly became my idol. For years I watched him dominate his competition. For me, Roy gave me the inspiration that I could achieve even my biggest dreams – to be a pitcher like him, ”Gausman said on social media.
“The loss of Roy was tragic and sad, but I feel honored to have seen all he has achieved. “
In Honor of Roy # 34 pic.twitter.com/iuA28LNd1I
– Kevin Gausman (@KevinGausman) Dec. 7, 2017
Gausman also wore number 34 as a member of the San Francisco Giants in 2020 and 2021.
Halladay, who died in a plane crash at age 40, played 12 seasons with the Blue Jays, winning a Cy Young Award in 2003.