Halladay wasn't looking to impress his new team. That's just his way. A strong work ethic is a major reason the 32-year-old right-hander is widely considered to be the best pitcher in the majors.
Now that the Philadelphia Phillies have officially started camp, other players and coaches get to see Halladay do his thing up close. But they have to get to the ballpark early enough, of course.
Halladay gets to work at 5:45 a.m. His workout regimen includes a lot of running, stretching and exercises to strengthen his arm, legs and core. No matter when he starts, it seems that Halladay is constantly busy.
"He comes in here and he's always doing something," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Friday. "He never sits still. He talks to you very short and then says he has to go running or whatever. He definitely has a routine and a program and he's going to stay on that. Nothing is going to get in his way. That's a commitment every day and that's good."
Halladay is already rubbing off on his teammates. Kyle Kendrick beat him to the ballpark a couple times. Cole Hamels and Chad Durbin are also posing a challenge.
"There's been a few young kids that have been chasing me and trying to beat me," Halladay said. "I have to start bumping it to 5:30 soon."
Halladay developed his work ethic early in his career when he played with Roger Clemens and Pat Hentgen in Toronto. Clemens was legendary for his workouts long before he was implicated in the steroid scandal.
"I think when it set in for me the most was after having to go through and restart my career," Halladay said, referring to his demotion to Single-A in 2001. "I felt like if I was going to be out of baseball, I was going to be out the right way and doing things to the best of my ability. I kind of took some of those examples that I'd seen in the past and started to apply it. It's one of those things that when you go home and look in the mirror, you want to know that you gave it your best and sometimes that's more important than the success or failure on the field."
All that hard work certainly has paid off for Halladay. He was a six-time All-Star, won the 2003 AL Cy Young Award and went 148-76 with a 3.43 ERA in 12 seasons with the Blue Jays.
The Phillies are hoping Halladay helps them become the first NL team to capture three straight pennants since the St. Louis Cardinals did it 66 years ago. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. aggressively pursued Halladay before the non-waiver trade deadline last July, but ended up getting Cliff Lee from Cleveland. Lee was outstanding with the Phillies and had a dominant postseason, earning both of Philadelphia's wins against the New York Yankees in the World Series.