In the winter of 2010, a still-anonymous Phillies fan started a blog with a simple mission.
“The goal of this blog, in the most simple terms, is to convince Roy Halladay to go to the zoo with me,” the inaugural post read. And so the blog was named “I Want to Go to the Zoo With Roy Halladay.”
ZWR, as it became known, gained a steady following and its author eventually parlayed the success into a weekly guest column in the Philadelphia Inquirer. But after nearly four years, it had yet to accomplish its original goal.
That is, until one momentous day in August 2014.
I highly recommend reading ZWR’s recap of the day at the zoo, because it offers a wonderful look at his life beyond the field.
Roy was amazing with my family, which I appreciated more than anything. He was beyond sweet with my kids, held our baby a bunch (even when he cried), and asked to pose for some pics with both of my kids to send back home to [his wife] Brandy. He truly is a good person.
Halladay died on Tuesday in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico at the age of 40. He did plenty of good deeds—like buying a K9 dog for the sheriff’s department that eventually confirmed his death—so it would be irresponsible to say that one day at the zoo tells you all you need to know about him. But it comes pretty damn close.