One by one, the Phillies players walked up to Roy Halladay and shook his hand. Halladay’s smile was the widest it has been since he joined the team.
The righthander purchased around 60 Baume & Mercier watches to commemorate his perfect game May 29. He gave out the watches as gifts to everyone in the clubhouse — all of the players who were on the active roster then, the entire coaching staff, all clubhouse personnel (including bat boy Rob DiClementi), training and video staff as well as public relations officials.
The watches were enclosed in brown boxes with an inscription on the front: “We did it together. Thanks, Roy Halladay.”
“Unbelievable,” Raul Ibanez said as he opened his. “Wow.”
It’s not unusual for a pitcher to reward his teammates for a milestone like a perfect game. Halladay went beyond that.
Each watch was engraved on the back with the date of the game and the linescore. Every watch was personalized, the person’s name engraved on the back of their watch.
“That’s awesome,” Ryan Howard said, as he inspected the thick instruction manual that came with every watch.
Howard joked that if he reaches 500 home runs, he’ll send a watch to every pitcher that served up a long ball.
“Hey, we pitchers can be very generous people,” reliever Chad Durbin said from across the room.
A little more than an hour before first pitch, the players sat at their lockers, finagling with the watches. Halladay, from the corner of the room, watched and smiled.
Brad Lidge shook his head in disbelief. He wasn’t even in Miami the night Halladay threw the perfect game. Instead, he was pitching in a rehab game 100 miles north in Port St. Luice, Fla. He didn’t mind the gift.
Said Lidge: “We have to do it again now, right?”