CLEARWATER, Fla. — Roy Halladay pulled a chair to the corner of the Phillies clubhouse reserved for players with jersey numbers in the 60s or 70s, the veterans hanging onto major-league hopes and the prospects experiencing their first taste of the life. Halladay wanted to see No. 70.
Jesse Biddle, 22 and lifelong Phillies fan, listened while the rest of the room emptied for the day.
"There are a lot of things you want to learn from a guy like that," Biddle said. "He's a Hall of Famer."
This spring is about education for Biddle, who will not make the team. The former Germantown Friends star and first-round pick is here for moments like Tuesday, when Halladay devoted more than 15 minutes to the organization's top pitching prospect.
"I just kind of want to soak it all in," Biddle said. "I know I won't be here the whole time, so while I'm here it's nice to kind of take what I'm learning here and apply it to my season."
Biddle was 8 years old when Jimmy Rollins debuted, and the two faced each other during live batting practice. Halladay watched that session.
"There are some pitches I threw that I thought were pretty good pitches and they don't even act like they're going to swing at it," Biddle said. "It's that kind of stuff, but it's also the feedback they give you. 'Hey, good pitch.' When they say that, it means a lot. It's a confidence booster, you know."
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