Roy Halladay is going to do something Tuesday that he's never done before.
For the first time in his illustrious career, the Phillies' ace will pitch in the town where he was born when he goes against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver.
Other than requiring some extra tickets for family and friends, Halladay, who will turn 33 on Friday, said the start in Denver will not be a big deal for a couple of reasons.
"I've been gone so long that now it's a normal road trip, which is good - less distractions," Halladay said. "I need a lot of extra tickets. I still go out [to Colorado] quite a bit, so it's not like I'm never there."
The other reason this trip won't be all that sentimental is because Halladay was only briefly a Rockies fan, and it had less to do with the team than a certain player.
"I was a big Dale Murphy fan, so it was pretty exciting when they got him," Halladay said.
Just before the start of their inaugural season in 1993, the Rockies signed Murphy after he had been placed on waivers by the Phillies at the end of spring training. Halladay was 15 at the time and had grown up a fan of the Atlanta Braves.
"I just watched them on TBS all the time, so I became a Braves fan," Halladay said. "They weren't any good until after Murphy left, which is when I became a Phillies fan for a couple of years."
Murphy was traded to the Phillies in August 1990 and also played for them in 1991 and 1992. Because of a balky left knee that required constant draining, Murphy's career with the Rockies lasted only 26 games, and Halladay's interest in his hometown team did not last much beyond that. By the time the Rockies made it to the playoffs in 1995, Halladay had already been drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays and was more concerned with his own professional career.
Halladay said he has never met Murphy, but he has only heard good things about the two-time National League MVP.
This will not be Halladay's first trip to Coors Field. He attended games at both Mile High Stadium - the Rockies' original home field - and Coors Field as a kid and made a road trip to Coors Field with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2006, but he did not pitch in that interleague series.
Halladay's only start against the Rockies was June 7, 2002 at Toronto's SkyDome. He retired the first 15 batters he faced and pitched a two-hit shutout for his seventh win that season. He'll be trying to secure his seventh win Tuesday for the Phillies.
Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577