Monday's news of pitcher Roy Halladay signing a one-day contract with the Toronto Blue Jays to retire with the club was a surprise - a pleasant one at that - for Blue Jay fans.
Halladay's resume as a Blue Jay is among the elite in the franchise's 36-year history. Over 12 seasons in Toronto, he was named an All-Star six times. He had arguably the finest campaign of his career in 2003 when he posted a 22-7 record, a 3.25 ERA, nine complete games and 204 strikeouts to earn him the Cy Young Award (making him the fourth - and most recent - Blue Jay to win the honour). He ranks among the top five in Blue Jays history in win percentage, games started and ERA.
But where does his 12 seasons with the Blue Jays rank among the greatest players in team history?
Any comparison starts with Roberto Alomar. He's the only player in franchise history with his jersey number retired and the only player to be inducted into Cooperstown as Blue Jay. Alomar was named an All-Star and won a Gold Glove in each of his five seasons with Toronto and was a member of both World Series winning teams in 1992 and 1993. Along with his stellar defence, he was also a terror at the plate with the highest average in club history with .307 (minimum 2,000 appearances).
Then there's Carlos Delgado, statistically the best slugger in team history. Through his 12 seasons in Toronto, he was the holder of 16 individual team hitting records, three Silver Slugger awards, two All-Star appearances, the Hank Aaron Award in 2000 and was placed in the team's Level of Excellence. Over his Jays career, he blasted 336 homers, 1,058 RBI and totaled 1,413 runs.
How about George Bell, the first true superstar in team history? Bell was an integral piece of the 1985 team that won the American League East - their first postseason appearance. Bell was a three-time All-Star who was named AL MVP in 1987 after posting a .308 batting average, 47 homers and 134 RBI.
Then there's Joe Carter, the man responsible for the greatest moment in franchise history. Aside from the walk off three-run home run in Game Six of the 1993 World Series to win it all, Carter had a stellar Blue Jays career. Named an all-star five times, he was a two time Silver Slugger. In seven seasons in Toronto, he hit 203 home runs, 736 RBI and 1,051 hits.
Does Halladay rank ahead of Tony Fernandez? Also enshrined on the Blue Jays' Level of Excellence, Fernandez had three separate stints with the ball club spanning 12 seasons. He was named an All-Star four times and was a gem on the field, earning four Gold Gloves. And Fernandez was a perennial fan favourite.
Dave Stieb played for the team in three different decades - debuting in 1979 through his final appearance in 1998. In 15 seasons with the Jays, he won 175 games, had a 3.42 ERA and struck out 1,658 batters. He also has the most complete games in team history.
And so we ask; where does Roy Halladay stand against other Blue Jays legends? As always, it's Your! Call.