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Cole Hamels on Roy Halladay: He’s ‘The Immortal.’ The Rest of Us Are Just Humans

Mar 1, 2013, 12:17 PM EDT

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Opposing players have called him the CYborg in the past. Now his teammates are calling him The Immortal. I’d say that speaks pretty damn highly of the kind of respect Roy Halladay garners in the game of baseball.

The Immortal name comes in an awesome piece by Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan that is straight penguin porn. Click here and read the whole thing. A lot of the praise is stuff you’ve read before, but one of the angles I found most interesting was the influence Roy has had on his younger World Series MVP teammate in Cole Hamels.

“That’s how we labeled him: This guy is The Immortal, we’re all just
humans, and we’re lucky enough to play baseball with him,” said Cole
Hamels, one of the Phillies’ aces who, postseason included, threw 262
1/3 innings in 2008 and remains awed by Halladay pushing similar
boundaries annually. “He made it seem so easy, and at the same time,
when the opposing team thinks it had got to him, he flipped a switch,
and it was, like, ‘Nope.’ It’s like when you try to scare someone, and
he knows you’re trying to scare him, and it doesn’t work. It’s
embarrassing.”

Hamels, 29, had appreciated Halladay’s mastery from afar until Halladay
joined the Phillies via trade in December 2009. He knew about the
workouts that lasted an hour and a half, sometimes more, and started
around 5:30 a.m.: the cardio, the core, the plyometrics, the resistance
bands, the stretching, the hot and cold tubs and, more than anything,
how it encouraged others more than his words ever could.

“If you don’t want to be like him,” Hamels said, “you just don’t want to
be successful. The guy is constantly going. I think I can hold my own
running with him. But he’s so focused and determined. He made a workout
feel like a workout. You see guys work out and take breaks and talk and
socialize. That’s not working out. He made me grasp that even more.
Don’t take that break. Keep going. Keep going. Because that’s what it
takes. I saw it, I just didn’t understand it. And once you follow him,
you feel really great in the end, because you’re worn out and tired as
hell.”

Let’s hope The Immortal can live up to the name and have a bounce-back year in 2013. We know he certainly worked for it.

Go. Read. Then hit the gym.

>>Even in the twilight of his career, the Phillies’ Roy Halladay remains a legend among peers [Yahoo!]

Related: Beerleaguer uses Passan’s piece as a jumping point to discuss whether Halladay is Hall worthy.