12/24/10 10:00 AM EST
Doc thrilled to have Christmas song about him
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
There are the favorites from crooners like Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole, remakes of standards like "Deck the Halls" and "Silent Night" and originals from Run DMC, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Hall and Oates and more.
But Halladay recently learned there is a Christmas song about him. A couple weeks ago, a family member e-mailed him a video of the song "Baseball Glove" by Canadian country music singer and songwriter Gord Bamford. In it, a boy longs for a glove with Halladay's autograph.
"It was surprising to say the least," Halladay said.
Halladay is not one to bring attention to himself. During a year when he threw a perfect game, won 21 games, threw a no-hitter in the playoffs and earned National League Cy Young honors, he regularly deflected attention elsewhere. So while it would be out of character for him to play "Baseball Glove" for his family Christmas morning, he appreciated the gesture.
"I liked it," he said. "He did a good job with it."
Bamford was born in Australia, but grew up in Alberta, Canada, where he became a huge Toronto Blue Jays fan. He played baseball growing up, including spots on Team Alberta and a professional league in Australia.
Bamford co-wrote "Baseball Glove" in the summer of 2009 with Byron Hill, who has written country hits like Alabama's "Born Country," George Strait's "Fool Hearted Memory," Gary Allan's "Nothing On But The Radio," and Joe Nichols' "Size Matters."
"I wanted to do a Christmas song because I had never done one," Bamford said. "But I wanted to do something a little bit different than a traditional Christmas song. So with my love of baseball, and at the time, the Toronto Blue Jays and Halladay, it just kind of fit in there."
Bamford said writing Halladay into the song made perfect sense.
"He never gets rattled," he said. "As a pitcher you've got to have a strong head as well as a strong arm. When he was in Toronto, you'd hear about his charity work. It seems like he's just a good citizen and a good person and definitely a role model for young kids."
Ironically, the song was released late last year, just before Halladay was traded from the Blue Jays to the Phillies. That is why the video has pictures of Halladay in his Blue Jays uniform.
"It's still a great song, but there went our marketing plan," Bamford said with a laugh. "But he's such a class act, so it's nice to see him go to a team with a chance of winning the World Series. It's nice to see him go to a contender."
Bamford will be working on a Christmas album for release in 2011. "Baseball Glove" will find a home there.
Halladay might have gotten a baseball glove for Christmas like Bamford, but that's not the Christmas gift he recalls from his childhood. He remembers how badly he wanted a go-kart one year. His parents were against it, but he got one anyway.
Well, he got the go-kart, except it did not come assembled. It came as a kit.
"My dad never got around to putting it together," Halladay chuckled. "I think that was part of the plan. But about five or six years later, he helped me trade it for a motorcycle. But I remember seeing [the go-kart] and being kind of blown away."
Halladay said he still enjoys Christmas, especially with his two young sons.
"It's always the build up," he said. "That's the best part."
Certainly there are thousands of kids who will be receiving Phillies gear for Christmas. But do the sons of a big league pitcher ask for Phillies memorabilia, too?
"They do," Halladay said. "But it's funny. Most of the older members of our family, that's always what they want for Christmas. Phillies shirts, jerseys, that kind of stuff. My youngest son always wants baseball cards. He likes all the players. He's pretty big into that."
No baseball gloves are needed at the Halladay household this Christmas, but plenty of kids in the Delaware Valley certainly would love seeing one with Halladay's autograph under their own Christmas tree. Bamford, too.
"Maybe I'll get it someday," he said.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.