With not much out there in the way of live sports at the moment, documentaries are gaining even more importance, and ESPN has a new one on the way in upcoming E:60 special Imperfect: The Roy Halladay Story. Imperfect is set for a May 29 premiere, and it seems like an interesting project. In addition to discussions of Halladay’s dominance on the mound, it also looks set to cover some of the challenges he faced outside the game, particularly his struggles with substances; a NTSB report in April wrote that Halladay had high levels of amphetamines, morphine and anti-depressants in his system at the time of his fatal plane crash in 2017. Halladay’s wife Brandy is a key interview in the trailer ESPN released for this Thursday, and she has some poignant comments:
Millions knew "Doc", few knew Roy.
Here’s a first look at Imperfect: The Roy Halladay Story – Coming May 29th pic.twitter.com/GCbisfUJtS
— E60 (@E60) May 7, 2020
Even the Imperfect title is telling, as the documentary contrasts Halladay’s perfect game in 2010 and his dominance from the mound with the issues he had away from the diamond. In the trailer, Brandy Halladay is asked near the start “What comes to mind when I say the word ‘perfect’?”, and she responds “Unrealistic expectations. I don’t think there’s such a thing as perfect.” Later, she says “A man who was expected to be perfect or seen as perfect, I saw how hard that was on him.” And near the end, the trailer includes audio of a speech she gave at Halladay’s posthumous induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019: “I think that Roy would want everyone to know that people are not perfect. That we are all imperfect and flawed in one way or another. But with hard work, humility and dedication, imperfect people can still have perfect moments.”
Beyond that, the trailer is notable for showing both the respect Halladay received as a player (including from the likes of Alex Rodriguez) and the challenges he was facing after his playing career ended. Brandy Halladay is very open about what he was dealing with, saying “Yes” to the question of “Do you think he was an addict?” and adding “He was tormented. His body was dependent on these medications just to function. A.D.D., depression, anxiety, paranoia — Roy had a lot of demons that he was trying to work on all at the same time.” It will be interesting to see how the finished product here turns out, but this certainly seems like it could be a compelling look at the overall person Halladay was.