In a gracious move, new Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay took out a full-page ad in Tuesday's Toronto Sun thanking Blue Jays fans for what he called their "overwhelming passion and devotion."
Last week, the former American League Cy Young Award winner was traded by Toronto to Philadelphia as part of a blockbuster deal that also sent former AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee from Philadelphia to Seattle. Halladay had spent his entire career with the Blue Jays, compiling a 148-76 record since the Blue Jays called him up in 1998.
The ad, which provoked an immediate wave of "class act" banter among fans on Twitter, includes the simple stationery header of "ROY HALLADAY" with the following letter beneath it:
"My wife Brandy, sons Braden and Ryan, and I would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Toronto Blue Jays organization, its incredible fans, and the City of Toronto.
"I feel blessed to have been part of the Blue Jays since 1995 and am extremely grateful for the opportunities it has provided. Throughout this past 15 years, there have been so many people within the organization that have made a wonderful and significant impact in my life, it would be impossible to name them all.
"I am sincerely grateful for the incredible support and compassion the Blue Jays fans have always shown me. I am in awe of your overwhelming passion and devotion.
"Toronto will forever have a special place in my heart.
"The memories will last a lifetime and so will my gratitude.
In February 2006, after signing with the rival Yankees, Johnny Damon took out a full-page ad in the Boston Globe to thank Red Sox fans -- many of whom had expressed their outrage after he left. Damon wrote in text superimposed over his action likeness: "Many thanks to the great fans of New England and the city of Boston. It was a privilege and an honor."
Trevor Hoffman also took out a full-page ad in the San Diego Union-Tribune after leaving the Padres following a 16-year run to pitch for the Brewers. In 2007, Mike Sweeney took out a full-page ad in the Kansas City Star thanking Royals fans "for all the love you've shown me through the years."
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.