Posted on November 7, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
The baseball world is in mourning following the passing Tuesday of two-time Cy Young Award winning pitcher Roy Halladay. Halladay died when his plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico roughly 10 miles off the coast of St. Petersburg, Florida. He was 40 years old.
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco confirmed at a press conference Tuesday afternoon that Halladay’s Icon A5, a small single-engine plane, crashed shortly after noon. Nocco said there were no signs of distress from the plane and no known cause for the crash at this time. A full investigation will follow. It’s believed that Halladay was the only person on board the plane at the time and the only fatality.
Halladay, his wife, Brandy, and their two kids made their home in Tarpon Springs, Florida, not far from the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. After retiring from baseball, Halladay received his pilot’s license. Halladay’s Twitter account is filled with pictures of planes, including the one involved in the crash.
“Many know Roy as a Cy Young pitcher, a future hall of famer. One of the best pitchers ever in the game of baseball,” said Sheriff Nocco. “We know Roy as a person. As a caring husband who lived his wife Brandy. Who loved his two boys tremendously. He coached our baseball teams. To Brandy, the boys and the whole family, we are so sad for your loss. We are praying for you. We know how much he means to you. And I can tell you from the bottom of our hearts, we know much you all meant to him.”
Halladay spent 16 seasons in the big leagues, 12 with the Toronto Blue Jays and his final four with the Philadelphia Phillies. He was an 8-time all-star and 2-time Cy Young winner. In 2010, he pitched a perfect game during his first year with the Phillies. Later that year, he threw a no-hitter during the postseason.
“We are numb over the very tragic news about Roy Halladay’s untimely death,” the Phillies said in a statement. “There are no words to describe the sadness that the entire Phillies family is feeling over the loss of one of the most respected human beings to ever play the game. It is with the heaviest of hearts that we pass along our condolences to Brandy, Ryan and Braden.”
The Blue Jays also released a statement in response to Halladay’s death.
“The Toronto Blue Jays organization is overcome by grief with the tragic loss of one of the franchise’s greatest and most respected players, but even better human being,” Toronto’s statement read. “It is impossible to express what he has meant to this franchise, the city and its fans. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
Despite a rocky start to his big league career, Halladay became one of the greatest pitchers of his generation. He pitched with great intensity and focus. He could dominate big league lineups without showing anyone up. While spending most of his career in Toronto, he didn’t get nearly as much publicity or attention as he should have for being one of the elite pitchers in baseball.
It was a great privilege being able to watch Halladay pitch in person many times while he was in triple-A. Even then, it was clear that he was destined for greatness. Halladay retired at the end of the 2013, signing a one-day contract with Toronto so he could retire as a member of the Blue Jays. There is no doubt that he deserves to enter the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
All of us at Sports Information Traders express our deepest condolences to Halladay’s family, friends, and all of his former teammates.