The baseball world is in mourning after learning that former two-time Cy Young pitcher Roy Halladay was killed in a small plane crash off the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday at the age of 40.
An Icon A5 plane was found upside down in shallow waters off New Port Richey, Florida, where authorities found one dead at the scene. The tail number located on the back of the plane matched that of Halladay’s. After a couple of hours of investigating, it was confirmed that Halladay was the sole fatality of the crash. Halladay is survived by his wife, Brandy, and his two sons, Ryan and Braden.
“Our family is heartbroken after receiving confirmation that Roy passed away in a plane crash Tuesday afternoon,” said the Halladay family in a statement. “While many will remember him for his success as a major league pitcher, we remember him as an amazing father, loving husband and loyal friend.”
Halladay was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1995, where he debuted in 1998. The right hander dominated during his 12 years with Toronto, where had 3.43 ERA, 1495 strikeouts and 15 shutouts. He would be named an All Star six times with the Blue Jays, and would win the Cy Young Award for most outstanding pitcher in 2003 where he would finish with a 22-7 record in 36 games. In that 2003 season, Halladay posted a 3.25 ERA, 204 strikeouts, and nine complete games.
“”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,” said the Blue Jays organization in a press release. “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.”
After the 2009 season, Halladay was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies at the age of 33, where he proved that age was only but a number. As dominant as Halladay was with the Blue Jays, he was equally as dominant with the Phillies. In his 2010 season, Halladay threw a perfect game against the Florida Marlins on May 29, as well as throwing the second no-hitter in postseason history, in his first ever postseason start. Halladay’s strong 2010 campaign would earn him his second Cy Young Award, with a 21-10 record, 2.44 ERA, 219 strikeouts, nine complete games, and four shutouts in 33 games started.
“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,” said the Phillies in a press release. “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we pass along our condolences to Brandy, Ryan and Braden.”
After retiring in 2013, Halladay took solace in the one thing that brought him joy, and that was flying airplanes. The former pitcher purchased the plane this year, and devoted his time to learning the craft. Halladay would use his Twitter account to express his joy and share the views he would see while flying. Unfortunately, his joy led to his untimely demise.
Baseball has been struck by tragedy the past three years, losing the likes of Jose Fernandez, Yordani Ventura, Oscar Taveras, and now Halladay, way too soon. With Halladay eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019, there is no doubt that he will be a first ballot Hall of Famer. It is a true shame that he would not be there to accept the honor in person. However, Halladay will continue to live on through the countless memories that he gifted to baseball fans through his sixteen-year career.
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