Los Angeles: Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay died on Tuesday after a plane he was piloting crashed in the Gulf of Mexico, authorities confirmed.
The 40-year-old two-time Cy Young winner, who retired four years ago, was the only person on board the single-engine ICON A5 plane, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Department confirmed.
The Phillies issued a statement of condolence soon after news of the crash emerged.
No words to describe the sadness the Phillies family is feeling over the loss of one of the most respected human beings to ever play.”
- The Phillies statement
“We are numb over the very tragic news about Roy Halladay’s untimely death,” the Phillies said.
“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.”
Halladay played for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia in a 16-year career which included a perfect game in 2010 and a no-hitter in the playoffs the same year.
He was selected to the All-Star team on eight occasions but never won a World Series.
Halladay is survived by his wife, Brandy, and two sons, Ryan and Braden.
Tributes to Halladay poured in from former teammates and stars from across baseball.
Former Blue Jays centre fielder Vernon Wells described Halladay as an all-time great.
“I had a front-row seat to watch his greatness. RIP Doc,” Wells wrote on Twitter, referring to Halladay by his affectionate nickname.
Former Phillies infielder Michael Young added: “Devastating. One of my favourite teammates ever. The blueprint for what a competitor looks like. RIP Roy Halladay. Heart-broken for his family.”
The Houston Astros 2017 World Series-winning pitcher Dallas Keuchel said simply: “Rest In Peace Doc Halladay. One of the best to ever do it. You will be missed.”
Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said Halladay was a passionate aviator. “I know there are people in his family that fly,” Nocco told a news conference.
“That’s where he got it from. He loved to fly. He talked about flying. He talked about refurbishing planes. He grew up doing it.
“He talked about baseball and they talked about flying.”