This is a dark day in sports as two-time Cy Young award winner Roy Halladay was killed in a plane crash in the gulf of Mexico.
As reported by ESPN:
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said during a news conference that Halladay’s ICON A5, a small single-engine aircraft, went down around noon Tuesday off the coast of Florida.
The sheriff’s office marine unit responded and found Halladay’s body in shallow water near some mangroves. No survivors were found. Police said they couldn’t confirm if there were additional passengers on the plane or say where it was headed.
Nocco said the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the crash.
This comes as an awful surprise to those across the sports world as Halladay was considered to be one of the best pitchers the MLB has seen in recent memory. Most importantly, however, Halladay was known as an even better person throughout his career.
“All of us at Baseball are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic passing of former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “A well-respected figure throughout the game, Roy was a fierce competitor during his 16-year career, which included eight All-Star selections, two Cy Young Awards, a perfect game and a Postseason no-hitter.
“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to his family, including his wife, Brandy, and two sons, Ryan and Braden, his friends and countless fans, as well as the Blue Jays and Phillies organizations.”
Halladay, whose father was a pilot, received his pilot license a few years ago and posted a picture of himself standing next to an ICON A5 as part of the planes marketing campaign.
“We were devastated to learn that former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay died today in an accident involving an ICON A5 in the Gulf of Mexico,” the company said in a statement. “We have gotten to know Roy and his family in recent months, and he was a great advocate and friend of ours. The entire ICON community would like to pass on our deepest condolences to Roy’s family and friends. ICON will do everything it can to support the accident investigation going forward and we will comment further when more information is available.”
Halladay spend his 16-year career with both the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies respectively. The right handed ace accumulated a 203-105 record with a 3.38 ERA in his career.
Upon his retirement in 2013, Halladay signed a one day contract with the Toronto Blue Jays so he could retire with the team he spent the majority of his career with.
“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,” the team said in a statement. “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.”
The latter parts of Halladay’s career were spent with the Philadelphia Phillies where he threw a perfect game in 2010.
“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.”
Following retirement, Halladay served a mental coach in the Phillies minor league system. Rather than becoming a pitching coach, he worked with pitchers on developing their mental game when on the mound.
Halladay becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2019 where he will likely be inducted as a first-ballot hall of famer.
ESPN contributed to this article.