HOLIDAY, Fla. (WFLA) – Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputies confirmed on Tuesday former MLB player Roy Halladay died during a small aircraft crash in the Gulf of Mexico.
After the announcement, local law enforcement here in Florida and Major League Baseball teams and stars reacted to the news.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office posted photos of Halladay with Sheriff Nocco and deputies, saying Halladay was “a true baseball great and a man with a generous heart…. We are grateful for his love and support of this agency.”
The Blue Jays drafted Halladay in the first round, 17th overall, in 1995. He made his debut on September 20, 1998.
The team released the following statement:
“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. 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.”
Halladay retired with the Philadelphia Phillies after the 2013 season. The team offered this statement:
“We are numb over the very tragic news about Roy Halladay’s untimely death. 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 Tampa Bay Rays also released a statement on Tuesday.
“The Rays are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Roy Halladay. Baseball has lost one of its fiercest competitors. Roy called the Tampa Bay area home, and has long been admired and respected for his work in the community. We offer our deepest condolences to the Halladay family.
Rays manager Kevin Cash issued a statement as well.
“In baseball, players often get lumped into the cliche of either being a great competitor or the strongest worker, but Roy was at the top of the list for both. People saw on TV how he dominated on days he pitched, but it was extremely inspiring for a young player to see his worth ethic on the four days in between. I feel very fortunate to have known Roy. The Cash family is deeply saddened for his wife Brandy and their kids.
Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. tweeted “We lost an MLB legend today in Roy Halladay! My heart breaks for him and his family. #RIPDoc”
The official Twitter account of Major League Baseball tweeted a graphic of Halladay.