TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Authorities have confirmed former Major League Baseball player Roy Halladay was killed in a small plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday off the Pasco County coast.
Halladay was a Major League Baseball pitcher who began his career with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays drafted Halladay in the first round, 17th overall, in 1995. He made his debut on September 20, 1998.
He stayed with the Blue Jays before leaving to join the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010. Halladay retired after the 2013 season.
Halladay won several awards throughout his career, including the AL Cy Young in 2003 and the NL Cy Young in 2010. He was named NL all-star in 2010 and 2011, and made six all-star game appearances.
The Phillies released 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 Blue Jays and MLB both released statements on Twitter:
According to ICON Aircraft, a consumer sport plane manufacturer, Halladay was passionate about flying his entire life but was contractually not allowed to get his pilot’s license while he was an MLB player. ICON says he fulfilled his lifelong dream after retiring.
Halladay’s father is a corporate pilot, according to an interview with ICON. In the video, Halladay says he grew up around airplanes.
Last month, Halladay became the owner of the first model year 2018 ICON A5 aircraft. On October 13, he tweeted that he had dreamed about owning an A5 since he retired and said, “Real life is better than my dreams!!”
“He loved to fly,” Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said in a news conference Tuesday. “He talked about baseball and he talked about flying.”
Halladay has since posted several other tweets about his A5.
On his Twitter account, Halladay lists his location as “in the air on the water.”
The plane was registered to Halladay’s home in Odessa.
Last year, Halladay tweeted that he would be coaching a 12U elite travel baseball team out of Clearwater called the Florida Burn.
His latest tweet was posted Sunday and says, “I love the Players & Parents of our Florida Burn!”