Roy Halladay, a retired pitcher who starred for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies, died on Tuesday when his plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. He was 40.
The crash was reported to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office by a resident at 12:06 p.m., and when law enforcement arrived on the scene, the plane, an ICON A5 registered to Halladay, was upside down in shallow water.
After four hours of search and recovery, Sheriff Chris Nocco reported that Halladay had been the only person on the plane and said the specifics of the crash were still under investigation.
Nocco referred most questions involving the crash to the National Transportation Safety Board, which will take over the investigation, but he said there had been no mayday call received by air traffic control in nearby Tampa before the crash.
The manufacturer of the plane issued a statement on Tuesday expressing condolences to Halladay’s family and friends. “ICON will do everything it can to support the accident investigation going forward,” the statement said, “and we will comment further when more information is available.”
The news of Halladay’s death was quickly followed by expressions of grief on social media.
“We are numb over the very tragic news about Roy Halladay’s untimely death,” the Phillies said in a statement posted to Twitter. “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.”
A two-time Cy Young Award winner and an eight-time All-Star, Halladay was a 6-foot-6 right-hander known for his durability and command.
After 12 major league seasons with the Blue Jays, who drafted him in 1995, he was traded to the Phillies in December 2009. Halladay made 2010 a definitive year in his career. He threw the 20th perfect game in major league history during the regular season, and in a division playoff series against Cincinnati, he threw the second no-hitter in postseason history.
After the postseason no-hitter, Dusty Baker, the Reds’ manager at the time and a fixture in the sport going back to the late 1960s, said, “That is the best-pitched game I’ve seen since I’ve been going to the playoffs and the World Series.”
One of the strongest messages of condolence on social media came from Pedro Martinez, the three-time Cy Young Award winner whose prime coincided with Halladay’s.
I can’t believe it. So many times we competed against each other and even while competing, I wanted to see you! My condolences to his family https://t.co/q5VGqQvoDu
— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) November 7, 2017
Halladay’s career was cut short by back trouble, however. He became a much weaker pitcher in the 2012 and 2013 seasons, and he retired at 36, signing a one-day contract with Toronto to leave the game as a Blue Jay.
Based on his retirement date, Halladay will not be considered for election to baseball’s Hall of Fame until 2019, but he will have a strong case because of his dominance in his strongest seasons. His career record of 203-105 and his 2,117 career strikeouts are not eye-popping numbers, but using the JAWS system, an evaluation tool that accounts for a player’s peak seasons as well as his overall career, Halladay is ranked as baseball’s 42nd-best starting pitcher. Only nine players ahead of him are not yet in the Hall of Fame, while more than 30 players below him on the list are already enshrined in Cooperstown. His postseason success and his popularity with the news media also bolster his case.
Shortly after he retired, Halladay discussed how odd it felt not to play baseball.
“I find myself kind of sitting around the house thinking, ‘There’s something missing here — I should be working out, I should be running, I should be doing something,’” Halladay said. “For a second, it’s kind of a little bit of panic, and then it kind of sets in: ‘O.K., that’s right. I’m retiring now.’ It’s actually a very peaceful feeling.”
He eventually turned to flying as an outlet, and in October he posted pictures of the plane he had recently purchased.
I have dreamed about owning a A5 since I retired! Real life is better then my dreams!! Thx Kirk & everyone @ICONAircraft pic.twitter.com/wkk6TtjAY4
— Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) October 13, 2017
Halladay, whose father was a pilot, knew the risks that flying presented. He joked about his wife’s opposition to his purchasing the plane in a video that had been posted to YouTube by ICON but that was removed shortly after the crash.
“She’s fought me the whole way,” Halladay said of his wife, Brandy.
“Hard,” Brandy Halladay said in the video. “I fought hard, I was very against it.” She conceded after flying in the plane, though, that she understood the appeal.
Piloting small planes has long been popular among athletes, and Major League Baseball has lost other athletes to similar crashes. Thurman Munson, an All-Star catcher and the 10th captain of the Yankees, died after crashing a Cessna Citation in 1979. And Cory Lidle, a former teammate of Halladay’s on the 2003 Blue Jays, died in 2006 when a Cirrus SR20 he was flying with a co-pilot crashed into an apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
The fact that the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office led Tuesday’s recovery effort carried extra emotion because of Halladay’s personal relationship with the department, which included the donation of a police dog that the department named Doc, in reference to Halladay’s nickname.
“You wouldn’t know what Roy did because Roy wouldn’t tell you what he did,” Nocco said. “And that’s the legacy of a great man.”
Halladay is survived by his wife and two sons, Ryan and Braden.
|BBQ Sauce for Everyone!|
Condolences to his family and friends. Terrible loss.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein
They were talking about that on wmmr earlier. It’ll be interesting to see what the investigation uncovers. The aircraft manufacturer, Icon, made a big deal about how safe their airplane was and how difficult it was to crash. Unfortunately, this now makes two fatal crashes for a company that’s only delivered a handful of airplanes so far.
Being that it was an amphib, and the airplane was on its back, I wonder if he tried to land on the water with the gear extended.
|Nature is full of |
From the videos he posted, it looks like he had a lot of fun with that plane. Sorry it ended the way it did. Condolences to his wife and sons.
|Only the strong survive|
Well, that is a sporty plane and more like a sea gull. With the short length, I could see how it could easily flip.
Condolences to his family and friends.
"Donald Trump is the grizzly bear in The Revenant. If you get his attention, he’ll be awake, bite your face off, and sit on you.".. Newt Gingrich.
|Lighten up and laugh|
I'll never forget that playoff game against the Reds. What an amazing pitcher and an even better person.
Awful. May he rest in peace.
One of the finest baseball games I can recall was game 5 of the 2011 division series between the Cardinals and the Phillies. Chris Carpenter v.s. Roy Halladay. It was an unbelievable game. A true, edge of your seat pitcher's duel. The Cardinals would win 1-0, and ultimately win the World Series that year, but that game 5 was quite possibly the defining game of that postseason.
Oh, by the way, which one's "Pink?"
|On the DL|
The ICON has been described as a "jet-ski with wings."
A mind is a terrible thing.
Skimming the deck at 120mph and having a wave reach up and smack that flying lawn chair out of the air will kill you quick.
Eeewwww, don't touch it!
Here, poke at it with this stick.
That's 3 A5 crashes resulting in 3 fatalities this year. I held an early delivery position, but after losing our good friend Jon Karkow in an A5 accident earlier this year my Mrs insisted we back off. Coincidentally, Icon just last week announced a ~50% price increase to $389K for the A5 "Founders Edition" LSA plane. Halladay and his wife Brandi were featured in Icon promotional videos on Icon's website, which have now been pulled. I think Roy had owned the A5 less than a month.
There's an early delivery A5 now based at my airport; I need to go talk to the operator as he too is a friend who may need a Dutch Uncle talk.
One of those crashes was fatal stupidity.
Eeewwww, don't touch it!
Here, poke at it with this stick.
|E Pluribus Unum|
He was a great pitcher for sure, but how about the sad irony that Halladay dies when he crashes his plane off the coast of Holiday, Florida?
Wasn’t one of the main designers/engineers of the A5 killed in a crash? RIP
Use thumb-size bullets to create fist-size holes.
|A Grateful American|
The old "boxed canyon" approach?
"the meaning of life, is to give life meaning" ✡ I could explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.
Yes, my friend of 30 years, Jon Karkow. RIP
It seems to me the crash was a lot like John Denver’s fatal crash. Very low and fast over water or land is always dangerous. There is little time to deal with any outside influences or inattention.
Roy Halladay was an amazing pitcher. Condolences to his family. RIP
|Lighten up and laugh|
That was an amazing game. The shame to me was the year before when he was pitching a great game against the Giants, but the umpire didn't give him a call he should have gotten to strike out Cody Ross. The next pitch went over the fence and the rest is history.
There were witness and video. These assholes raced over on their boats to check it out, and not one of them attempts to try and get the poor guy out.
Link to video
|safe & sound|
I see it all the time. Everybody wants to be involved and "help" but rushing up close and either taking video are talking among themselves. I suppose they don't understand that none of that is considered "helping".
Based on the condition of that airplane, there probably wasn't anything they could do at that point that would have made any difference.
I’d imagine that the crew compartment was intact, sort of how the cabin of an automobile survives while the rest of the vehicle sheds parts. I’ve seen some pretty awful wreckages and it a lot of the cases, the crew and passengers were killed by the post impact smoke/fire and not the impact trauma.
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