PASCO COUNTY, Fla. – Retired MLB pitcher and two-time Cy Young Award Winner Roy Halladay was killed in a plane crash on Tuesday. His A5 plane crashed near Ben Pilot Point, which is north of Clearwater in the Gulf of Mexico.
Halladay, 40, had an impactful relationship with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. As a result, his death had a profound effect on them, as it did so many others.
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco detailed Halladay’s relationship with local officers during the press conference announcing Halladay’s death, recounting the times he helped the station.
“Many know Roy as a Cy Young pitcher, a future hall of famer. One of the best pitchers ever in the game of baseball,” Nocco said. “We know Roy as a person. As a caring husband who loved his wife Brandy. Who loved his two boys tremendously. He coached our baseball teams. To Brandy, the boys and the whole family, we are so sad for your loss. We are praying for you. We know how much he means to you. And I can tell you from the bottom of our hearts, we know much you all meant to him.”
Moreover, one of the most notable instances included Halladay donating the funds for a department canine.
Consequently, deputies repaid the future Hall of Famer in a small, but lasting, way — they named the dog Doc. K9 Doc, to be exact. The Pasco County Sheriff’s office has a Facebook page dedicated to their K9 unit and it’s brimming with pictures of Doc, the police service dog.
“Roy meant a lot to the Sheriff’s office,” Nocco said at his press conference. “He was there whenever we needed him. He was one of the most humble human beings you’ll ever meet. K-9 Doc is out there working and saving lives.”
After he retired from baseball in 2013, Halladay got his pilot’s license. Hence, his father was a corporate pilot, so Halladay had grown up around planes and had flying in his blood. Last month, he announced on Twitter that he’d bought the Icon A5 plane that was involved in the accident. Since buying the plane, he’d posted videos of himself in it on Twitter:
— Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) October 13, 2017
Furthermore, Nocco said he and Halladay knew each other well. “He is one of the nicest human beings. I know a lot of times people talk about sports athletes, Roy was the most down to earth person,” Nocco said. “If you dropped something he’d be the first one to bend down and pick it up. Except for the fact that he was 6-foot-6, you would’ve never have guessed he was a professional athlete. He was a fine human being.”
Halladay played 16 seasons in major league baseball, 12 with the Toronto Blue Jays and then his final four with the Philadelphia Phillies. He won 203 games with a 3.38 ERA and won the Cy Young in 2003 and 2010. He’ll be eligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019. Moreover, he stands a good chance at being elected.
Finally, Halladay’s career was full of great moments, but there’s no doubt about the one for which he’ll be best remembered: Oct. 6, 2010, when he threw a no-hitter for the Phillies in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Cincinnati Reds. This phenomenal performance is one of only two no-hitters in MLB postseason history.
Here are statements from the Phillies and Blue Jays on Halladay’s death:
Phillies statement on the sudden & tragic passing of Roy Halladay: pic.twitter.com/gGhv7JUKv0
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) November 7, 2017
Statement from the Blue Jays organization on the tragic passing of Roy Halladay: pic.twitter.com/Ih8D0RQE9p
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) November 7, 2017
“Courage is not being fearless but rather acting in spite of the existence of fear,” Halladay quoted on his Twitter account.