The sports and Major League Baseball world received shocking news Tuesday afternoon. Former Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Bluejays ace pitcher Roy Halladay died in a plane crash off the Gulf of Mexico. Halladay was just 40 years old, and had been retired from baseball for about four years.
Halladay always had an inspiration for flying, as his father was once a corporate pilot. He always wanted to get his pilot’s license, but was unable to up until recently because of the time consumption his baseball career took.
In a heartbreaking subplot to this untimely passing, Halladay’s wife Brandy, initially was opposed to Halladay receiving his pilot license. “I fought hard. I was very against it,” said Brandy.
Halladay was flying an ICON A5 Aircraft, which he bought just one month before the crash. The accident is still very raw and fresh, as investigation for details of how the crash occurred have yet to be revealed.
The former ace starting pitcher began his career in 1998 with the Toronto BlueJays. During his time there he appeared in six all star games and won the 2003 Cy Young Award as the best starting pitcher in all of baseball that season.
His success on the mound continued when he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010. He appeared in two more all star games and won another Cy Young Award in his first year with the Phillies.
Halladay’s accomplishment on the mound went beyond the regular season. In his debut playoff game, game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Cincinnatti Reds, he threw a no hitter in a 4-0 victory. Former great pitcher Don Larsen is the only other pitcher in MLB history to throw a postseason no hitter.
That same season, Halladay also threw a no hitter, the only single game pitching accomplishment greater than a no hitter. He remains the only pitcher to throw for a perfect game and no hitter in the same season.
Halladay walked away from the game in 2013 after four successful seasons in Philadelphia. His career accomplishments coupled with always being a respected teammate and an extremely coachable player will undoubtedly earn him a spot in MLB’s hall of fame one day.
The MLB has dealt with tragic untimely deaths of starting pitchers in the past 15 months. Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez passed at age 25 after a boating accident in late September of 2016. And a few months later, Kansas City Royals stud pitcher Yordano Ventura, also age 25, died in a car crash in the Dominic Republic.