By Helen Ruhlin
Well-known former Major League Baseball (MLB) player, Roy Halladay tragically passed away last week, the outcome of an unfortunate plane crash over the Gulf of Mexico. Family, friends and fans come together now to mourn the loss and remember the life of the pitcher.
Roy Halladay was born in Denver, Colorado on May 14th, 1977, to Harry and Linda Halladay. The young baseball prodigy quickly drew the attention of pro-sports teams throughout his high school career before committing to the Toronto Blue Jays in 1995, where he then established himself as a talented pitcher through thirteen years of impressive play. In 2009, Halladay was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies where he pitched the twentieth ever perfect baseball game in MLB history in 2010. Over his sixteen-year career, Halladay successfully had over 2,000 strikeouts and won over 200 games.
Throughout his professional baseball career, Halladay received numerous awards and recognitions including two National League CY Young Awards, induction to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, and eight All-Star appearances. His athletic career ended in 2013, when he decided to retire due to persistent shoulder strain and injury, causing his ability to pitch to deteriorate.
Halladay’s ICON A5 aircraft went down around noon last Tuesday before a marine unit responded to the emergency. The ICON A5 is a recreational sport aircraft built to fly up to two passengers. Halladay’s body was found alone in shallow water off the coast of Florida, leaving speculation as to whether other passengers were present, however Pasco Sheriff’s Office has since confirmed that he was the only person aboard the flight. The office went on to disclose in a statement that Halladay did not make a distress or mayday call during the incident. The intended destination of the plane is currently unknown, however we do know that Halladay attained his pilot’s license back in 2016, a new skill that was mainly inspired by his father who was a corporate pilot. Halladay was only forty years old.
Unfortunately, this is not the first fatal plane crash involving the ICON A5 aircraft this year. Back in May, Jon Karkow, designer of the A5, and fellow employee, Cargi Sever, both died due to a devastating crash into a canyon near Lake Berryessa in California. Production of the aircraft was temporarily halted until the National Transportation Safety Board ruled the cause of collision as a pilot error.
In the wake of this unexpected tragedy, Halladay leaves behind wife Brandy Halladay, whom he married back in 1998. Along with his spouse, Halladay is survived by his two sons Braden and Ryan. The next steps following this staggering event, include an investigation from the National Transportation Safety Board to help fully understand the circumstances of the situation.
A memorial dedicated to the remembrance of the widely-known pitcher is set to be held on Tuesday at the Spectrum Field in Philadelphia, a training facility for the Phillies. The event is open to the public as fans wish to honor his legacy as a husband, father, baseball player, and so much more.