By Kevin Glew
Canadian Baseball Network
The Canadian baseball community is mourning the loss of former Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay who died in a plane crash on Tuesday at the age of 40.
The Pasco County Sheriff's Office confirmed that Halladay's ICON A5 light sport plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of New Port Richey, Fla., at approximately noon E.T. today.
According to his social media posts, Halladay, who was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys this June, had only recently purchased the aircraft.
Born in 1977 in Denver, Colo., Halladay was the Blue Jays’ first-round pick (17th overall) in the 1995 major league amateur draft. The intense right-hander became a mainstay in the Blue Jays’ starting rotation beginning in July 2001 and he established himself as the team’s ace the following year when he won 19 games and led American League hurlers in innings pitched and was selected to his first All-Star team.
Halladay would top that the ensuing campaign when he led the league in wins, innings pitched and complete games. For his efforts, he became the third Blue Jay to capture the American League Cy Young Award (Pat Hentgen (1996), Roger Clemens (1997, 1998)).
Over his next six seasons with the Blue Jays, Halladay was arguably the league’s best starter. With 20 wins in 2008, the 6-foot-6 righty became the second Blue Jay to record 20 wins in a season twice (Roger Clemens was the other). In all, in parts of 12 seasons with the Blue Jays, Halladay made a team-record seven Opening Day starts, led the American League in complete games five times, innings pitched three times and was a six-time All-Star.
He finished his Blue Jays career with a 148-76 won/loss record – good for a .661 winning percentage, which is the best in franchise history. He also ranks second all-time among Blue Jays pitchers in wins, shutouts and strikeouts.
After being dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies in December 2009, Halladay continued his dominance in the National League, recording 21 wins and earning his second Cy Young Award in 2010. On May 29th of that season, he tossed the 20th perfect game in major league history and just over four months later, on October 6, he became the first National League pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the playoffs when he blanked the Cincinnati Reds in the opening game of the National League Division Series.
In total, in his 16-year major league career, Halladay was selected to eight All-Star games, collected 203 wins and posted a .659 winning percentage.
Halladay is survived by his wife, Brandy, and two sons, Braden and Ryan.
The following is some of the reaction to Halladay's death from the Canadian baseball community on Twitter:
Official statement from the Toronto Blue Jays:
Official Statement from Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame:
Canadian baseball legend Fergie Jenkins:
North Vancouver, B.C. native and ex-teammate Scott Richmond:
Gibsons, B.C., native and fellow right-handed starter Ryan Dempster:
The Jays Care Foundation:
Fellow 2017 Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee and former Montreal Expos slugger Vladimir Guerrero:
Former Toronto Blue Jays teammate Jesse Litsch:
Victoria, B.C., native and current Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Nick Pivetta:
Fellow Toronto Blue Jays legend and Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Carlos Delgado:
Former Toronto Blue Jays teammate Vernon Wells:
Former Toronto Blue Jays teammate Chris Carpenter:
Former big league All-Star and Baseball Canada president Jason Dickson:
Toronto Blue Jays legend and Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar:
Former Toronto Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion:
Toronto Blue Jays legend and fellow Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Carter:
Former Toronto Blue Jays minor league pitcher and analyst Dirk Hayhurst:
Former Toronto Blue Jays reliever Dan Plesac:
Former Toronto Blue Jays left-hander David Wells:
Port Dover, Ont., native and big league reliever John Axford: