The baseball world reacted with shock and sadness Tuesday to the death of former Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay in a plane crash at age 40. Some thoughts shared by his former teammates and others who knew him:
“Such a sad day. We lost a great ball player but an even better human being. Many prayers to Brandy, Ryan, & Brayden. We will miss you Roy.” — former Philadelphia Phillies teammate Ryan Howard.
“My heart hurts writing this. I can still remember the first day we met. It was 5:45am on the first day of spring training when I arrived. He was finishing his breakfast but his clothes were soaking wet. I asked if it was raining when he got in. He laughed and said ‘No I just finished my workout.’ I knew right then — he was the real deal. Thank you Roy for allowing us to witness what it takes to be the best. We will all miss you.” — Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley, who played four seasons with Halladay in Philadelphia.
“Knowing his father was a pilot, you look up to your dad always. He had that bug that he wanted to fly. That was his passion. You have to respect that. He prepared for everything. He took this serious.”
— Texas Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels, who played four seasons with Halladay in Philadelphia.
“In baseball, players often get lumped into the cliche of either being a great competitor or the strongest worker, but Roy was at the top of the list for both. People saw on TV how he dominated on days he pitched, but it was extremely inspiring for a young player to see his work ethic on the four days in between. I feel very fortunate to have known Roy. The Cash family is deeply saddened for his wife Brandy and their kids.” — Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash, who played with Halladay for three seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays.
“Saddened to hear my card playing partner on the @BlueJays just passed. RIP my man. You are missed already.” — Former Blue Jays teammate Jose Cruz Jr.
“I never knew Roy personally but his work ethic impacted me from the one time we squared off in a (spring training) game in Lakeland. We each threw a few innings and I had gone into the clubhouse, ate lunch, and showered up. I was walking out to my car behind and saw Roy drenched in sweat running poles on the back fields. I’ve never forgotten that day as it was clear he never needed the cameras or coaches around to push himself and no matter what he was going to get his work done. That’s the Roy Halladay I always remember.” — Two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals.
“I only own like 5 signed jerseys , and I was so scared to ask him. He wrote that he liked watching ME pitch. What an honor.” — Former pitcher Dan Haren, who tweeted a photo of the jersey with Halladay’s autograph.
“RIP Roy Doc Halladay, a true baseball great and a man with a generous heart . Our thoughts and prayers are with Roy and his family during this difficult time. We were blessed to have known him and consider him to be a member of our family. We are grateful for his love and support.” — The Pasco County, Florida, sheriff’s office, which announced Halladay’s death. Sheriff Chris Nocco was a personal friend.
“That’s sad. He was huge here in Toronto over the years. I used to keep up with him all the time, watch him pitch. A great pitcher … I just know how much he meant to the city, just inducted to the Canadian (Baseball) Hall of Fame. It’s just way too soon.” — Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey. The Raptors held a moment of silence for Halladay before their game against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.
“In shock over the terrible news about Roy Halladay … a pitcher I grew up admiring & rooting for. Praying for his family & friends. #RIPDoc” — Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout.
“All of us at baseball are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic passing of former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay. A well-respected figure throughout the game, Roy was a fierce competitor during his 16-year career, which included eight All-Star selections, two Cy Young Awards, a perfect game and a Postseason no-hitter.” — baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.
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