Retired Major League Baseball great Roy Halladay has died after a small plane he was piloting crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida Tuesday. He was 40 years old.
Halladay, who played for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, was a two-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time MLB All-Star.
The pitcher retired from baseball in 2013.
Halladay was praised throughout his career for his work ethic and dedication to humanitarian causes. Just last week, he participated in a charity fishing event in the area, and recently donated a dog named "Doc" to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, which confirmed his death Tuesday.
“Many know Roy as a Cy Young winner, a future Hall of Famer, one of the best pitchers ever to pitch the game of baseball,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco told reporters. “We know Roy as a person, as a caring husband who loved his wife, Brandy, and he loved his two boys tremendously."
Halladay, who recently received his pilot’s license, had been tweeting since last month about his passion for aviation and how he's always wanted to fly.
An ICON A5 plane was the model aircraft recovered by authorities Tuesday afternoon in the Gulf of Mexico.
Following his passing, the Phillies and Blue Jays tweeted their condolences.
"The Toronto Blue Jays organization is overcome by grief with the tragic loss of one of the franchise's greatest and most respected players, but even better human being," the team said in a statement. "It is impossible to express what he has meant to this franchise, the city and its fans. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."
Halladay is survived by his two children and wife, Brandy.
The MLB also eulogized Hallaway on Twitter.
Halladay is one of several baseball players to perish in an aviation accident.
Others include Baltimore Orioles catcher Tom Gastall in 1956; Chicago Cubs second baseman Ken Hubbs in 1964; San Francisco Giants pitcher Nestor Chavez in 1969; Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Roberto Clemente in 1972; New York Yankees catcher Thurman Munson in 1979; Orioles pitcher Jim Hardin in 1991 and Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle in 2006.