Former Major League Baseball star Roy Halladay has died after his plane crashed into the Gulf in Pasco County, Florida, on Tuesday, November 7. Halladay is survived by his wife, Brandy, and their two children.
Since retiring from baseball in 2013, Halladay spent his time, “in the air or on the water,” and was often with his wife and his kids, either on a boat or on his plane.
Brandy is an animal lover and a full-time mom. Brandy and Roy have fostered several dogs over the years and they both have given back to their communities, whether in Toronto, Philadelphia, or Tampa Bay.
Here is what you need to know:
1. Roy Halladay Was Killed When His Plane Crashed into the Gulf
According to WTSP, a small place crashed into the water off the coast of Florida on Tuesday afternoon. At first, police did not say who the plane belonged to, but early chatter on social media suggested that the plane belonged to Roy Halladay.
In a 4:15 p.m. press conference, the Pasco County Sheriff’s department confirmed that Halladay died in the crash.
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, who was acquainted with Halladay and described him as a “personal friend of our sheriff’s office,” spoke glowingly of him during an emotional press conference.
“I’m blessed. I know our sheriff’s office is blessed [from] knowing him,” Nocco told the media. “It’s a sad day for us here in Pasco County.”
Nocco confirmed that the National Transportation Safety Board was conducting an investigation into the crash, with his office and its maritime unit providing any assistance they need.
The sheriff implored the public not to try to get involved in any way, saying, “Have respect for the family. Have respect for the deceased.”
“Many know Roy as a Cy Young winner, future Hall of Famer and one of the best pitchers to ever pitch in the game of baseball. We know Roy as a person, as a caring husband who loved his wife, Brandy. He loved his two boys tremendously,” Nocco said.
“I can speak as somebody who knew him. He was a part of our sheriff’s office. His kids went to school with some of our kids.”
Nocco detailed that Halladay had even purchased a dog to serve as a K9 officer for the county. K9 Doc shares the same moniker as one of Halladay’s nicknames.
2. Brandy Wasn’t a Fan of Her Husband Flying & ‘Fought Him the Whole Way’
According to the New York Post, it took some convincing for Brandy to accept her husband’s love of flying. Roy Halladay had been a fan of flying for most of his life and really wanted to obtain his pilot’s license after he retired from the Major Leagues. It was something that Brandy Halladay was a bit apprehensive about — to say the least.
“She’s fought me the whole way,” Roy Halladay said in an interview with ICON Aircraft, the maker of his plane.
“Hard. I fought hard. I was very against it,” Brandy Halladay responded. “I went down with him one day to the training center in St. Pete and they said, ‘Oh, you want to go up for a ride?’ And I got up in that plane, I looked over and I said, ‘OK, I get it. I get it. This is amazing.’ You forget that you’re in a plane. You’re just there. You’re experiencing the beauty of Florida or the water or the lake — wherever you are. Now that we’re going to have one, I’m really excited,” she added. “Can’t tell him that,” she joked.
Check out the video below to watch the Halladay’s interview with ICON Aircraft.
3. Brandy Halladay Met Roy in Colorado When They Were Just Kids & She Married Him in 1998
Brandy Halladay (nee Gates) met her future husband when they were just kids, living in Colorado with their parents. Both Brandy and Roy were raised Mormon, but have been non-practicing for several years now, according to Sports Illustrated.
In high school, Brandy’s family moved away and she and Roy lost touch. However, she moved back to the area in 1996 and reconnected with Roy, according to Player Wives. The two started dating and were married two years later.
The couple moved to Florida, before heading to Toronto, Canada, when Roy Halladay inked a deal to pitch for the Blue Jays. When he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010, he moved his family to Delaware County, Pennsylvania. About a year after he retired, Roy and Brandy decided to list their home for sale. They sold it about three months later for “just above the asking price of $1.95 million,” according to Philly.com.
For the past couple of years, Brandy and Roy have been raising their kids in Florida.
4. The Halladays Have 2 Children
Roy and Brandy Halladay are parents to two boys, Braden and Ryan.
Braden, who is now 16 years old, has been following in his dad’s footsteps; he’s a pitcher.
“I try to listen to everything he says, but he is my dad so sometimes I get annoyed. Being a 15-year-old kid I think that I’m doing everything right but I just have to remind myself that he’s the one who played in the big leagues and I need to listen to what he has to say,” Braden told Jeff Dahn for Perfect Game two years ago.
Both Brandy and Roy have tried to instill a sense of generosity, stressing the importance of giving back.
“We want them to be active in the community, aware of the needs of others and to appreciate the gifts and opportunities our family has been given. We volunteer, we give back and we work hard for what we want. Nothing is given,” Brandy told Instride Edition.
5. Brandy Halladay Is an Animal Lover & Does Volunteer Work for ‘Rescue a Dog’
Brandy Halladay is a lover of all animals, but has a very special place in her heart for horses and dogs.
Brandy started riding horses when she was very young. She grew up wanting to own her own horse and even saved her own money to do so.
“My parents were students at Oregon State and we lived on campus until I was almost 6. I would often go to class with my parents, but loved going to my mom’s equitation class. The instructor would let me pick my horse first, always a little sorrel quarter horse named Cricket, who she’d sit on with me to instruct the class. I have saved my pennies every day since I could remember for my horse fund. I got my first horse out of the classified ads when I was 12,” Brandy told Instride Edition.
When she moved to Florida with her husband, she bought her first show horse, named Supreme Detail.
“Together the team attained many of Brandy’s first goals including an ROM, Circuit Championships and finished their first year as the state of Florida’s Rookie of the Year and finished fourth in the nation. After their time together Halladay donated Supreme Detail to the University of Georgia’s Equestrian Team where he still competes today,” Instride Edition reports.
Over the past couple of years, she has been heavily active in “Rescue a Dog,” an organization that tries to save dogs from euthanasia.
“We are a group of like-minded individuals that have spent their time trying to make a difference in the life of a dog. We have all volunteered in shelters in the past and have knowledge of working with and caring for dogs. All of us are “foster failures” meaning that we have officially adopted dogs that we set out to initially foster only. We have heard stories of animal abuse and have actively stepped in to stop it. Deep inside each one of us is the need to help an animal that can not speak for themselves. We believe that we can make a difference in the life of a dog. Rescuing dogs is our focus but I must say that we are also dedicated to teaching the next generation after all they are the ones that have to decide to make a change in this world to treat animals with the care and respect that they deserve. Our children are the future and we must make sure that they grow up with strong convictions and not tolerate any form of animal abuse.”
Brandy’s husband has also helped animals in need. In September 2016, the Halladays participated in a Dog Rescue trip.
“Flew a Dog Rescue trip to Alabama for two 5m old puppies who’s ears were cut off w/ scissors to prep them as practice for dog fighting!! SAD,” Roy Halladay tweeted at the time.