Roy Halladay was posthumously inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, less than two years after his untimely death in a tragic plane crash. Halladay’s widow, Brandy, took the stage and accepted the award on behalf of her late husband.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Brandy thanked both the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies organizations for allowing him to flourish as a player and for helping them to grow as a family. Halladay chose to be inducted as a member of both teams and his Hall of Fame plaque does not show him wearing a team-specific cap. Brandy said that’s the way Halladay would have wanted it.
“To both of the teams that we were blessed to be a part of, the Blue Jays and the Phillies, thank you for allowing us to grow up, to fail over and over, and finally to learn how to succeed within your organization,” Brandy said. “There were some really amazing years. There were some really tough ones, too, and you never gave up on him.”
“When Braden, Ryan and I decided that Roy would be inducted into the Hall of Fame with no logo on his hat, both teams quickly reached out to us and told us how proud they were of that decision, validating a choice that we knew in our hearts was right and was, in fact, the correct one. We know without a doubt had Roy been here with us today this is the decision that he would have made. He would want both organizations to know that they hold a huge place in our hearts and his as well.”
Rather poetically, just as Brandy got up to speak Sunday, a rain delay halted a game between the Phillies and Pirates in Pittsburgh. Halladay was one of six players inducted in the Hall of Fame ceremony in Cooperstown where he joined Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera, Harold Baines, Lee Smith and Edgar Martinez.
Halladay spent four seasons with the Phillies and went 55-29 with a 3.25 ERA. He was a two-time All-Star in Philadelphia — eight-time All-Star for his career — and won the 2003 Cy Young and 2010 Cy Young, while throwing a no-hitter in the playoffs and the 20th perfect game in MLB history. Halladay retired as one of the game’s most respected pitchers and was voted into the Hall of Fame on his first attempt.
Roy Halladay Died Tragically in Plane Crash
Halladay was the son of a professional pilot and grew up surrounded by planes. After retiring from baseball in 2013, he earned his pilot’s license and often flew his ICON A5 aircraft around Florida. On November 7, 2017, Halladay tragically crashed his plane into the Gulf of Mexico, about 20 miles northwest of his home in Odessa, Florida. That last ride lasted approximately 17 minutes, according to Sports Illustrated.
He was flying the plane rather dangerously that day, attempting tricks and stunts usually reserved for air-show pilots. An autopsy showed the former pitcher had a blood alcohol level of .01, along with evidence of morphine, amphetamine and the sleeping medication Ambien. The antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) was also detected, according to USA Today.
The ICON A5 that he was flying was basically a fighter jet that stretches 23-feet long and costs $389,000. One witness saw the plane soar to 500 feet before making a sharp left turn and descend at a 45-degree angle where it crashed into the ocean. Halladay was 40 years old at the time.
“I’ve been dreaming about flying since I was a boy but was only able to become a pilot once I retired from baseball,” Halladay said in a press release from ICON. “I’ve owned other aircraft, but no aircraft embodies the adventure or captured the dream of flying like the A5. Not only is it the safest and easiest aircraft I’ve ever flown, it is hands-down the most fun.”