In the wake of Roy Halladay’s sudden passing earlier this week at 40 years old, when his plane went down in shallow water in the Gulf of Mexico, memories have been pouring in from all over the baseball world mourning a beloved member of the baseball family.
Now, his family has released a statement about its loss through Major League Baseball, and announced a celebration of Roy’s life, which will be open to the public, next week.
In the statement, the family says they are heartbroken and that they remember him “as an amazing father, loving husband and loyal friend.” They also note they will “cherish forever” the memories of his career achievements and that they “choose to celebrate him and remember the man we knew privately on and off the field.”
The statement also, poignantly, notes his “unconditional love, humility, and the sacrifices he made to provide for the family that meant the world to him.”
The full statement:
Our family is heartbroken in confirming that Roy passed away in a plane crash Tuesday afternoon. While many will remember him for his success as a major league pitcher, we remember him as an amazing father, loving husband and loyal friend.
Roy had many accomplishments in his professional career, the memories of which we will cherish forever. He described each achievement as a team effort rather than an individual accomplishment, a true testament to his character and love for his teammates.
Roy grew up with a passion for planes and always had the goal of becoming a pilot. Since retiring from baseball, he has been actively studying, accumulating the required flight hours and obtaining multiple pilot certifications and licenses. Just as he was known for his work ethic in baseball, he was also widely respected by those who knew him in the aviation community for his hard work, attention to detail and dedication to safety while flying. He treated his passion for aviation with the same joy and enthusiasm as he did his love for baseball.
That passion was also expressed through his tireless dedication to helping his own children and so many others learn to love and respect the game of baseball. He was an amazing coach for many youth teams, always showing patience and encouragement while reminding each child that they all had a role to play, a way to contribute and add value to their team. His love for the game had no boundaries as we often saw him instructing and encouraging the players on opposing teams. Roy was selfless in every aspect of his life.
While we mourn the loss of the core of our family, we choose to celebrate him and remember the man we knew privately on and off the field. We hope that he serves as an example of professionalism, integrity and hard work for all who knew him. For us, we will forever remember his unconditional love, humility and the sacrifices he made to provide for the family that meant the world to him.
On behalf of our family we thank you for respecting our privacy during this time of overwhelming grief. We also ask that you respect the privacy of our extended family as well as the families and children who Roy has coached, taught or worked with. We are so fortunate and thankful for the outpouring of love and support we’ve received from across the world.
As can be expected, the family requests privacy, not only for themselves as they grieve, but for their extended family, the people and kids Halladay worked with as a youth coach, and others he worked with throughout his career and afterward. Hopefully that request is respected for the foreseeable future.
In addition, they also announced a celebration of life for Roy that will be held on Tuesday at Spectrum Field in Florida and will be open to the public.
Spectrum, located in Clearwater, is the Phillies’ spring training home. Halladay spent the last years of his career with the Phillies, so it is an appropriate, if bittersweet, location to remember him and all that he meant to the baseball community and those he touched during the years after he left baseball.