Cel­e­bra­tion of Hal­la­day’s life planned in Florida

Toronto Star - - SPORTS - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

NEW YORK— A cel­e­bra­tion of life for former Blue Jays pitcher Roy Hal­la­day will be held next week in Florida.

Hal­la­day was killed Tues­day when the tiny sport plane he was fly­ing crashed in the Gulf of Mex­ico. The ser­vice, which will be open to the pub­lic, will be held Tues­day af­ter­noon at Spec­trum Field in Clear­wa­ter, the Hal­la­day fam­ily said in a state­ment re­leased by the Blue Jays and Ma­jor League Base­ball.

“Our fam­ily is heart­bro­ken in con­firm­ing that Roy passed away in a plane crash Tues­day af­ter­noon,” the state­ment said. “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.”

Hal­la­day, who was 40, was a de­voted hus­band to wife Brandy and a lov­ing fa­ther to sons Ryan and Bra- den.

Hal­la­day made his big-league de­but with the Blue Jays in 1998 and won the Amer­i­can League Cy Young Award in 2003. He hit the 20-win plateau on three oc­ca­sions and won the 2010 NL Cy Young Award with the Phillies.

He spent four sea­sons in Philadel­phia be­fore retiring in late 2013.

The Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Board is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the crash of Hal­la­day’s Icon A5. A pre­lim­i­nary re­port is ex­pected in the next week and the full in­ves­ti­ga­tion could take up to two years.

“Roy grew up with a pas­sion for planes and al­ways had the goal of be­com­ing a pi­lot,” said the fam­ily state­ment, re­leased late Thurs­day af­ter­noon. “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.”

“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,” the fam­ily state­ment said. “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.

With files from The As­so­ci­ated Press.

AARON LYNETT/TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO

Former Blue Jays star Roy Hal­la­day was killed when his plane crashed in the Gulf of Mex­ico. His life will be cel­e­brated next Tues­day.

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