The MLB community was stunned and saddened last week by the news two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay died when a private plane he was piloting crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast.
Several current and former players expressed their condolences and offered touching anecdotes on social media. Among them was Chase Utley, a teammate of Halladay’s on the Philadelphia Phillies from 2009-2013.
Utley was in attendance for the “Celebration of Life for Roy Halladay” on Tuesday at Spectrum Field, the Spring Training home of the Phillies. Utley, along with Cole Hamels and retired manager Charlie Manuel were among those with Phillies ties to speak at the memorial.
Utley, renowned for his relentless work ethic, told of his first time meeting Halladay. Spring Training was beginning, and Utley arrived to the facility in the wee hours of the morning.
As he sat down for breakfast he notice Halladay’s clothes were drenched in sweat. Utley thought it perhaps had been raining when the right-hander arrived, when the reality was Halladay had already completed a workout.
Utley’s speech concluded with him tearfully telling Halladay’s sons how proud their father was of their accomplishments.
The late pitcher spent 16 seasons in the Majors, with his last coming in 2013 with the Phillies. Halladay went a career 203-105 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.
He threw a perfect game and no-hitter in the same season, with the latter coming in a postseason start. Halladay is survived by his wife, Brandy, and their two sons.