Roy Halladay, ex-Major League pitching star, dies in plane crash off Florida
(Reuters) - Retired Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay, who twice won the game’s top pitching award and threw one of only two no-hitters in postseason history, died on Tuesday when his small plane crashed off the west coast of central Florida. He was 40. FILE PHOTO: Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Roy Halladay throws against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning of their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto September 5, 2008. REUTERS/Adrien Veczan/File photoAn ICON A5 single-engine amphibian aircraft belonging to Halladay crashed into the Gulf of Mexico less than a mile offshore from the city of New Port Richey, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. “We were praying for the best, that it could be a search and rescue and we were just going to be taking him to the hospital,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said at a news conference. “The worst-case scenario happened and it just breaks our hearts.” Halladay was alone in the plane and his body was recovered, Nocco said. He did not send out any distress calls before the crash, which the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, Nocco said. Halladay pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies and retired in 2013 after a 15-year career. He won a Cy Young Award as best pitcher in both the American and National Leagues, was an eight-time All Star and amassed 203 regular-season victories. In 2010, he pitched a no-hitter for the Phillies in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Cincinnati Reds. His feat came 54 years after Don Larsen threw a perfect game for the New York Yankees in the 1956 World Series. Halladay recently bought the ICON A5 aircraft, the company said on Oct. 12 in a news release, which quoted Halladay as saying he had dreamed about flying a plane since boyhood. The company could not be reached for comment. Toronto Blue Jays starter Roy Halladay holds the rosin bag during a break in play during the sixth inning of their American League MLB baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Toronto May 31, 2007. REUTERS/J.P. MoczulskiHalladay posted several photos of the plane on Twitter and said he pinched himself in anticipation of receiving it.