Former major league pitcher and Colorado prep product Roy Halladay has died following a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of St. Petersburg, Florida. He was 40 years old.
Baseball has lost one of the best pitchers of the 21st century. Halladay dominated hitters for the better part of a decade for the Blue Jays and then the Phillies and, for a few years, was widely considered the best pitcher in baseball. The numbers back it up: he was 203-105 with a 3.43 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 3.48 K/BB, with an astounding 67 complete games, including 20 shutouts, a no-hitter, and a perfect game. He is probably the best player ever to come out of Colorado in major league history.
Halladay was born in Denver, Colorado, and grew up in Arvada. He started attracting the attention of Major League scouts at the age of 14 for his prowess on the pitching mound. He graduated from Arvada West High School and went on to be the first round selection (17th overall) of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1995 June draft.
Halladay made his major league debut for the Toronto Blue Jays in September 1998. In 12 years with the Blue Jays he posted a 3.43 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and an incredible 49 complete games, including 15 shutouts and won the 2003 Cy Young Award. He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies before the 2010 season.
He’ll probably be most remembered for his historic 2010 season. After throwing a perfect game against the Florida Marlins on May 29 and then a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Division Series on October 6 he became the fifth major league pitcher to throw two no-hitters in one season. The second no-no, which came in his first career postseason start, also made him just the second pitcher in major league history to throw a no-hitter in the postseason, joining Don Larsen, who threw a perfect game in the 1956 World Series. He won the 2010 NL Cy Young Award unanimously with a 2.44 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, a 7.30 K/BB, and nine (9!) complete games and four shutouts. He became just the fifth pitcher in history to win the Cy Young Award in both leagues.
He pitched three more seasons for the Phillies, finishing with a 3.25 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 8.0 K/9, and 4.54 K/BB in four seasons in Philadelphia. He retired after the 2013 season due to lingering injuries. After retirement he made his home in Florida and was an active recreational pilot. He is survived by his wife, Brandy, and two children.