Former Phillies ace pitcher Roy Halladay killed in small plane crash

Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay watches relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit throw live batting practice during a workout Thursday, March 9, 2017, in Clearwater, Fla. Halladay was back with the Phillies as a guest instructor. (Chris O'Meara/AP Photo)

Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay watches relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit throw live batting practice during a workout Thursday, March 9, 2017, in Clearwater, Fla. Halladay was back with the Phillies as a guest instructor. (Chris O'Meara/AP Photo)

Authorities have confirmed that former Phillies ace pitcher Roy Halladay died in a small plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida Tuesday.

Halladay’s ICON A5 amphibious aircraft went down about noon near Holiday, Florida, said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco.

The sheriff’s office marine unit responded to the downed plane and found Halladay’s body. No survivors were found.

Authorities couldn’t confirm if there were others on the plane or say where it was headed.

Halladay retired in 2013 after 12 seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays followed by four seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Former teammate Cole Hamels says he and others who played with Halladay are taking his death hard. Hamels says Halladay was a man of few words.

“His work ethic was second to none,” Hamels said. “You couldn’t beat him to the ballpark.”

Halladay was among the greatest pitchers of his era. The towering right-hander spent the final four years of his career with the Phillies. And a memorable four years they were.

Halladay won the Cy Young award as the best pitcher in the National League, threw a perfect game, and, in 2010, became just the second pitcher ever to throw a no-hitter in the playoffs.

Despite the accolades,Phillies Chairman David Montgomery says Halladay was very humble. He says when Halladay talked to reporters after the 2010 no-hitter, “he stressed one thing: It was all about team for him. It was a personal accomplishment, but in his mind, it was all about team.”

Montgomery says he tried to see if Halladay would consider returning to the team as a coach or part of the front office.

“He certainly would have given baseball more in the future, because of his love for the game, but his commitment to his family kept him where he was,” Montgomery said. “The last few years we had a number of conversations about his potential future in the game, and he just would say, ‘I want it, but it’s on hold. It’s on hold because of my family.'”

A beloved figure in Philadelphia, he also personified perseverance. Early-career struggles nearly knocked him out of professional baseball, but he eventually reinvented his pitching style and made eight All-Star games.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back with us for updates.

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