PASCO COUNTY, Fla. - Roy Hallday’s father spoke with ABC Action News, Thursday, about his son’s legacy.
“He loved baseball as much as he loved flying and he loved flying as much as he loved baseball,” Roy Halladay Jr. said.
Tuesday, Roy Halladay III died in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico. He was flying his dream plane.
“I was glad he….that he pursued something that interested him. I’m sorry how it turned out, but I know he had a….a lot of passion for anything that he did and he sure seemed to enjoy flying that airplane,” Roy Halladay Jr. said.
Roy Halladay Jr. spoke about many of his fond memories, including building model airplanes and hitting baseballs in the snow with his son.
“I was always really impressed by him. I thought he would have been a better father to me than I was to him and he just seemed to have so much wisdom right from when he was a young man,” Roy Halladay Jr. said.
He said he taught his son to work hard and he noticed he always strived to succeed.
“I remember talking to people when he was 8/9 years old…this is my son. He wants to be a major league baseball player when he grows up and they would always say you realize how hard that is,” Roy Halladay Jr. said.
His son became a two-time Cy Young Award winner and 8-time All-Star. His generosity was another notable accomplishment.
“He appreciates the people that have helped him and that help others and he just wants to do his share in making sure that they get the opportunity to have some help and things that they need too,” Roy Halladay Jr. said.
Roy Halladay Jr. said another passion his son had was his family.
“I’m encouraging my grandsons that, you know, you can be great like this too and, you know, lets remember the great things your dad did,” Roy Halladay Jr. said.
He said his son made the most of his 40 years.
“Oh I think he set his own legacy. I don’t think I need to change anything. I mean, as you look at the articles and you look at all the things that people say about him that’s his legacy and he set it for himself and I feel it’s a very honorable legacy and I’m proud of him,” Roy Halladay Jr. said.
The Halladay Family released the following statement:
Our family is heartbroken in confirming that Roy passed away in a plane crash Tuesday afternoon. 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.
Roy grew up with a passion for planes and always had the goal of becoming a pilot. 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.
That passion was also expressed through his tireless dedication to helping his own children and so many others learn to love and respect the game of baseball. He was an amazing coach for many youth teams, always showing patience and encouragement while reminding each child that they all had a role to play, a way to contribute and add value to their team. His love for the game had no boundaries as we often saw him instructing and encouraging the players on opposing teams. Roy was selfless in every aspect of his life.
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. 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.
On behalf of our family we thank you for respecting our privacy during this time of overwhelming grief. We also ask that you respect the privacy of our extended family as well as the families and children who Roy has coached, taught or worked with. We are so fortunate and thankful for the outpouring of love and support we’ve received from across the world. A celebration of life will be held on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. The service will be open to the public.