Players and community members are remembering a former MLB great whose humility and generosity beat any baseball stat.
“It’s heartbreaking to see such a good baseball player go, but it’s even worse to see such a good person leave,” Matheu Nelson said.
Nelson plays for Calvary Christian High School where Roy Halladay coached.
“Getting to know Roy as a person, you don’t think of him as a baseball player anymore. You just think of him as who he [was] and how genuine he really [was],” Nelson said.
Nelson said he flew with Halladay Saturday. He had never been on a plane before.
“We were just trolling on the lake trying to gain momentum,” Nelson said.
Nelson said many people, including himself, were devastated after they were notified Halladay died in a plane crash Tuesday.
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“He was an idol as a person to me. (When I was) younger he was an idol as a baseball player, but as I got to know him, like I said, I completely forgot who he was as a baseball player,” Nelson said.
Nelson said Halladay donated money. The donation is allowing the team at Calvary Christian to update their baseball field.
ABC Action News learned Halladay and his family donated money last year to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office in order for them to purchase another K9.
“In my eyes, Mr. Halladay is a hero,” Pasco County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Hernandez said.
Deputy Hernandez said thanks to the donation the K9 “Doc” is now protecting the community from drugs. He hopes they can continue carrying Halladay’s legacy.
“Hopefully we can continue to make them proud and keep dope off the streets. Doc is going to make his mark -just like Roy did,” Deputy Hernandez said.