'He was like the average guy': Canadian Hall of Fame remembers Roy Halladay

Roy Halladay travelled to St. Mary's with his family in June for his induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. Meeting him in person was "a delight" for the director of operations, Scott Crawford.

Roy Halladay's comes as complete shock to Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

Ray Halladay speaks in St. Mary's during his induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this year. (Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame/Twitter)

Scott Crawford remembers the first time he met Roy Halladay in person.

"He stuck out his hand with a huge smile on his face and said 'Hi Scott. How are you doing?' Not all pro athletes act like that."

Halladay travelled to St. Mary's in June to be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. Crawford was with his wife and children and wanted to make the weekend event go well. 

"He told me 'I'm so thankful to be here. What can we do to help?' It's just the type of guy Roy was."

Halladay was killed Tuesday when his small plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. He was 40.

"It was a complete shock," said Crawford. "I had to sit down to read more."

Then the memories of Halladay's visit in June and his illustrious career started pouring in.  

"I'm going over the memories in my head and looking over the pictures and I'm getting chills just remembering each aspect," he said. "We had him here for four days and it was so memorable and even more memorable now. He won't be forgotten." 

What stuck out about Halladay was his love of Canada and Ontario — he was a Blue Jay through and through, Crawford said. 

As tributes pour in following his death in a plane crash, it is the quality of his character that stands out as much as his on-field accomplishments 4:13

"This was a second home. He played 12 years in Canada, his son was born in Canada and he came back to retire as a Blue Jay. He signed a one-day contract to be a Blue Jay to end his professional baseball career. That's what it meant to him." 

And Halladay's impact on the people who knew him, and on the sport he loved, will continue, Crawford said. 

"You can't look at a better pitcher in this generation. He was for a decade the greatest pitcher. He didn't play on a lot of great teams, but he was still one of the best pitchers in all of baseball." 

About the Author

Kerry McKee

Afternoon news editor

Kerry McKee is a veteran editor and reporter, working in both radio and television. She has deep ties to southwestern Ontario and loves bringing your stories to life. Email her kerry.mckee@cnc.ca