Former Toronto Blue Jays star pitcher Roy Halladay died after his plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday afternoon. He was 40.

The Denver native played 12 seasons in Toronto before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in late 2009. He played four more seasons in Philadelphia before signing a ceremonial one-day contract to retire with the Blue Jays in late 2013.

Fellow baseball players and other professional athletes quickly took to social media to express their grief and share their condolences after the sheriff's department in Pasco County, Fla., confirmed that Halladay's body was found at the scene of the crash.

"He was the bright light," said former Jays general manager Gord Ash. "He was the guy that everybody pointed to as being the star of the Blue Jays and rightly so."

Jays Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar expressed his sadness upon learning of Halladay's death.

"You're not going to find a better competitor, ever," said John Gibbons who managed Halladay from 2004-2008.

Former teammate and Jays' all-time home run leader Carlos Delgado wished his condolences to Halladay's family and friends.

Frank Thomas played briefly in Toronto with Halladay but he left a mark on the Hall of Fame slugger despite their brief time together as teammates.

"One of the best to ever do it. I had a front row seat to watch his greatness. RIP Doc. [prayer emoji] to Brandy and the kids." β€” Retired Major League Baseball outfielder Vernon Wells, who played with Halladay for a decade on the Blue Jays.

"Knowing his father was a pilot, you look up to your dad always. He had that bug that he wanted to fly. That was his passion. You have to respect that. He prepared for everything. He took this serious." β€” Texas Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels, who played four seasons with Halladay in Philadelphia.

"Heart is broken to hear about Roy Halladay, great friend, teammate, father and husband. One of the best teammates ever! You will be missed!" β€” Retired Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Oswalt, who played two seasons with Halladay in Philadelphia.

"We were together in this journey as Canadian Baseball Hall of Famers, now you are gone. RIP Roy Halladay." β€” Retired Major League Baseball outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, who was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame with Halladay on June 24.

"RIP Roy 'DOC' Halladay" β€” Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Sanchez.

"One of the classiest competitors and awesome person. You will be missed 'Doc'." β€” Former Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Joe Carter.

"So sad to see this news. RIP. Great person, great teammate and human being, my condolences goes out to the Halladay family." - Cleveland Indians designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion, who posted a photo of Halladay on his Instagram account with the message. Encarnacion and Halladay played half a season together in Toronto.

Pedro Martinez squared off for years against Halladay as a member of AL East rival Boston Red Sox.

"I'm stunned to silence over the news of Roy Halladay. My thoughts and heart are with Brandy and the boys. Rest In Peace my friend." - Phillies executive Charlie Manuel, who managed Halladay for four seasons in Philadelphia.

"In shock over the terrible news about Roy Halladay... a pitcher I grew up admiring & rooting for. Praying for his family & friends. RIPDoc" β€” Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout.

The NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs tweeted: "A legend on and off the mound. Rest in peace, Doc."

"Rest In Peace Roy Halladay, you will never be forgotten. Your legacy will Live on! .Legend .RIPRoyHalladay" β€” Retired National Hockey League forward Jeremy Roenick.

"Growing up watching .32 take the mound every 5 days for the BlueJays was a pleasure. He was an athlete I idolized. RIP Doc" β€” San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture.

"RIP Roy Halladay.. a Toronto legend! Growing up I used to love watching Doc play, sad day for Toronto sports fans" β€” Cleveland Cavaliers forward and Toronto native Tristan Thompson.

"RIP to Roy Halladay. When I played baseball, I always wanted to pitch like 'Doc'." β€” Minnesota Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns.

"Very sad to hear of the passing of Roy Halladay. My favourite pitcher growing up watching the jays. Thoughts and prayers with his family. RIP" β€” Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Laughton.

"That's sad. He was huge here in Toronto over the years. I used to keep up with him all the time, watch him pitch. A great pitcher ... I just know how much he meant to the city, just inducted to the Canadian [Baseball] Hall of Fame. It's just way too soon," Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey.  The Raptors held a moment of silence for Halladay before their game against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.

"It sucks. It sucks to go out like that. Period. It's definitely sad new. Prayers and everything go out to his family." - Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan.

Six-time All-Star Chase Utley played four seasons with Halladay in Philadelphia and took to social media to recount their first meeting.

Former MLB pitcher Rick Sutcliffe remembers when Derek Jeter told him that he was the toughest pitcher he ever faced.

Two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer reflected on the ex-Jays' ace impact on him.

With files from CBC Sports