'Roy Halladay made me love baseball': Jays fans mourn loss of pitching legend

The death of legendary Jays pitcher Roy Halladay has led to an outpouring of grief from Toronto sports fans.

Former Blue Jays pitcher passed away after small plane crash in Florida on Tuesday

Former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay died in a small plane crash on November 7, 2017. (CBC)

Toronto sports fans are sharing their memories of Roy "Doc" Halladay, who died Tuesday afternoon after his small plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Halladay played with the Jays from 1998-2009, winning 148 games and the 2003 Cy Young Award as the American League's best pitcher.

Mitchell DuTrizac was a big fan of the Blue Jays in the late '90s and early 2000s when Halladay shone, even when the team was struggling.

"Him coming sparked a new era in Toronto and helping build the franchise into what it is today," he recalled. 

Ward Sellers came to Toronto after Halladay became a household name and was also shocked by the news. 

Ward Sellers was one of many Blue Jays fans shocked to learn about the death of former Jays pitcher Roy Halladay on Tuesday. (CBC)

"He was the anchor for years," Sellers said. "His name is there in the Rogers Centre, and we think about him all the time whenever I take my sons to the games."

Word of Halladay's death spread quickly on Tuesday. Sean Strickland learned about his death when he was at a conference.

"The buzz started to happen in the room, 'Did you hear that Roy Halladay died?"' Strickland said. "He struck me as a competitive guy and a nice guy at the same time."

Reaction online

Mayor John Tory expressed his sympathies to Roy Halladay's family on Twitter and shared his memories.

Halladay's death also had fans online sharing memories of watching him play in Toronto during his Jays heyday. 

Fans also looked back on his departure from the Blue Jays — and his one-day return so he could retire with the team.