Roy Halladay‘s former teammates are remembering the late baseball pro with a series of poignant social media posts after Halladay died in a plane crash on Tuesday.
Those who worked closest with Halladay — and many in the sport who simply looked up to him — are remembering the impact the retired pitcher had on the league during his 15 years as a baseball star.
“Gone too soon my friend!!! Blessed to have shared the field with you as a teammate, competitor, friend and more importantly a brother,” Shane Victorino, who played alongside Halladay for the Philadelphia Phillies, tweeted on Tuesday.
Halladay’s two-seater airplane crashed about 10 miles west of St. Petersburg, Florida. It was recovered in the Gulf of Mexico. He was the only one on board, the Pasco County Sheriff confirmed in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. Halladay was 40.
In the wake of the death, officials with the Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays, for which Halladay began playing in the 90s, released statements about the tragedy.
“We are numb over the very tragic news about Roy Halladay’s untimely death,” Phillies officials wrote in a statement.
“There are no words to describe the sadness that the entire Phillies family is feeling over the loss of one of the most respected human beings to ever play the game.”
Blue Jays officials remembered Halladay in a statement as “one of the franchise’s greatest and most respected players, but even better human being.”
The sudden death shocked many, with former Phillies player Roy Oswalt tweeting about his heartbreak.
“Heart is broken to hear about Roy Halladay. great friend, teammate, father and husband. One of the best teammates ever! You will be missed !”
Highlighting Halladay’s status as one of the most respected players in the league, retired baseball pro Dan Haren tweeted a photo of an autographed Halladay jersey.
“I only own like 5 signed jerseys, and I was so scared to ask him. He wrote that he liked watching ME pitch. What an honor.”
Halladay made his major league debut on September 20, 1998, when he was 21. He played for the Toronto Blue Jays for 11 seasons before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for the last three years of his career.
He retired due to a persistent back injury in 2013, but continued to be a guest instructor for both the Blue Jays and the Phillies.
Halladay is survived by his wife, Brandy, and two children.