The soon-to-be Hall of Famer perished when the two-seater plane he was piloting crashed into the Gulf of Mexico in 2017

By Jason Duaine Hahn
June 06, 2019 03:00 PM
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Credit: Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty; Robbie Rogers/MLB Photos via Getty

More than two decades after the late Roy Halladay was picked by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1995, the team selected his son in the 2019 MLB draft — and added a touching gesture in the process.

Halladay’s son, Braden Halladay, was drafted by the Blue Jays out of Calvary Christian High School in Clearwater, Florida, according to ESPN. The right-handed pitcher was picked by the franchise in the 32nd round, a symbolic gesture as his father wore No. 32 with the Blue Jays for 12 seasons.

In a tweet after his selection, Braden thanked his father’s former team and called it an “honor.” However, he confirmed he still plans to attend Penn State University before officially playing in the major leagues.

“Thank you @BlueJays for drafting me in the 32nd round today!” Braden wrote on social media on Wednesday. “It’s a great honor! It’s with mutual understanding that I’ll still be honoring my commitment to Penn State! I look forward to college and bettering myself as a player and person, thank you to all who have supported me!”

Halladay, who earned the nickname “Doc” during his 16-year MLB career split between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Blue Jays, set numerous major league milestones, such as becoming only the 20th player in MLB history to pitch a perfect game in 2010. Just a few months later, he pitched the second no-hitter in post-season history — the first since the 1956 World Series. The two events secured Halladay as only the fifth pitcher ever to have two no-hitters in one season.

After earning his pilot’s license in his retirement, Halladay bought a 2018 ICON A5, an amphibious aircraft that can take off and land from water or from a tarmac.

Brandy Halladay, Ryan (left) and Braden (right)

But on November 7, 2017, Halladay died when his plane crashed into the ocean 10 miles west of St. Petersburg, Florida. Witnesses said they observed his plane flying erratically before the crash, and an autopsy report released by the Pinellas County Medical Examiner two months later revealed he had amphetamines and morphine in his system at the time of his death.

In January, Halladay was posthumously voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

During Halladay’s induction, his widow, Brandy Halladay, recalled her husband’s dream of leaving his mark on the major leagues.

Roy Halladay

“To stand on that stage in Cooperstown and deliver your acceptance speech in front of baseball’s most enthusiastic fans is something that every baseball player aspires to achieve, and Roy was no exception,” she said. “But that was not Roy’s goal. It was not his goal to have those three letters after his signature. His goal was to be successful every single day of his 16-year career. Tonight’s announcement is the end result of that effort.”

She added: “If only Roy were here to personally express his gratitude for this honor, what an even more amazing day this would be.”