Halladay family to commemorate pitcher’s life with public

(Reuters) – A public service to commemorate the life of baseball pitcher Roy Halladay, who was killed earlier this week in a plane crash, will be held on Nov. 14, his family said on Thursday.

Halladay, who twice won the game’s top pitching award and threw one of only two no-hitters in postseason history, was killed when his small plane crashed off the west coast of central Florida.

The Halladay family said in statement released by Major League Baseball the ceremony would be at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida and open to the public.

“Our family is heartbroken in confirming that Roy passed away in a plane crash Tuesday afternoon,” the statement said.

”While many will remember him for his success as a major league pitcher, we remember him as an amazing father, loving husband and loyal friend.

“While we mourn the loss of the core of our family, we choose to celebrate him and remember the man we knew privately on and off the field. We hope that he serves as an example of professionalism, integrity and hard work for all who knew him.”

Investigators are trying to determine what caused the crash of Halladay’s ICON A5 single-engine amphibian aircraft in the Gulf of Mexico, less than a mile offshore from the city of New Port Richey.

Video from witnesses showed the plane making a turn at low altitude as it descended toward the water.

The footage was posted online by celebrity website TMZ, which reported witnesses said the plane repeatedly went from an altitude of about 100 feet (30 meters) to five feet (1.5m).

Halladay became a certified pilot in 2013, the year he retired from Major League Baseball.

Known as Doc among baseball fans, he pitched a no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies in Game One of the National League Division Series against the Cincinnati Reds.

He also pitched just the 20th perfect game in MLB history in May, 2010 against the Florida Marlins.

He won a Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in both the American and National Leagues and was named an eight-time All-Star.

Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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