Pro athletes react to death of former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay smiles on the bench in Toronto in 2003. Former Toronto Blue Jays star pitcher Roy Halladay died Tuesday after his plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. He was 40. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill

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.

"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." - Retired Major League Baseball outfielder Vernon Wells, who played with Halladay for a decade on the Blue Jays

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"My God I can't believe this news!! Rest In Peace Doc Halladay! I'm honored to have played with you my friend! My family is so heart broken!! Doc Halladay the Ultimate Warrior the hardest working teammate ever! I'm blessed to have spent time training with you!! #Trueleader" - Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, who played two seasons with Halladay on the Blue Jays

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"Saddened to learn about the passing of Roy Halladay. Rest In Peace" - Baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, who played second base for the World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993

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"Sad news, so sorry to hear about the passing of my great teammate #RoyHalladay. My heart goes to out to his family and friends #RIP @BlueJays" - former Toronto slugger Carlos Delgado

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

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"My heart hurts writing this. I can still remember the first day we met. It was 5:45am on the first day of spring training when I arrived. He was finishing his breakfast but his clothes were soaking wet. I asked if it was raining when he got in. He laughed and said 'No I just finished my workout.' I knew right then - he was the real deal. Thank you Roy for allowing us to witness what it takes to be the best. We will all miss you." - Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley, who played four seasons with Halladay in Philadelphia

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

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"Gone too soon my friend!!! Blessed to have shared the field with you as a teammate, competitor, friend and more importantly a brother. Praying for Brandy, Ryan and Brayden" - Retired MLB outfielder Shane Victorino, who played three seasons with Halladay in Philadelphia

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"Devastated by the tragic loss of Roy Halladay. Best, most consistent pitcher ever. Tremendous teammate. Loving father. Great person. Prayers" - Retired MLB outfielder Raul Ibanez, who played two seasons with Halladay in Philadelphia

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"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

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

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"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" - Retired MLB pitcher Dan Haren, who posted a photo of the autographed Blue Jays jersey

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"Oh my god man. Day ruined. Wow. Prayers with the entire Halladay family. This is awful!" - Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman, who also tweeted #RIPDocHalladay

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"RIP Roy 'DOC' Halladay" - Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Sanchez

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"Roy Halladay touched the lives of countless Canadian youth. Rest In Peace, Doc. Your legacy will live on forever." - official Twitter of the Jays Care Foundation

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"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.

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"Some of you have no idea what Roy Halladay meant to the careers of so many of the up & coming stars. Phone calls. Group talks etc. RIP Doc" - Detroit Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris, who began his career with the Blue Jays

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"Roy Halladay was your favorite player's favorite player. A true ace and a wonderful person. Heartbroken for those who knew him best." - Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy

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"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

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"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

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

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

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

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

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

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"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" - Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Laughton

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