Family man Doc had more to offer Phils, MLB

Former pitcher loved game, was dedicated to his wife and sons

Family man Doc had more to offer Phils, MLB

PHILADELPHIA -- Roy Halladay planned to accomplish so much more in baseball.

Those plans struck Phillies chairman David Montgomery on Tuesday, following the tragic news that Halladay, 40, died in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico, just off the coast of Florida. Halladay pitched for the Phillies from 2010-13, throwing a perfect game in May 2010 and a no-hitter in Game 1 of the 2010 National League Division Series as part of a tremendous big league career. He rejoined the Phillies in Spring Training as a guest instructor before moving into his own office this summer at Carpenter Complex in Clearwater.

Halladay spent hours working with the organization's young players on the mental skills side of baseball, which was his passion. He was at the complex on Monday.

"He certainly would have given more to baseball in the future because of his love for the game," Montgomery said in a news conference at Citizens Bank Park. "But his commitment to his family kept him where he was the last few years. We'd had a number of conversations about his potential future in the game. But he just would say, 'I want it, but it's on hold. It's on hold right now because of my family.'"

Halladay is survived by his wife Brandy and sons Ryan and Braden. He adored his family. He loved coaching his sons.

His teammates saw that up close.

Baseball world mourns Halladay's passing

"I have two boys of my own," former Phillies teammate Cole Hamels said. "And I got to see what that meant to him, every time he was able to bring them around the ballpark. That was something that really did leave an impression. Hopefully I'll be able to do what he was able to do for his boys. 

"We play this game and we love every minute of it and then it's over. And you get to go to your family and spend time with your family. And to see that it's cut short, for somebody that was such a good, good person, to him and his wife Brandy, it's really hard to think about what's going to transpire. But he really does mean a lot to all of us. We're really, really going to miss him."

Hamels on the loss of Halladay

Hamels, Halladay and other Phillies pitchers remained close, even as their careers ended and players went their separate ways. Hamels mentioned a big Australian vacation he took three years ago with his family, Halladay's family and other Phillies pitchers' families.

Hamels, who's now with the Rangers, mentioned how he texted Halladay throughout the years, occasionally asking for help as he struggled. He said he most recently texted him about how to throw a two-seam fastball, which Halladay had mastered.

Hagen: Doc's legacy extends beyond game

"It's always nice to be able to talk to somebody like Roy Halladay for some advice," Hamels said.

Halladay planned to offer more advice to more pitchers in the future. He felt he could help. He wanted to try.

"Behind everything he did he had a purpose," Hamels said. "I think you come to realize that you have very small, short moments in life to do something great so you have to maximize it. You have to make the best of it. And he did. He made us push to a level that sometimes you didn't think you could actually reach. He made everybody better."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.