Roy Halladay's family releases statement, memorial details

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Roy Halladay's family releases statement, memorial details

Fans have shared their memories and paid tribute to Roy Halladay after the former Phillie died Tuesday in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico.

The outpouring of support has deeply touched his loved ones.

On Thursday, the Halladay family released a statement on Roy's life, including memorial service details. A celebration of his life will be held Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 4 p.m. at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida, and it is open to the public.

Here is what the Halladay family had to say in memory of Roy:

Our family is heartbroken in confirming that Roy passed away in a plane crash Tuesday afternoon. 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.

Roy had many accomplishments in his professional career, the memories of which we will cherish forever. He described each achievement as a team effort rather than an individual accomplishment, a true testament to his character and love for his teammates.

Roy grew up with a passion for planes and always had the goal of becoming a pilot. Since retiring from baseball, he has been actively studying, accumulating the required flight hours and obtaining multiple pilot certifications and licenses. Just as he was known for his work ethic in baseball, he was also widely respected by those who knew him in the aviation community for his hard work, attention to detail and dedication to safety while flying. He treated his passion for aviation with the same joy and enthusiasm as he did his love for baseball.  

That passion was also expressed through his tireless dedication to helping his own children and so many others learn to love and respect the game of baseball. He was an amazing coach for many youth teams, always showing patience and encouragement while reminding each child that they all had a role to play, a way to contribute and add value to their team. His love for the game had no boundaries as we often saw him instructing and encouraging the players on opposing teams. Roy was selfless in every aspect of his life. 

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. For us, we will forever remember his unconditional love, humility and the sacrifices he made to provide for the family that meant the world to him.  

On behalf of our family we thank you for respecting our privacy during this time of overwhelming grief. We also ask that you respect the privacy of our extended family as well as the families and children who Roy has coached, taught or worked with. We are so fortunate and thankful for the outpouring of love and support we’ve received from across the world.

The Halladay Family

Bryce Harper Mania is everywhere, even in Phillies' clubhouse

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Bryce Harper Mania is everywhere, even in Phillies' clubhouse

CLEARWATER, Fla. — You have Harper Mania. Your neighbor has Harper Mania. The caller on the radio show has Harper Mania. The guy getting his coffee and a turkey shorti at Wawa has Harper Mania.

Everyone is going just a little crazy waiting to see if Bryce Harper is going to be a Phillie.

Even the players.

“I saw a helicopter circling over here the other day and we were joking, saying it would be funny if he just landed here and got out,” Andrew McCutchen said Saturday.

Harper Mania reached a boil Friday night when Phillies owner John Middleton’s private jet — Air Middleton — touched down in Las Vegas. Middleton traveled to Harper’s hometown for a second face-to-face meeting — the first was in mid-January — as talks between the Phillies and the free-agent slugger intensified.

The Phils are widely considered the favorite to sign Harper, but you know relentless agent Scott Boras will work every last market and mystery team until his client makes a decision. The Phillies would love to see this thing resolved — one way or the other — in the next handful of days. When it’s over, Harper is expected to top the $300 million that Manny Machado got from San Diego earlier this week and maybe the record $325 million guarantee that Giancarlo Stanton received from Miami in a contract extension in November 2014.

Players like McCutchen — he signed with the Phils in December — are already fantasizing a little about what Harper could do for the Phillies.

“It changes the team,” he said. “It changes a lot for whatever team that he’s on. We feel like we have a really good team here. The Phillies have done a good job of getting some guys over here, getting (Jean) Segura, getting (J.T.) Realmuto, getting (David) Robertson. It’s a great team here and he’s only going to make it better. It would be amazing.”

McCutchen believes the Phillies have the talent to make a playoff run.

“I haven’t played a game yet but with the names of the guys we have around, I think we definitely have the ability to do that,” he said. “We have the talent here. We just have to put it together as a team.”

Adding Harper would enhance the club’s chances of making the playoffs. But good teams need more than talent.

McCutchen locked his hands together to create a tight bond.

“You can have a great, talented team but if you don’t have this, you’re not going to win,” he said, stressing the bond. “I don’t know if there’s ever been one team that won a championship that didn’t have that. It's always the final piece of the puzzle.”

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Jet belonging to Phillies owner John Middleton is in Bryce Harper's hometown of Las Vegas

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Jet belonging to Phillies owner John Middleton is in Bryce Harper's hometown of Las Vegas

CLEARWATER, Fla. — John Middleton’s private jet is on the ground in Las Vegas, a person in that city told NBC Sports Philadelphia on Friday night.

Las Vegas is the hometown of free-agent slugger Bryce Harper.

It is just a meeting and no deal will be signed Friday night, a source tells NBC Sports Philadelphia. No other details were immediately available, but the Phillies have had ongoing discussions with Harper since first visiting with him and his agent, Scott Boras, in Las Vegas on January 12.

The Phillies went into this offseason hoping to sign one of the game’s top free agents. They hosted Manny Machado in Philadelphia in December, but he ended up signing a 10-year, $300-million contract with the San Diego Padres this week.

Machado’s signing with the Padres left Harper as the Phillies’ primary focus.

Several clubs in addition to the Phillies have pursued the slugging outfielder. One of those clubs is the Washington Nationals, the team Harper came up with. The Nats made news early Friday when owner Mark Lerner said in an interview that the club had “moved on” from Harper. A comment like that would lead one to believe that the Nationals have pulled out of the Harper sweepstakes. However, in the same interview, Lerner said the “door was always cracked a little bit.” So maybe the Nationals are not out of it.

Harper is clearly seeking to top Machado’s deal and probably the $325 million guarantee that Giancarlo Stanton got from the Marlins in a 13-year extension. Stanton is now with the Yankees.

The Padres pursued Harper before signing Machado. The Giants have expressed interest. There has been talk of a mystery team. While it is unclear how many teams are still in pursuit of Harper, it is clear where the Phillies stand — or in this case, where they are parked.

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