Baseball Loses One of the Nice Guys

As Billy Joel famously wrote back in 1977: “Only the Good Die Young.” The baseball world was stunned this week upon hearing about the passing of former Major League pitcher Brad Halsey. His agency, O’Connell Sports Management, broke the news just after 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday night via their social media accounts.

Halsey was just 33 years old at the time of his death. No immediate cause had been announced, but according to a report in USA Today, a person close to Halsey’s family said that he died in a recreational climbing accident last Friday. The news comes as a tremendous shock not only because of his age, but because of the impact he had on several of his teammates.

The Houston native reached the Major League level in 2004 as a 23-year-old with the New York Yankees. He ended up spending three seasons (2004-06) in the big leagues, pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Oakland Athletics as well. Halsey last pitched in 2011 with Double-A Trenton in the Yankees organization. He is remembered by most in the New York area for being the Yankees starting pitcher on July 1, 2004. That day, Derek Jeter made his famous running catch and fall into the stands at Yankee Stadium in New York’s walk-off win against the Boston Red Sox.

However, on Long Island, many will remember his as the player that donned the green and orange during the 2009 season. Halsey was signed by the Ducks in April of that year, and he went on to make 11 starts with the Flock, led by manager Gary Carter. Although he faced some struggles that season, going 3-5 with a 5.86 ERA, he quickly became a respected and well-liked member of the Ducks clubhouse.

We had the chance to catch up with several of his former teammates and Ducks front office to get their thoughts after hearing of the terrible news:

Ray Navarrete (2009 Ducks Teammate)
“I remember those all white cleats he wore from his time in the Oakland A’s organization. He looked like a big leaguer. He was a big leaguer. He had this smooth delivery to the plate. It was fun playing behind him. He was a cool guy with a sharp sense of humor. It was great having him as part of that 2009 squad, and he really embraced his time on Long Island. I’m grateful to have played with him. My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family at this time.”

Lew Ford (2009 Ducks Teammate)
“It’s so shocking that Brad has passed away. He was one of the nicest guys in the clubhouse and always laid back. It’s just so sad.”

Jamie Quinn (2009 Ducks Teammate)
“So sad to hear of the passing of former Yankees and Ducks pitcher Brad Halsey. A good teammate and a good guy. Prayers to his family.”

Lenny DiNardo (Former Duck and 2007 Spring Training Teammate):
“Pitchers do a ton of shagging balls in the outfield during Spring Training and the season. Brad was the guy we all drifted to during those monotonous times. We’d all end up in left field around him while the balls piled up in right. After a few minutes, we’d here the obligatory, “break up that rock pile!” and have to scatter. He always had a funny story to tell and was just an all around pleasant guy to be around. He’ll be missed for sure by all his former teammates.”

Michael Pfaff (Ducks President/General Manager):
“Brad will be remembered fondly – he had a great, laid back personality and was a real pro during his time with the Ducks. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.”

From all of us at “Quack of the Bat” and the Long Island Ducks, we send our deepest condolences to Brad’s friends and family at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with them on this sad day.


Posted on November 5, 2014, in Ducks News and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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