Greg Halman remembered for talent, passion and 'infectious smile'
The death of Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman early Monday has shocked the baseball world. Halman was found stabbed to death in his native Netherlands, and his brother has been arrested as a suspect.
“Greg was a part of our organization since he was 16 and we saw him grow into a passionate young man and talented baseball player,” Mariners Chairman Howard Lincoln, President Chuck Armstrong and General Manager Jack Zduriencik said in a statement. “He had an infectious smile that would greet you in the clubhouse, and he was a tremendous teammate. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Greg's family.”
Halman, 24, was found bleeding from a stab wound after police were called to a home in Rotterdam early Monday morning, police spokeswoman Patricia Wessels said. Officers and paramedics were unable to save him. Wessels said Halman's 22-year-old brother has been arrested and is being questioned. No charges have been filed.
Halman hit .230 with two home runs in 35 games and 87 at-bats in 2011, starting at all three outfield positions for the Mariners in 2011 before being optioned to triple-A Tacoma. He also played nine games for the Mariners in 2010 for a total of 44 career big-league games.
“The loss of a talented 24-year-old young man like Greg, amid such tragic circumstances, is painful for all of us throughout the game,” Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. “On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to the entire Mariners organization and to all those whose lives were touched by Greg.”
“The only thing I can say right now is we are deeply shocked,” Robert Eenhorn, technical director of the Dutch baseball association, told the Associated Press. “All our thoughts are with his family and how they are going to have to deal with this tremendous loss.”
Michael Weiner, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Assn., said: “Greg was passionate about the game of baseball and generously gave of himself to share his passion with others in an attempt to help grow the sport's popularity across Europe. He will be sorely missed.”
Logan Morrison of the Miami Marlins tweeted: "Very sad news abt @Mariners OF Greg Halman. Played vs him in the minors. Always had a big smile on his face & man could he hit! RIP Greg"
Fans have been hit hard as well. Among the comments on the team's official page:
"I still remember that absolutely sick catch you made. I will never forget it. You were one of the young guys I absolutely loved to watch. I know as fans we were critiquing your statistics and your performance, but lord did we love the energy and the life you brought to your game....Thank you for living our dreams, and thank you for everything. We'll miss you."
-- Chuck Schilken
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: Greg Halman accepts congratulations from Mariners teammate Chone Figgins after hitting a
three-run home run July 19. Credit: Mike Cassese / Reuters