Here, from the Seattle Times on November 21, 2011, are some quotes from people responding to the death of Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman, 24, who’d just been stabbed to death in Rotterdam, Netherlands, by his brother.
Mariners pitcher Dan Cortes: “It just ripped my heart out, man. It was just a blow to my gut. He was like a big brother to me. It just worked out that way. The way we joked around, helped each other out. I’ve just been pacing around here not knowing what I’m doing. I can’t even eat right now. I can’t do anything. I’m just sitting around and waiting to see if I hear anything more. I’m just devastated.”
Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo: “I remember him from my first time with the Mariners when he was still just a baby. No, no. This is terrible news. He was a great kid. A great baseball player. Everybody loved him. He was just one of the guys. He was a great, young kid. In a couple of years, he would have been a great player.”
Free-agent infielder Adam Kennedy: “A lot of us older guys got to know him real well because he was one of those younger guys who was eager to listen and eager to learn. I don’t know whether they’re shy about it or what, but he was just one of the guys. He seemed happy all the time and was just a fun guy to be around. This is just devastating news.”
Mariners manager Eric Wedge: “I only knew Greg for a brief time, but I feel lucky that I had the chance to get to know him. He was a fine young man with a bright future. Greg had a tremendous energy about him, both on and off the field, that I loved. This is just tragic. That’s all I can think, that this is so tragic and sad.”
Mike Nicotera, Halman’s agent: “When I think of Greg, I think of a big smile, energetic, full of life, joking around, faithful. He was a very faithful kid. It’s just hard for me to wrap my head around. It will take a long time to wrap my head around it. It’s difficult for me to even talk about Greg in the past tense.
“He was a man of faith. A man who believed in prayer and taking care of his family. We talked a number of times about him being able to help his family out and to get them into a better situation than he grew up in He wanted better things for his family, and he was going to work to get them.
“I had no doubts Greg could be an impact-type player. He was young and developing, and never one that shied away from working at it. God gave him a lot of gifts, and he was trying to maximize those. It’s just so sad.”
Former Mariners outfielder Mike Cameron, who had dinner with Halman during spring training in 2009: “He had seen me playing in Seattle, and he even had a pair of my old shoes they had given him. He didn’t wear them; he kept them in a box in his room. It’s kind of crazy how you touch people and you don’t even know it.
“He was a little bigger than me, but he was kind of on the same career path, coming up through the minor leagues. We had a good talk, and the next thing I know, I saw him in the major leagues. He had struggled really bad one year. I kind of told him, ‘Your talent is always going to be there. It’s going to be about how you put it together mentally and how you approach it.’ It was good to see he had a chance to put it all together. I think he was about to come into his own as a player. He was very spirited and high strung — real spirited about what he was doing. It’s so crazy what happened.”
Aaron Artman, Tacoma Rainiers president: “Greg was a huge part of the Rainiers during his time here in Tacoma, and played a pivotal role — on the field — in our run to the 2010 Pacific Coast League championship. But far more important than what he did on the field, was his personality off the field.
“He had a huge smile on his face, every day, and his enthusiasm was infectious. He just had a way about him that made our front office staff and fans see a guy who clearly loved what he was doing. We miss Greg, already, and our prayers go out to his family, friends, teammates and the Mariners organization.”
Given how quickly people fade from memory, and how infrequently Halman’s name comes up now, I wanted to present the above quotes to remind people who Halman was and what happened to him, two years now after he died.