To Mariners fans he was the scrappy outfielder who was giving starting center fielder Frankie Gutierrez a run for his money. To scores of European baseball fans he was the face of the MLB. Whatever the case, Greg Halman is now dead.
He was stabbed to death early this morning in the Netherlands, possibly at the hand of his 22-year-old brother Jason Halman, a player on the Dutch national team.
The AP and others report that Dutch police showed up to a residence in Rotterdam where they found Halman bleeding from multiple stab wounds. He was still alive at the time, but was reportedly unconscious and medics were unable to resuscitate him.
Halman, born in the Dutch city of Haarlem, was in the Netherlands as part of the European Big Tour, which focuses on providing baseball clinics to kids. Indeed Halman was well known as being a tireless advocate for teaching children the fundamentals of baseball.
Halman fans have already set up a memorial page on Facebook, and other fans have expressed their sorrow on the offical Mariner's page with comments like this one:
I'll Miss the Rising of our Flying Dutchman and his moves in the outfield for sure, but the real Tragedy is th loss of a class young man who seemed to always be ready to help or do some good somewhere. A Rising Star of the World has been Extinguished and we all feel the loss...
Thoughts and prayers to his Loved ones and Friends....
May you all find the comfort you need....
Here's Halman talking about fighting for a spot on the Mariners' Roster and about how his mixed Dutch heritage has played a role in his path to the Big Leagues.