On the Death of Greg Halman

Greg Halman died this moring. He was 24 years old. This is what I’m writing about right now, despite my general lack of familiarity with Halman and the knowledge that I don’t have anything of any real substance to add to this story. I’m writing about this, because it would seem strange to ignore it—to go on and complain about the AL MVP or crack wise about Michael Young getting a first place vote from a Texas writer. As a Mariner’s fan, I knew Greg Halman as a baseball player and an athlete. I didn’t know him much of any other way. He was Dutch, and he spoke four languages and this made him unique and interesting in ways other baseball players aren’t. He was one year and one month younger than me, and that’s a strange and daunting fact for me to fully reflect on. He was killed this morning, stabbed, and it’s possible that his brother may have done this. The more I learn about people and this world, the more possible and less surprising terrible things like this seem to be. Maybe that’s a reflection on me. Maybe it’s not.

I’ll remember Greg Halman in a vague and positive way. He was a talented baseball player. He seemed like a happy and genial guy. I’ll remember him as reaching his goal of playing Major League Baseball, of being one of the few who actually make it and deserve it and get to enjoy it. I’m happy that he was able to see his childhood dream realized. That’s a special thing. I’m reading that he leaves behind something of a legacy, one of increasing the popularity of baseball in his native Netherlands, one of bringing hope and inspiration to his countrymen and their children. That’s a fine legacy to leave behind.

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