Today five years ago I was still in an euphoric mood after the Dutch baseball team had won the world championship. Around eleven o’ clock a colleague of mine approached me with the news that a baseball player was killed. When I checked the headlines, it appeared to be Gregory Halman who had been killed.
It was pretty unreal to read the news. I had seen him in person earlier that month during the European Big League Tour, where he and several other Dutch and MLB players tought children the basics of baseball in the clinic organized by Rick van den Hurk.
Like everyone else in the Dutch baseball community, I was devastated to read this news. Of all Dutch baseball players of his generation, he was arguably the most talented player, who has had a cup of tea with the Seattle Mariners earlier that year.
In 2008 I just missed him in Adelanto where he played with the High Desert Mavericks. My daughters were allowed to throw out the first pitch and he would catch those pitches. Unfortunately for us he was promoted to AA just a week before we attended the game.
On the day of his funeral many wore a red cap, at the request of the family, since red was his favorite colour. It is hard to realize that it is already five years ago as time flies.
Rest in peace Greg. Know that you are still missed by many of us.