Dave Niehaus passing away last year was one of the most difficult things I have ever dealt with in my life as a fan of the Seattle Mariners. But, throughout the mourning process, I was able to reflect and put into perspective what Dave really meant to me and what he meant to the Mariners. Throughout his years Dave taught me that we are incredibly lucky to have baseball in the Pacific Northwest and that I should love my team unequivocally. Baseball was more than just a game, it was a metaphor for life.
But when I heard the news of Greg Halman’s passing yesterday morning, it was unfathomable. For the second straight off-season we lost a loved member of our family.
I did not personally know Greg nor have ever met him. The accounts of his life from people who knew him are sure to be written by those individuals.
What I do know of Greg is that it took him six years to make his debut with the Mariners in 2010. And for somebody to stick with a sport as difficult as baseball for that long, spending a majority of his time thousands of miles away from home, tells me that Greg busted his ass to get where he was.
Four months ago I was at Safeco Field watching a promising young outfielder live out what I presume to be his dream of playing big league baseball, representing his country – Holland – on the biggest stage in the World the sport has to offer. The next time I go to Safeco Field, Halman won’t be there, for incredibly senseless reasons that are out of our control. There are no positives here, nothing to take away from this.
While it may seem trivial for me to only praise Greg based on his baseball merits, it is the only thing I can thank him for because that is how he touched my life. For as long as I can remember the Seattle Mariners have played a significant role in my life, and every player who has worn the jersey has played a part in that.
They are all a member of that family.
Today, we mourn the loss of a family member.