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Nov '11 24

Greg Halman Family announces Farewell Ceremonies in Haarlem on November 27&29

Europeans in the USA Comments Off on Greg Halman Family announces Farewell Ceremonies in Haarlem on November 27&29


by Pim van Nes

Naomi Halman, sister of late Gregory Halman, announced on the internet that her family will be available to share feelings and memories with all sympathizing people and to take leave from Gregory on Sunday 27 November between 14.00 and 16.00 hrs in Haarlem and that Greg’s funeral will take place in nearby Driehuis on Tuesday 29 November as from 13.00 hrs.

This is Naomi’s message:

“Through this way I want to thank everyone for all the sweet support we have received untill now. Probably the hardest part will still have to come when we have to say goodbye to our Greg. We want to give everyone the opportunity to do this together with us. This Sunday from 2.00 till 4.00 pm in the Kinheim gym in Haarlem you will be able to say goodbye to our Greg. Tuesday Nov. 29 will be Greg’s funeral at the Westerveld cemetery in Driehuis. The funeral ceremony will start at 1.00 pm. We hope all of you will be there at the time we arrive with our Greg. We want to ask to all the baseball people to wear a baseball cap, preferably a red one.

We won’t send any funeral cards, It’s impossible for us to reach everyone in this way. So I want to ask all of you to copy this in your status or tell people about it so we will be able to reach as many people as possible who want to be a part of this.”

Also Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Federation (KNBSB) published a message with this information on the federation website as per yesterday.

From across the world messages of sympathy have already been aired, such as “I thought he was gonna be a big. Rest in peace Greg” by Ichiro (Suzuki) and “A tragedy. My thoughts go out to the Mariners, but more importantly his family” by (Greg) Maddux 39. Former European scout for the Seattle Mariners, Mauro Mazzotti responded from Milano (Italy) to Mister-Baseball.com: “I was shocked all day yesterday after a friend of mine called me around lunch time giving me the bad news. As Scout you see thousands of players, but Greg was special, I flew to NL to see him the first time and he struck out 3 times, but I had no doubts he was Prospect to sign right away. He had all the tools to make it and Wayne Norton, at that time my Boss, came over to put him under contract …. the rest is history. Hopefully he’ll rest in peace. MM.”

Benjamin Hill produced an article appearing on the website of Minor League Baseball with memories of several club members in the Minor League teams of the Mariners: After making his professional debut in 2005 in the Rookie-level Arizona League, Halman spent 2006 and much of 2007 with short-season Everett in the Northwest League. AquaSox broadcaster Pat Dillon remembers him first and foremost as an “upbeat guy and very friendly. My main point of emphasis would be what a genuinely good guy he was.” ( . . .) “I remember in 2007 we were playing in Boise, which is a college town and a fun place to go out on the weekends,” Dillon said. “I had had a postgame meal and was walking back to the team hotel, about five minutes before the team curfew. And there comes Halman walking toward me, ready for a night on the town.” ( . . .)

A more serious youthful indiscretion occurred in 2006. Halman’s season with the AquaSox came to an end after 28 games when he broke his hand in a bench-clearing brawl. “You can’t condone stuff like that, but it helped to build up his image as a good teammate,” Dillon recalled. “They saw that and knew that he would always go to the mat for them. He would stand behind anybody and would do anything to help his team succeed.” That loyalty manifested itself in other, less obvious ways. “After a player gets released and is just sitting there at his locker, devastated, Halman would be the guy to go up to him and offer support,” said Dillon.

Another key aspect of Halman’s personality was his facility for languages. In addition to Dutch and English, he spoke fluent Spanish. This made him a natural mediator and, somewhat ironically, a bridge between two cultures even though he was an outsider to both. “Because he could speak Spanish he was good with the Latin players and because he could speak English he was good with the American guys,” Horner said. “He knew when arguments were accelerating and things were starting to get heated. He understood both sides and could step in and cool it down.”

Here is the complete article by Benjamin Hill, also quoting Swen Huijer (21), Boston Red Sox project originating from Halman’s home club Corendon Kinheim in Haarlem.

Greg Johns and T.R. Sullivan combined in a review about Greg Halman as a Major League player and spoke with Mariners relief pitcher David Aardsma, descendant from Dutch immigrants in USA: He (Greg) was on the Mariners’ 40-man roster and was regarded as a challenger for a position in left field or as a backup to center fielder Franklin Gutierrez. Free agent closer David Aardsma, a teammate of Halman’s the past two years in Seattle, said the young outfielder was a bright presence in the Mariners clubhouse. “Greg was one of those guys that always came to the ballpark happy, no matter how he was doing,” Aardsma said. “He always had a smile on his face and was trying to get better. You could tell he didn’t take being there for granted. He put in the work and he was a good guy, a good teammate and somebody who always had your back.” Aardsma is of Dutch ancestry and said Halman always kidded him about needing to learn his native language. Halman himself spoke four languages. “He’d always call me Dutchy and try to teach me a saying or sentence or word in Dutch,” Aardsma said. “Every day I’d mess it up a whole bunch, but I’d try to get it right and then I’d try to surprise him with something I’d learned. He was just a great guy.”

Dutch born pitcher Bert Blyleven (22 Major League seasons) was quoted by same writers: He (Greg) was one of nine players born in the Netherlands to have reached the Major Leagues. Orioles pitcher Rick VandenHurk was also born there, as well as pitcher Bert Blyleven, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame last summer. “Our condolences to Greg Halman’s family in Holland,” Blyleven said by Twitter. “He played well for us in the WBC in 2009. He had a lot of promise in baseball and life.” Former Major League outfielder (infielder with the Yankees before Derek Jeter arrived there, PvN) Robert Eenhoorn is the technical director for the Dutch baseball association. “The only thing I can say right now is we are deeply shocked,” Eenhoorn told The AP. “All our thoughts are with his family and how they are going to have to deal with this tremendous loss.”

Mister-Baseball.com wishes to thank Mario Salvini, who attended European Big League Tour in Parma, Italy, on Saturday 12 November for an article in Italian main sports daily newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. He watched and spoke with Greg Halman and pictured him when after the clinic for 400 kids he said goodbye to baseball friends, most probably for the last time in his Seattle Mariners uniform.


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