Greg Halman of the Seattle Mariners doubles in the second inning against the San Diego Padres at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
5 Total Updates since November 21, 2011
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Tuesday, Mariners outfielder Greg Halman was laid to rest in his native Netherlands.
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In recently recorded history, over something like a century and encompassing thousands of players, only three active major leaguers have been murdered.
Monday, Mariners outfielder Greg Halman became the third.
The second was Angels outfielder Lyman Bostock, murdered by a stranger near the end of the 1978 season. Essentially, Boston made the mistake of happening to sit in the back seat of a car next to a woman — a woman he’d met just minutes earlier — whose estranged husband was out of his mind with jealousy. The husband pulled up next to the car and discharged a shotgun, supposedly with the intention of killing his wife but Bostock took the blast in his head and died two hours later.
The assailant’s counsel argued temporary insanity and won, and so he spent only 21 months in jail. As Bill James wrote, “The murderer, Leonard Smith, received a light sentence because, as I understand it, he was able to prove that he didn’t ordinarily kill people, but just happened to be in a particularly bad mood that day.” Smith died in 2010, having not run seriously afoul of the law in the previous three decades.
The first was Miguel Fuentes, who is the answer to another trivia question: Who was the last man to pitch for the Seattle Pilots?
Fuentes debuted with the Pilots on the 1st of September in 1969; Jim Bouton had just been traded to Houston, so Fuentes was not memorialized in Ball Four. In his third appearance and first start, Fuentes pitched a complete game and beat the White Sox, 5-1. His succeeding outings didn’t go as well, but he did finish the season — the Pilots’ first and last season, as it turned out — with one scoreless frame against the A’s in Seattle.
After the season, Fuentes returned to his native Puerto Rico. He played winter ball there. Shortly after that season ended and shortly before he would have returned to the States for spring training, Fuentes got involved in a bar fight, was shot three times, and died.
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Greg Halman was signed out of the Netherlands by the Seattle Mariners in 2004, and had been a member of their organization since then, including playing parts of the 2010 and 2011 seasons in the major leagues, until his tragic death earlier Monday. The Mariners issued the following statement:
“The Mariners family is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Greg Halman,” said Mariners Chairman Howard Lincoln, President Chuck Armstrong and General Manager Jack Zduriencik on behalf of entire Mariners organization. “Greg was a part of our organization since he was 16 and we saw him grow into a passionate young man and talented baseball player. He had an infectious smile that would greet you in the clubhouse, and he was a tremendous teammate. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Greg’s family.”
We await further developments in the investigation of Greg Halman’s death in his home country, the Netherlands, earlier Monday.
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“Today Major League Baseball mourns the passing of Greg Halman, a member of the Seattle Mariners organization since 2004. Greg reached the Major Leagues in each of the last two seasons, hitting his first career home run on June 15th of this year. Greg proudly represented the Netherlands in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, and he was a participant in MLB International’s grassroots clinics in Europe, as recently as earlier this month.
“The loss of a talented 24-year-old young man like Greg, amid such tragic circumstances, is painful for all of us throughout the game. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to the entire Mariners organization and to all those whose lives were touched by Greg.”
There’s no further news regarding the circumstances, or the earlier reported arrest of Halman’s brother in connection with Halman’s death.