Media outlets are reporting that Dallas Green has passed away. He was 82.
The name might not be familiar.
In Philadelphia, he’s most remembered as what sportswriter Frank Fitzpatrick described as “the bearish, blustering, boom box-throated manager who in 1980 whipped a talented but complacent Phillies team to the franchise’s first world championship.”
In Arizona, he’s known – as least to me – as a grief stricken grandfather, a man who broke my heart with a short, simple, gut-wrenching expression of sorrow over the murder of 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, one of six people killed and 13 wounded at the 2011 attack in Tucson that nearly killed former Rep. Gabby Giffords.
She was his granddaughter.
Green was serving as senior adviser to the Philadelphia Phillies general manager when the attack occurred.
The anguish that followed, the pain, the desolation, the misery of her loss was like a great weight on his shoulders, weighing him down, making the bearish, blustering former manager seem frail. Old.
He said of his granddaughter, “That was a wonderful little gal.”
Nothing else needed to be said.
Later, when the crime was sorted out that it was learned that the gunman’s weapon used a high-capacity magazine to fire 31 shots in 15 seconds he was asked about the availability of such firepower.
He said, “I don’t have a Glock or whatever it is, and I don’t have a magazine with 33 bullets in it. That doesn’t make sense for me to be able to sell those kinds of things. I guess I never thought about it until this happened. What reason is there to have those kinds of guns other than to kill people? I just don’t understand that.”
Neither do I.
Neither do a lot of people.
Most of us understand loss, however. We can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a child. Or to live with that loss for years.
The faithful among us will find some small solace in Green’s passing, I suppose, believing that “a wonderful little gal” now has her grandpa with her.
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