Greg Halman, a Seattle Mariners outfielder, was stabbed to death early Monday in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, police said. His brother has been arrested and is being questioned as a suspect.
The brothers had been involved in an argument about music being played too loud, according to Rotterdam Police press officer Patricia Wessels. She declined to release the brother’s name.
According to Maarten Kolsloot, a Dutch baseball journalist, the brother is 22-year-old Jason Halman.
Police got a call shortly after 5:30 a.m. Monday from a female friend Halman was staying with, Wessels said. When they arrived at the apartment, they found the friend and Halman, 24, who was bleeding from a stab wound. Police and paramedics tried to save his life, but he died at the scene, Wessels said.
Halman had been in the apartment above with his friend, Wessels said. Some time during the night he went down to the apartment below, where his brother lived, to complain about loud music.
Jason Halman was arrested later “in the street,” Wessels said.
Wessels said police were investigating the apartment and questioning Halman’s friend and parents.
Kolsloot is writing a book about Dutch baseball, prompted by Holland’s winning the IBAF Baseball World Cup last month. One chapter, titled “The New Dutch Baseball Star,” is about Greg Halman.
“Everyone I know in Dutch baseball says Greg and Jason were extremely close, very good friends,” Kolsloot said. “When I talked to Greg this summer, the way he talked about Jason was very loving and caring.”
The brothers’ father is Eddy Halman, a past slugger on the Dutch baseball team who was born in Aruba, a former Dutch colony, Kolsloot said. The brothers were “tough guys” who had similar talent levels, Kolsloot said. He said Greg had described their relationship with their father as one of “tough love.”
Halman was born in the Dutch city of Haarlem, according to his page on ESPN.com. Halman was in Europe with the European Big League Tour, an initiative organized by Baltimore Orioles pitcher Rick VandenHurk – who, like Halman, is Dutch — in which major leaguers gave clinics to children, ESPN said.
Both Halmans have played on the Dutch national team, according to MLB.com. The Netherlands has one of the best baseball teams and national leagues outside the U.S.
Leander Schaerlaeckens, a Dutch-born sportswriter who met and wrote about Greg Halman earlier this year for ESPN.com, said Greg and his younger brother grew up “head over heels about baseball,” hitting balls every day, even in the winter.
He said Greg — who was covered “top to toes in tattoos” — was indistinguishable from a homegrown Major League Baseball prospect. He called Greg “affable” and “extremely confident about becoming a superstar.”
Greg had been MVP of the Dutch professional baseball league at the age of 16, and soon after he was signed by the Mariners. Schaerlaeckens said Greg started his MLB career strong, then his numbers fell off. Baseball people he interviewed concluded Greg, though talented, would probably be “nothing better than a back-up,” Schaerlaeckens said.
“This hurts,” Mike Nicotera, Halman’s agent, said in a statement, according to ESPN.
Mike Carp, a former teammate of Greg Halman’s, tweeted, “Hard to process such a tragedy. Thoughts and prayers are with the Halman and Mariners family right now. You’ll be missed, brother. Love You.”