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Green, Arizona shooting victims honored

Green, Arizona shooting victims honored

Green, Arizona shooting victims honored
PHOENIX -- John Green said his daughter, Christina-Taylor Green, would have been right here at Chase Field on Tuesday, watching the 82nd All-Star Game with rapt attention.

"Oh, she definitely would have been here," Green said. "This is definitely right down her alley."

Christina, 9, the granddaughter of former Major League pitcher, manager and executive Dallas Green, was the youngest of six victims shot and killed in a Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson, Ariz. On Tuesday night, a moment of silence was held for victims of the tragedy, and the names of those lost were shown on the giant scoreboard in center field.

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In a moving pregame ceremony, John Green and his wife, Roxanna, were escorted by All-Star managers Bruce Bochy and Ron Washington to home plate, where they delivered the lineup card.


"It was very emotional, but it was a fitting place to honor our daughter and the other families who lost people in the Tucson tragedy," John Green told MLB.com while sitting behind the first-base dugout along with Roxanna and their son, Dallas. "Our baseball community got behind us. We always felt that, but one thing, it showed the other families how good the baseball industry is at taking care of people. We appreciate it. It meant a lot to us for our son to be here. Christina would have loved to have been here."

"We're very honored to be here," Roxanna added.

During the pregame ceremony, Daniel Hernandez, the local hero who helped save the life of U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords during the shooting, threw out the ceremonial first pitch along with Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Garagiola.

"The whole week, actually, having my son and wife involved, was special," said John Green, a Dodgers scout. "We're with Danny Hernandez again, who was with us for the State of the Union address, and all of the events that surrounded the Tucson tragedy. It was nice seeing other people who went through all of that. It's kind of a healing thing.

"We still miss our daughter unbelievably. One of the things we didn't want is for people to forget. Maybe they learned whatever lessons you can learn from these things."

The Greens asked people to continue to help The Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation by visiting Christina-TaylorGreen.org.

"Anyone who wants to contribute or buy the merchandise we have for sale there, they have to reach out to the website," Roxanna said.

"Christina is kind of our beacon of hope, born on 9/11, and then she passed away during this tragedy," John said. "But with her foundation we are running, we are doing things helping those less fortunate -- things she would have been involved with. Helping school children with all the budget cuts and things like that, we're trying to give back to the community in that way. That's something Christina would have been proud of."

The Greens said they especially enjoyed the ceremony, because of what it meant to little Dallas.

"They were nice," John said of Bochy and Washington. "It's not often you get a chance to be around that gang. And they were a little looser than they would be normally, during an All-Star Game. To have my son down there, and Andre Ethier came up, and he's wearing Christina's bracelet. I didn't know he was wearing it. That was pretty special. He's an Arizonan, so he understands, and he's a Dodger, so he knows what we went through."

Bochy said after the game that the lineup-card ceremony was "pretty emotional" for him and Washington.

"It breaks your heart what happened," he said. "It was a beautiful young girl, and for her family to go through that, it was emotional for everybody. The players were talking about it, so it was nice to have them out there, and I told them that it was a special moment, I thought, but a very tough moment, for us and for the family."

With a giant U.S. flag unfurled in the outfield, Arizona's own Jordin Sparks delivered a stunning national anthem, befitting a 2007 "American Idol" winner.

"I get nervous every time I sing the national anthem. That and 'American Idol' make you nervous," said Sparks, just back from touring. "The national anthem is a song that everyone knows, and they'll know if you mess up. It's definitely a lot of pressure. But it's such an honor to be able to sing it, as well, because it's the nation's song."

Taylor Sturges, 17, representing the Metropolitan Phoenix Boys & Girls Clubs of America, had the honor of delivering the game ball for Roy Halladay to throw the first pitch. Since 2005, a lucky B&GCA youth has been able to handle that assignment.

"I'm amazed and I'm so honored to be here," she said. "This is my first All-Star Game ever. I brought my little brother and all my family, so I'm really excited."

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. You also can leave comments on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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