Green remembered with laughter, tears

Memorial service draws overflowing crowd in Delaware

Green remembered with laughter, tears

In a service that alternately had hundreds of people laughing and then wiping away a tear, friends and acquaintances of Dallas Green paid their respects Saturday in the Chase Center at the Riverfront in Wilmington, Del.

Green, the Delaware native who managed the Phillies to their first World Series championship in 1980, passed away on March 22 at the age of 82.

In a poignant coincidence, the celebration of his life took place in the Christina Ballroom. Green's granddaughter, 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, was killed by a gunman trying to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011.

Green became general manager of the Cubs in 1982 and, two years later, the team reached the postseason for the first time since 1945. He also managed the Yankees and Mets. But Saturday's memorial was centered on the Phillies portion of his career, appropriate because he spent 46 of his 62 years in baseball with the organization, which originally signed him out of the University of Delaware in 1955.

Phillies chairman Dave Montgomery, lifelong friend Clyde Louth and Green's four children -- Dana, Kim, Doug and John -- all delivered touching and heartfelt remembrances. Former Phillies pitcher Dickie Noles may have delivered the best line. He noted that Green only yelled at people he liked.

"He must have really loved me," he added with a smile.

A Who's Who of Phillies baseball was part of the overflow crowd. Former owner Ruly Carpenter was there. Members of the Buck family. So was former National League president Bill White. Montgomery and chairman emeritus Bill Giles. Former president and general manager Pat Gillick. Current president Andy MacPhail, executive vice president Michael Stiles and general manager Matt Klentak. Assistant general manager Scott Proefrock. Manager Pete Mackanin.

Former managers Charlie Manuel and Lee Elia. Baseball operations staffers including Johnny Almaraz, Sal Agostinelli, Benny Looper, Charlie Kerfeld, Mike Ondo, Rob Holiday, Bryan Minniti, and Gene Schall. Ed Wade, who as general manager, brought Green back into the organization as a special assistant in 1998.

Ex-players: Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, Larry Bowa, Gary Matthews, Bob Boone, Greg Luzinski, Warren Brusstar, Dick Ruthven, Larry Andersen and Mickey Morandini.

Broadcaster Tom McCarthy and former broadcaster Chris Wheeler. Former public relations director Larry Shenk. Mets PR director Jay Horwitz. Judy Amaro-Perez.

All had been influenced by Green in some way. All honored him by their presence. And before everybody filed out, filled with memories, a fitting final song was sung. "Time to Say Goodbye."

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.