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Monday, January 10, 2011
Updated: January 18, 5:17 PM ET
Dallas Green: 'Worst thing to happen'

ESPN.com news services

Nothing in Dallas Green's decades of big league experience could have prepared him for the shooting death of his young granddaughter.

Green was spending time at his Caribbean home in Turks and Caicos when he learned of the 9-year-old's passing, according to a New York Daily News report.

"It's pretty hard," Green told the Daily News on Sunday. "We're all hurting pretty bad."

Christina-Taylor Green was shot and killed Saturday by a gunman outside a grocery store in Tucson, Ariz.

She had gone to see Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was meeting with constituents. Giffords was among 13 people wounded in the shooting that killed six people, including Arizona's chief federal judge and an aide for the Democratic lawmaker. Giffords remained in critical condition Monday after taking a single gunshot wound to the head at point-blank range.

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama led a national moment of silence to honor the victims Monday from Washington at 11 a.m. ET. A moment of silence will also be held before Monday night's Tostitos BCS National Championship Game between Auburn and Oregon in Glendale, Ariz.

Dallas Green and his wife were traveling to be with family in Arizona on Sunday.

Green felt the highest of highs as manager of the World Series-winning 1980 Philadelphia Phillies. And he was no stranger to career lows, having been fired by George Steinbrenner in 1989 after less than one season at the helm for the New York Yankees.

Green, a tough guy throughout his career known for a gruff and direct manner, told the Daily News he had seen the news of the shootings on TV and "didn't make any connection" that his grandaughter might have been in the area.

Green, 76, said his wife had then phoned their son and returned to the room in tears.

"They shot our beautiful Christina," she said, according to Green.

Christina-Taylor Green's father, John Green, was recently promoted by the Dodgers to the position of a national crosschecker, overseeing amateur prospects. His daughter had just been elected to the student council in her elementary school and had been invited to meet Giffords at her community gathering.

John Green told the Arizona Daily Star that she had become interested in politics from a young age. She also played second base on her Little League baseball team.

"I can't believe this could happen to any 9-year-old child, much less our own," Dallas Green said.

"The worst thing to ever happen to us."

Green issued a statement Sunday through Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., whom Green works for as an adviser.

"This is such a tough time for Sylvia and I and for John and Roxanna and little Dallas," Green said of his wife, son and their family. "We thank everybody from the bottom of our hearts for their friendship, thoughts and prayers, especially the Phillies and our extended family in baseball. Somehow we will get through this, but right now our little 9-year-old granddaughter is not here and we're having a hard time with that."

Hal Steinbrenner, managing general partner of the Yankees, issued a statement.

"The Steinbrenner family and the New York Yankees organization join the entire nation in mourning Christina and send our deepest condolences to Dallas Green and his family as they deal with this tremendous loss," it read. "This is a tragedy that is beyond words and our thoughts and prayers are with the Green family, as well as all of the affected families."

Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Jon Weisman was used in this report.