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Dallas Green’s granddaughter killed in Arizona

Her smiling infant photo in a 2002 book about 9-11 babies, like the terrible irony of her short life's span, is now almost too painful to contemplate.

Her smiling infant photo in a 2002 book about 9-11 babies, like the terrible irony of her short life's span, is now almost too painful to contemplate.

Christina-Taylor Green, the dark-eyed, energetic granddaughter of former Phillies manager Dallas Green, existed in the brief interlude between two great American tragedies.

Born just hours after the horrific attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the 9-year-old was killed Saturday in the Arizona massacre in which a Congresswoman was critically injured and five others, including a federal judge, slain.

"She liked having that birthday," her mother, Roxanna, recalled in a Sunday telephone interview, "She thought it was a holiday when she was little. We had to set her straight."

In "Faces of Hope: Babies Born on 9-11," a book by Pennsylvanian Christine Pisana Naman that spotlighted one child from each state, a wishful quote accompanied the black-and-white photo of the then-tiny girl. "I hope," it read, "you see rainbows."

The youngest of two children of Green's son, John, she was among 20 people shot by a lone gunman at a Tucson shopping-center meeting sponsored by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

The third-grader at Mesa Verde Elementary School had gone to the event with a neighbor because she had recently been elected to the student council and already had an interest in politics, authorities said. The neighbor was shot four times but survived.

"It seemed like such a good idea," her mother said. "We never imagained anything like this could happen."

According to the Pima County Sheriff's Department, the girl died shortly after she was transported to University Medical Center. Authorities are expected to charge Jared Lee Loughner, an apparently disturbed 22-year-old Arizonan who never finished high school, was expelled from a Tucson-area college and was rejected by the military.

"All this hate," said Roxanna Green. "It needs to stop."

Her shooting quickly became a flash point for some of the sorrow and anger that followed the latest gun-related horror. Internet chat rooms were abuzz with talk of the child's death and at least three Facebook pages honoring Green were created, attracting tens of thousands of visitors and countless expressions of condolence.

"The earth is a sadder place and weeps for the loss of this young girl and the promise she could have brought to this world. Rest in peace," read a typical message posted by someone who identified herself as Candy Coupon.

Not surprisingly, given her pedigree, the death of the 9-year-old who was born in Maryland also was felt in the baseball community.

Her grandfather, still a senior adviser for the team, is a baseball lifer who guided the Phillies to their first world championship in 1980. Her father, meanwhile, is the Los Angeles Dodgers' East Coast scouting supervisor.

The elder Green, 76, who lives in West Grove, was en route to Arizona and could not immediately be reached for comment. Earlier, he had spoken with the New York Daily News.

"It's pretty hard," Green said before he and wife Sylvia departed a Caribbean resort to be with their family. "We're all hurting pretty bad. I can't believe this could happen to any 9-year old child, much less our own."

Green said he learned of his granddaughter's fate when, after seeing news of the shooting on TV, his wife phoned their son.

Known for his booming voice and a willingness to confront players, Green also managed the Mets and Yankees. He began his baseball career as a pitcher with the Phillies, compiling a 20-22 record in eight mediocre big-league seasons, including six with Philadelphia.

He then took a job in the organization, became GM Paul Owens' most trusted aide and, when Danny Ozark was fired in 1979, took over as manager.

Green left to become the Cubs' GM in 1981, but after unsuccessful managerial stints with the two New York clubs, returned to work again in the Phillies front office, where he now serves as a senior adviser to GM Ruben Amaro Jr.

"I have a terribly heavy heart," Amaro said Sunday.

In a prepared statement, Phillies president David Montgomery said:

"The Phillies organization expresses our heartfelt condolences to Dallas and Sylvia and the entire Green family on the senseless, tragic loss of Christina's life. She was a talented young girl with a bright promising future. Her untimely death weighs heavily on our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families affected by yesterday's horrific shooting."

Similar sentiments came from the Dodgers.

"We lost a member of the Dodgers family today," said owner Frank McCourt in a statement. "The entire Dodgers organization is mourning the death of John's daughter Christina, and will do everything we can to support John, his wife Roxana and their son Dallas in the aftermath of this senseless tragedy."

In keeping with that heritage, Christina had played baseball, too, being a second baseman and the only girl on her Little League team, according to an uncle, Greg Segalini.

Segalini said the youngster, whose older brother, Dallas, is 11, also took ballet lessons, loved pets and was an excellent student. She recently made her first communion, he said, already was planning to attend Penn State and hoped to be able "to help people in some way."