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01/09/11 8:44 PM EST

Phils family mourning loss of their own

Granddaughter of Dallas Green among Tucson victims

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are heartbroken after learning that Saturday's senseless killings in Arizona claimed one of their own.

Dallas Green's 9-year-old granddaughter, Christina Taylor Green, was the youngest victim in the shootings in Tucson that killed six and wounded 14. Christina had gone to an event at a local supermarket with a neighbor to meet Rep. Gabrielle Giffords before she was fatally shot in the chest.

"I have a terribly heavy heart," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said on Sunday.

"I have a really empty feeling about this," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I have two grandsons and I know what they mean to me. I remember Dallas telling me how smart she was. He said she gave him a warm feeling when she was around."

Christina's father, John Green, who is a scout with the Dodgers, told the Arizona Daily Star that Christina had been elected to the student council at her school and was interested in politics at an early age.

"She came in on a tragedy and she left on a tragedy," John Green said in a television interview, referring to Christina's birth on Sept. 11, 2001.

"I just can't even put it into words," mother Roxanna Green told FOX News. "I can't express the devastation and hurt and how we were so robbed of our beautiful, beautiful princess. ... Her light shines on all of us today and forever.

"I'm just trying to be positive and strong because that's what Christina would want."

Dallas Green issued a statement through the Phillies on Sunday.

"This is such a tough time for Sylvia and I and for John and Roxanna and little Dallas," Green said in the statement. "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 nine-year-old granddaughter is not here and we're having a hard time with that."

Phillies president David Montgomery issued a statement: "The Phillies organization expressed 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."

Amaro said he learned of the news from Astros general manager Ed Wade, who had heard the young girl shot might have been Green's granddaughter. Amaro immediately called Dallas Green, who confirmed the terrible news.

Dallas Green managed the Phillies to their first World Series championship in 1980. He currently works in the front office as an adviser to Amaro.

"I can't believe our princess is gone," Green told Amaro.

Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon expressed his condolences. Green managed the Mets from 1993-96.

"Our thoughts and condolences go out to Dallas, his wife Sylvia, the entire Green family and everybody impacted by this tragedy," Wilpon said in a statement.

The Arizona Daily Star said Christina already had told her parents she wanted to attend Penn State and have a career that involved helping people less fortunate than her.

"We are so blessed. We have the best life," Christina often told her mother.

Christina, keeping true to her baseball roots, was the only girl on her Little League team. Christina had one sibling, an 11-year-old brother, Dallas.

"She kept up with everyone, she was a strong girl, a very good athlete and a strong swimmer," Roxanna Green told the newspaper. "She was interested in everything. She got a guitar for Christmas, so her next thing was learning to play guitar."

"It's a sad day for our entire organization and our country," Amaro said.

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