ORO VALLEY, Ariz. —
"I think that's how she started forming her ideas," he said. "Unfortunately on Jan. 8 this year she lost her life. She's up there with God right now."
He also said he was proud of how Tucson came together after the shooting, much like the country came together after 9-11.
"We're very grateful that Christina meant as much to her community as she did to us," John Green said. "It's very humbling to look out and see what an impact our daughter has made in nine short years."
He and his family held each other in tears as they took in the statue for the first time before his son Dallas threw out the first pitch.
Before the unveiling, the family sat in the front row on the field as bagpipes played in the waning light of day. Christina-Taylor's mother, Roxanna, wiped tears away.
"It was very moving and touching for us both. We had goosebumps," Roxanna Green said. We're very proud and honored and pleased."
Ward, Christina-Taylor's coach, said he will always remember her as a no-nonsense, competitive player who had the team's most RBIs and became a leader for the other players — even though they were all boys.
Today, there are eight girls in the league, up from three last year. "I read that as Christina might have been a little inspiration," he said.
"In many ways, she led by example, being able to show the boys how to make a play, how to work hard, and she also led with her character," Ward said. "She was the first one to straighten out a rough issue. If there was an argument, she was like, 'C'mon guys, let's play ball.'"