HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
July 2, 2007

Can’t believe it’s been five years

By Aaron Schultz

This past Saturday, June 30, we (the Winsted Wildcats) weren’t scheduled to have a game.

Although, we were looking to get a game sometime this past week. Otherwise, we would have gone a full two weeks without playing, which is way too long.

Then, earlier this spring, Mayer manager Harley Baumann called and asked if we could reschedule our game with them, which was supposed to be played Sunday, June 10.

Harley had gotten the Blazers into the Hamburg tournament, and were going to be playing in Hamburg that Sunday if we would reschedule.

Well, it all worked out, we were able to get a game this week, avoided playing the Sunday after Winstock, and the Blazers were able to play in that tournament.

At first, looking at the new schedule, which had us playing in Mayer June 30, I didn’t notice it.

But, after thinking about it, it all came back to me, and hit me like a ton of bricks.

Just five years ago, on the morning of Sunday, June 30, my grandfather, Marceal LaMott, passed away at the Glencoe hospital.

Grandpa had been battling illness for a little while, and he passed away that morning.

I’ll never forget the week leading up to that fateful morning, seeing him in his hospital bed, and having the whole family together in the waiting room.

The Saturday night before, I was at my parents’ place, and remember the phone ringing during the early morning hours of Sunday.

Then the news came to me and my brother, our grandfather had passed away.

It was a very, very sad morning.

That morning, we headed over to my grandparents’ place in Silver Lake, gave my grandma (Nettie) a big hug, and just sat in disbelief.

Well, after awhile of sitting and telling stories about my grandfather, it was time to get dressed and head to Mayer.

You see, I, along with my brother Cullen, and our cousin Dan LaMott, were playing with the Wildcats, while my father (Chuck Schultz) managed.

We weren’t planning on going to the game, with the death of my grandfather and all, but my mother (Marceal’s daughter) encouraged us to go.

She told me later that she thought it would be the best way for all of us to get our minds off the passing of grandpa.

Besides, she said she and her brother (David LaMott) would like to come to the game and get out of the house.

So, Cullen, Dan, Chuck, and myself all headed to the game.

And we all started, which wasn’t too common back then, at least for me anymore.

I remember playing third, and everything just seemed to be moving in slow motion.

Although my movements, even at that time, some may say were in slow motion anyways.

It turned out to be a very good day on the diamond, as we topped Mayer 19-5, and Cullen hit his first, and only home run of the season.

In fact, he hit the home run as my mom and uncle were walking in to the park.

Thinking back, I don’t think I have ever had a bigger smile on my face at a baseball game than I did after Cullen hit that home run.

Sure, I was pretty happy the times we made it to state, or a handful of other times I can think of that were good times on the field.

Still, when Cullen hit that bomb, I couldn’t get that smile off my face.

Turns out the correct saying should be “mother knows best”, because going to the game, and playing, was the best medicine for me to help me deal with my grandfather’s death.

After the game was over, we all got together, had a few cold ones, and reminisced about my grandpa.

If it wasn’t for playing baseball, I don’t know what I would have done the long day after my grandpa passed to heaven, but I know I wouldn’t have been able to take my mind off him, even for a little bit.

And now, five years later, the Wildcats, with Cullen, Danny, and myself, headed back to Mayer June 30 to battle the Blazers.

A lot of stuff has happened in the five years since Marceal has passed, but one thing hasn’t changed, nor will it ever.

My grandpa was a great guy, someone I loved with all my heart, and still dearly miss.

To this day, I’ll randomly run into someone who knew Marceal, and they’ll go off telling stories about him for the longest time.

And I’m sure he is up in heaven telling stories himself to whoever will listen, and I know he takes some breaks from his storytelling to look down on his family and smile.

Grandpa, you are missed and remembered by many, especially your grandchildren.

We all love you!