Softball tournament has new meaning after officer's death -

Softball tournament has new meaning after officer's death

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

(KMOV) -- There’s a big hole on a softball team in this weekend’s “Guns and Hoses” charity tournament.

Paul Fricke was supposed to play to catcher at the tournament, but he died Friday in a single car wreck. Missouri Highway Patrol said he ran off the right side of the road, over-corrected to the left side and struck the pole.

Fricke’s number 58 jersey was hung in the dugout as a reminder that they are down one man. Chief Ron MacKnight said it changed the meaning of the game for those involved.

“Today’s game certainly has a different meaning to it,” MacKnight said. “We lost one of our brothers in blue yesterday.”

But the games went on, and it’s the way Fricke would have wanted it, according to Kevin Harrison.

“Paul’s response would’ve been, ‘Let’s play ball,’ ” Harrison said. “So the guys rallied and they’re here.”

Fricke’s team lost their first game, but won their next three to take home the tournament trophy.

Proceeds from the tournament go toward building a new shelter for stray and homeless animals.

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