|2/8/2019 1:39:00 PM|
A person who will be missed
|When I met Paul Lagen a few years ago I knew what was forming was a special friendship.|
Paul had just written a book about baseball. Because names were changed the book had to be listed as fiction but everything except the names was a true story. Another friend of mine, Ron Kading, read the book which led to the team featured in the book being honored by the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association at their Hall of Fame banquet three years ago.
On February 1st I received the following message from Craig Crogan, son of Eli Crogan, who was a teammate of Paul's when the high school team they played on made the state tournament three of their four high school years.
"Paul Lagan, author of "The Amazing Story of the Kickapoo Kids" passed away last night. Member of one of the greatest high school baseball teams, three time state tournament participant, Gays Mills HS."
When the team was honored at by the WBCA I wanted to know more about that magical run so I bought the book and got in touch with Paul. I met with him and talked with him several times. The book brought back many memories about that team in the late 1950s which seemed to create a real spark in the small communities around Gays Mills that, if only for a moment, reminded us of all that was good.
More remarkable than the book was the man who wrote it. As I got to know him I found a man who loved baseball but more importantly he loved people and loved the Lord. You could say without question he was one of the finest people I have ever met.
I loved following the Kickapoo Kids as they received the admiration they so deserved but more than that I loved reconnecting with Eli Crogan and Larry McGinley who I have known for years while getting to know Paul.
I learned you don't have to go very far to find great people who live life the right way. I feel blessed to have been able to witness their teamwork both in the book and in life.
Paul, I will miss you. Thank you for making my life better. Rest in peace.
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