Nathan Linseman isn’t playing baseball in Australia just for himself or just for his team.
He is dedicating his time there to a late friend and his mourning family.
Linseman is requesting to wear jersey No. 14 for the Northern District Reds. The number was worn by fellow baseball standout Karri Oksanen, who was recently killed after being hit by a truck in Guelph.
The two were pals.
“I will be living and playing for two over there,” says Linseman. “I will ask to wear Karri’s No. 14 and have his family in my thoughts and prayers the whole trip.”
Linseman and Oksanen grew up playing hockey and baseball together.
“Me and him kind of followed the same path in life. We played baseball all the way up through. He went to the States, I went to the States. So we were always connected with that, you know, baseball bond,” says Linseman.
His mom and Oksanen’s mom are great friends and regularly go for walks together, says Linseman. The loss has been a tough one to take.
“It’s terrible, terrible news. He was a great guy, and obviously everyone is going to keep him alive in their thoughts,” Linseman says.