Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Sunday's 10-5 victory over the St. Augusta Gussies was bittersweet for the Kimball Express. Painted on either side of home plate were Brett Thompson's initials and uniform number, 24. Hanging on one wall of the ball field were his home and away jerseys. And each of the Kimball players wore stickers that read "24 BT". Just past 7:30 Wednesday morning, July 16, Thompson was on his way to his summer internship with the Department of Natural Resources in Hutchinson. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Thompson was driving his 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix southward on Highway 15 near Dassel. He crossed the center lane, for reasons not yet known, and collided head-on with a 2007 International semi-truck driven by Sally Jaeger, 51, of Richmond. Jaeger was not injured in the crash. Thompson was taken to St. Cloud Hospital, then transferred to Hennepin County Medical Center where he died. Express team manager Tom Marquardt said a few words in Thompson's behalf before their Sunday game. After the game, the Express attended Thompson's reviewal as a team. Many were able to attend his funeral Monday morning at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Annandale. Thompson was 21. He graduated from Annandale High School in 2005, had recently finished his third year at Minnesota State University Marshall, and had played with the Kimball Express (amateur baseball team) for the past two years. The Express play again this Sunday, Aug. 26, in a 2 p.m. matchup with either Pearl Lake or St. Augusta, whichever wins their playoff game this week. The Express will take the field minus one player ... gone but not forgotten. "24, B.T."