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Jeff Schultz's No. 24 Hudson River Rats jersey hangs on the fence in the Rats dugout during a game against the Bay City Bombers July 26. Schultz, who played for the River Rats since the team's inception in 2000, died 11 days earlier at his home in New Brighton, Minn., at the age of 38. Bob Burrows photo

Fallen teammate drives Rats' run to state

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Before the Hudson River Rats take the field for the opener of the Wisconsin Baseball Association State Championship Tournament Friday night, August 14 in Haugen, Rats' manager Chris LaBreche will unfold a neatly-pressed No. 24 Rats' jersey and hang it in the team's dugout.

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LaBreche has performed the ritual before every Rats game since July 15. That's the day original Rats' player Jeff Schultz died at the age of 38.

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Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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