Tribute to ‘Laney’ would have surprised the murdered baseball rising star

It was the sporting field where Chris Lane’s baseball dreams began, and where at 1.45pm on Sunday, hundreds of friends, family and teammates held a minute’s silence in his memory.

A tribute game was held at the ground – the Strathmore Heights headquarters of his former club the Essendon Baseball Club – to honour ”Laney”, the popular 22-year-old shot dead last week in Duncan, Oklahoma.

”We’ve had sensational support here and in the States,” grieving father Peter Lane said, ”but it’s support for the worst possible reason.”

The Lane family was joined by the murdered baseball player’s American girlfriend, Sarah Harper, and her parents and brother. Ms Harper accompanied her boyfriend’s body back from the US on Saturday.

Mr Lane said his son would have been amazed at the media coverage. ”A front page calling him a baseball star!” he said. ”He would have had a huge laugh at that because it’s the last thing he would have seen himself as. … But he also would have been surprised at how many people have said such nice things about him.”

”He was a kid who loved his footy, loved his baseball, loved being around his teammates,” Essendon club vice-president Steve Morris said.

At 1.50pm, a mass of black and red balloons were released, each bearing the Chris Lane number 40.

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