Friday, February 24, 2012

Pure, Unadulterated Class on Both Sides

Air Force coach praises LSU baseball fans in letter

Jim Kleinpeter, The Times Picayune By Jim Kleinpeter, The Times Picayune The Times-Picayune

Air Force baseball Coach Mike Kazlausky praised LSU baseball fans in a letter to The Advocate after his team played in Baton Rouge last weekend. Kazlausky, who played at Air Force under LSU Coach Paul Mainieri was given a pregame ovation last Friday for his 20 years a of active duty service as the pilot of a C-17 transport plane.

On Sunday, the Air Force baseball team was honored en masse between the second and third innings in LSU's tradition Sunday recognition of military servicemen. The team stood along the third base line and received a standing ovation.

The following letter from Kazlausky was published in Friday's edition of The Advocate:

"I wanted to personally thank Baton Rouge, LSU, Coach Paul Mainieri and the amazing LSU fans for the tremendous support they showed the cadets and fans from the United States Air Force Academy this past weekend. I had heard that LSU supporters were some of the best in the country, and they certainly did not disappoint.

"I can honestly say that our team will never forget the unparalleled hospitality they received while visiting your great city and institution. Giving our team the opportunity to play and compete against such talent as Paul Mainieri and the LSU baseball team, in such an unbelievable facility was an experience our players, coaches and fans won't soon forget.

"Those of us wearing Air Force blue this weekend, in a sea of purple and gold might typically feel a little bit uneasy. However, your fans seemed genuinely appreciative of the cadets at the Air Force Academy and their future service to our great nation. To receive standing ovations during the middle of a Division 1 collegiate baseball game is an experience that is difficult to put into words. Nothing in my 20-year military and coaching career could have prepared me for that response and outpouring of support.

"While we would have liked to walk out of Alex Box Stadium with a few more W's this weekend, what we did walk away with simply cannot be matched.

"You all should be very proud to be a part of such a great city and institution. Best of luck to all of you this season, and I think you may find you have a few more fans, who when not rooting for AFA will be pulling for LSU! It was Priceless! Thank You!"

Michael "Kaz" Kazlausky, head baseball coach

United States Air Force Academy

USAF Academy, Col.

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