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Story Archives: Bertman remembers Falkenheiner
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|Bertman remembers Falkenheiner|
Skip Bertman earned a lot of fans as head baseball coach at LSU. Fred Falkenheiner was one of his first.
"When I came to LSU in August of 1983, I was sitting at my desk moving stuff in and it was just a day or two when my phone rang and it was Fred," Bertman remembered from his office at Tiger Athletic Foundation. "He asked me if I could come to Vidalia to speak to a service club. Everything was new to me, so I asked him where Vidalia was. He asked me if I knew where Natchez, Ms., was and I told him not really. I didn't realize it was an hour-and-a-half drive."
Bertman met Falkenheiner at a designated spot to speak to the club.
"I brought a player along to speak and it was a wonderful group," Bertman said. "I was really taken with Fred, who was passionate about LSU and about LSU baseball, which in 1983 was very rare. The question he asked me, because I had a national championship ring from the University of Miami was how long would it take us to get one of those. I said to him, 'If we can get up among the top teams, anybody can win once you get to Omaha."
Bertman became close friends with the entire Falkenheiner family.
"Fred was very forward thinking," Bertman said. "I went back to Vidalia to do clinics and other things that related to the community. I hated it when Fred became sick. He was a wonderful example of the wonderful people of Louisiana. He was a great human being with a lot of courage."
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