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An evergreen memory

Zumbrota, Minn. (KTTC) --

With determination and persistence, two friends created a memorial unlike any other. Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School now has a piece of Twins history near their baseball diamond, and it's all to remember one of their own.

It was only 5 years ago that 23-year-old Patrick Gadient walked the halls of the Zumbro-Mazeppa High School. Senior Homecoming King and very well liked, many of the teachers and students still remember his bigger than life personality Now, thanks to the help of thousands of people, Patrick will never be forgotten.

"Alright Dan, you get three tries. If you don't hit it in those three tries, it's my turn," yells Bobbie Ersland, a friend of Patrick Gadient.

It's amazing the kinds of memories a bat, a ball, and a glove can bring.

"We had this guy in a rundown..."

They're the type of memories that can help ease the truly painful ones.

"Pat was either pitching or playing first base, I don't remember which."

Patrick Gadient was still in his baseball prime when he died this February in a car accident, just a few months before his wedding with his high school sweetheart.

"We always threw together before games, in warm ups. We'd always argue about who got the fence because Pat loved throwing a split-finger fastball," remembers Ersland.

Pat's friends knew just how they were going to remember him.

"The reason we would like to receive a spruce tree from Target Field is so it can be planted in memory of Pat Gadient," explains Dan Flaaen.

One month and several thousand votes later.

"They won by a landslide"

A piece of Target Field's inaugural season is now the symbol of a Twins fan taken too soon.

"You feel like the tree is Pat, and so you feel like he's never going to stop playing baseball here," says Flaaen.

"Did you want me to bring the heat, or like a curve ball?"

And as new generations of baseball players take to this field, a towering symbol will be as present as the evergreen memory of Patrick Gadient.

The Twins transported the tree free of cost, but the digging and planting, as well as the landscaping that will come next., does cost a bit of money. If you would like to donate funds to the creation of the memorial, we have a link on our webpage at

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