FILE PHOTO: James Linger fields the ball during a baseball match in Lismore. James was a friend of Australian player Chris Lane who was shot and killed in the United States.
FILE PHOTO: James Linger fields the ball during a baseball match in Lismore. James was a friend of Australian player Chris Lane who was shot and killed in the United States. Marc Stapelberg

Murder means Grafton Dad almost glad his son was injured

THE murder of Australian baseballer Chris Lane has made a Grafton dad almost glad an injury forced his son to give up his dream of a major league baseball career.

Lane was shot in a drive-by killing last week while jogging in Duncan, Oklahoma.

Mark Linger said his son James was a friend of Lane's and had gone through the same development camps.

"James was quite friendly with Chris and heard virtually straight away what had happened," Mr Linger said.

"Both boys were the same age and knew each other quite well. James is very sad."

He said James was back in Australia after his club, the Atlanta Braves, released him in 2011 because of a persistent leg injury.

"I'm almost glad he's out of there," Mr Linger said.

"He had similar sort of thing happen when he was playing the AA league.

"One night the team was out to tea in a restaurant when a shoot-out erupted in the restaurant," he said.

"The players ran out to the car park to get in their car and get away, but the shooting began again right near their car and they had to get away and leave their car there."

He said his son was back in Australia, studying at university and playing club baseball in Lismore.



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