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Ms. Marcelle Tessier
|Marcelle Tessier, Memories of Steve Oats - March 16, 2021
Steve Oats bled vermilion and white. He loved UL almost as much as he loved Sylvia. And then, there was baseball.
I met Steve close to 30 years ago when we became seat neighbors at the old “Tigue” Moore Field near the Cajun Cooking Club behind first base. You can learn a lot about a person during a baseball game. Some people say the game is too slow. That’s what I like about it - you get to know someone watching baseball together.
And the Steve I came to know was caring, kind and generous, devoted, loyal and loving on many levels. In the years when UL advanced to post-season play, he always got us tickets (if we couldn’t find them ourselves) and made sure we were there whenever possible. In 2007 he flew me back from the Texas A & M regional in his plane with other fans. He didn’t have to do that. But he did.
Baseball is a spiritual experience and Steve was a spiritual person. His faith was part of his life, and it was reflected in the passion and enthusiasm that he had for UL baseball. And his family. And his work. And his religion. And his camp in Vermilion Parish. And a good duck hunt. Or a bad duck hunt. He saw God in all things.
His joy at the ballpark was contagious and almost child-like. From the exhilaration of a home run to the bitter disappointment of an agonizing loss, he loved the Ragin Cajuns and their coaches. That stayed constant through thick and thin, rain or shine, hot or cold, wins and losses.
We are left to carry on without his constant “Hey Pitcher, Hey Pitcher” yells when he wanted to distract the opponent (which was always). Ragging the umps was part of his job at the ballpark and he did it well. And he always sang the UL fight song in the ninth, without checking the words on the scoreboard.
There are no errors in God’s world but I really feel like he missed it by taking Steve too soon. But Steve would be the first to point out the inconsistencies of a faith that is weak. Just like he always was patient with me regarding the merits of artificial turf over real grass.
So now we experience a season without Steve’s presence. It’s a heartbreaker, but like artificial turf, it’s here to stay. And as I remember all the good times, I am reminded that we always have those memories. That never leaves. That makes me grateful. It was a gift. And we are blessed.
As we honor Steve we remember the laughter and the tears, the fun and the fears, the incredible highs and the heartbreaking lows. And we do what he would insist we do.
Let’s play ball!
And remember our friend on our field of dreams.
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This is the 32nd year that Marcelle and her younger son Brennan Billeaud have been watching UL baseball, together. They are both UL graduates.
Her husband Robert Billeaud and son Stuart Billeaud continue to build projects at UL (and elsewhere) through their construction company JB Mouton, LLC.
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To view Steve Oats' Special Fan Page,
please click the following sequence:
History of UL Athletics (left, home page);
Special Fans (in alphabetical menu);
Stephen "Steve" Oats (in listing); then,
Scroll down for the three sections of Steve's Special Fan Page.
|Friend Of Athletic Network (FAN):|| 2021|
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