“It’s earth-shattering. I don't know how else to describe it. I keep waiting to wake up and find out it's a bad, bad dream and unfortunately, it’s very real."

PLUM, Pa. (KDKA) – Plum mayoral candidate Shawn Marcellino died suddenly after collapsing during a softball game Tuesday night.

“To know Shawn was to love Shawn. I honestly don’t know anyone who did not love him,” said Michael Devine, Marcellino’s longtime friend and Plum school board president.

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Devine said Marcellino started feeling chest pains while playing in the game and he eventually collapsed. Marcellino’s family said the 40-year-old had a ruptured aorta.

Marcellino’s family said in a statement, in part:

“What started off as any other softball game, quickly took a bad turn. Briefly complaining of chest pains, he sat down to let the feeling pass. Once it was realized he had collapsed, both teams sprinted to try to help him. Going in and out of consciousness until the ambulance arrived, there was nothing more anyone could have done. He had a ruptured aorta. Shawn died doing what he loved, and his last at bat was recorded as a hit.”

“It’s earth-shattering. I don’t know how else to describe it. I keep waiting to wake up and find out it’s a bad, bad dream and unfortunately, it’s very real,” Devine said.

Marcellino was known for being a great guy and someone who was always there for others.

“Fun, loving, always smiling, always laughing,” Devine said.

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Marcellino had a passion for softball and played for a handful of teams every year. On Tuesday night, he was playing for the Living Word Church team. A church member made a cross with softball bats and put it behind home plate at the church’s field.

“He was playing six, seven days a week. He loved it. He loved the sport, comes to watch my kids play softball all the time. He just loved being around the game,” Devine said.

Marcellino was also passionate about campaigning in hopes of becoming the next mayor of Plum. He was the Democratic nominee, running against Republican Mayor Harry Schlegel.

“He wanted to serve his community. He wanted to do what was right for the community. He wanted everyone in Plum to be represented and everyone in Plum to have a voice,” Devine said.

Memories of Marcellino on the baseball field, on the campaign trail, and anywhere with loved ones will not be forgotten.

“He was always the first one to show up to a party, last one to leave. He was there for everybody at the drop of a hat,” Devine said.

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”Shawn joined our church softball team in May. He was a very nice addition to our team. We were all devastated by what happened but thankful that he was part of our community softball team for a season. We also appreciated Shawn’s commitment to community service running for Plum Mayor,” Pastor Allan from the Living Word Church told KDKA.