MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s not just the baseball stars who are going to get the chance to shine in both Monday and Tuesday night’s games.
Among the many other players in the game are the umpires and one happens to be a local.
Jeff Nelson wanted this assignment.
The kid from Cottage Grove, Minn. had an opportunity to come home and celebrate his career, and he took it.
Nelson has worked for moments such as these. Moments when you get a call to tell you you’re working the All-Star game in your home state.
“It’s an assignment that I kind of put the bug in my boss’s ear [about], because sometimes they give the nod to guys in their home towns,” Nelson said.
He is a veteran at his craft and well respected.
And now, he will continue to thrive in his career as he, like the players, enjoys the honor of participating in the 2014 MLB All-Star Game.
“It’s fun in a different way, and you don’t know how it’s going to be different until you kind of go through it. Now, instead of fighting to just get up like you’re a swimmer, and get above water, you want to stay above water,” Nelson said.
In addition to celebration, this week is also a time for pause.
Nelson is seven years removed from treatment for testicular cancer.
He’s beaten it, but it’s not lost on him that he’s fortunate.
“If you’re going to have a type of cancer, testicular cancer is one of the good ones to have. I say that in quotes,” Nelson said. “I’m very thankful. I’m very fortunate to have gotten through that.”
So, he will take his place at Target Field Tuesday night excited and hopeful that a “replay” call won’t come his way.
“I’m hoping not to. I’m hoping not to…have a replay and go to the headsets,” Nelson said.
Nelson will work first base Tuesday night.