MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Growing up in Minnesota, Glen Perkins knows just how special the All-Star Game is.
“This was a pipe dream a long time ago,” he said. “You always want to pitch in an All-Star game or be in an All-Star game, whatever. You never think that the timing would work out that you get to be at your home stadium and represent your home team, a team that I grew up cheering for.”
As he kid, he idolized Kent Hrbek, Frank Viola, and Eddie Guardado, because they were also lefties.
He was 8 when he watched his hometown Twins win the World Series in 1991.
But if you’d told 8-year-old Perkins he’d be doing what he’s doing Tuesday?
“I would have said, ‘No chance,'” he said.
Growing up in Hawaii, about as far from big league baseball as it gets, Kurt Suzuki would’ve told you the same thing.
“You know, there wasn’t a lot of games televised in Hawaii,” he said.
He looked up to another catcher who grew up on an island — Pudge Rodriguez, the 14-time All-Star from Puerto Rico. Now he’s got something else in common: He would go to the field after going to the beach.
“It was just something that, I figured, I might as well do it, keeps me in shape,” Suzuki said. “Who knows what would have happened, and it kind of led me to where I am today. Crazy, crazy thing.”
Not exactly the Hawaiian beach here in Minnesota, but he did bring a little bit of home with him. Suzuki’s parents are both in town.
Lots of Perkins’ family is in town as well. He’ll have about 30 relatives at the game, and he got a suite so they’ll all sit together.