MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — So many of the players on the All-Star team are familiar to Minnesota fans. One of them is not only a former Twin, but he grew up here, too.
Pat Neshek cut his teeth as a middle reliever for the Minnesota Twins, with his strange and effective delivery.
He is back home, but what a road he has traveled to get here. Neshek is pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals and the National League.
“It’s hard to put into words, you know. It’s something you dream of, especially to be here,” Neshek said. “It’s pretty amazing.”
It has not come easy. Injuries and trips to the minor leagues left doubt, which is what makes this week so special.
“The older you get … the game itself is just hard to stick around in,” he said. “I had success early in my career and then, you know, to get hurt and keep pushing at it in Triple-A, you know, just doing those bus rides, that kills a lot of guys.”
He’s found a team that needs what he does, and in that he takes comfort.
“They treated me like a veteran from day one, and I pitched well for them early on and I made the team,” Neshek said. “Everything they’ve said, they’ve been straight forward with.”
This spring, his wife gave birth to a baby boy. They had lost their first son in the fall of 2013, just one day after he was boen.
“That was the toughest year of my life,” Neshek said. “And then for Hoyt to come along now, he’s such a joy.”
This year is definitely one that the Nesheks will cherish.