MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When Pat Neshek found out he’ll be making his All-Star debut in his hometown, he was understandably emotional.
“I just shook my head there for a while,” the former Twins player and current Cardinals reliever said. “I couldn’t believe it. It meant a lot to me.”
As it turns out, his little brother will be preparing the field. Paul Neshek is on the Target Field tarp crew.
“Now I can do a real good job here,” Paul said with a laugh. “Not that I don’t do it usually, but I can really, really do a really nice job.”
Doing an All-Star Game is the highlight of a groundskeeper’s career.
“I was looking forward to this before Pat was an All-Star,” Paul said. “And now that’s he’s an All-Star, this is unbelievable.”
Almost as unbelievable as this: Pat’s a relief pitcher. Among Paul’s responsibilities: Maintaining the bullpen and the mound.
How cool is that?
“It’s pretty cool,” Paul said. “[I’ll] try to do my best work.”
Paul was actually at Target Field when he got the news. Just like his brother, he was understandably emotional.
“It means a lot,” he said. “Just growing up here in Brooklyn Park, it’s really exciting. We used to pretend as kids we were on an All-Star team in the front yard. So to have it here at Target Field, right downtown in this beautiful ballpark, you couldn’t ask for more.”
So will the visitor’s bullpen be getting more attention than the home bullpen?
“Yeah, from me anyways, it will be,” Paul said with a laugh. “I’ll try to spend a little more time on it. Don’t tell anybody that though.”
Paul will be on the field during the game as a ball boy, and will rake the field between innings.
He was born the same day as the 1982 All-Star Game. Monday will actually be his birthday.
What a birthday present.