MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — How’s this for an all-star experience? They ask you to pitch batting practice to the American League.

That was the call for former Gopher and Twins player Brian Raabe, and it gave him an opportunity to forget about a baseball problem at Bethel University.

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Raabe coaches at Bethel, and these days the Bethel baseball field occupies his thoughts. The recent rains caused a mudslide that took out part of the field.

But Raabe has a reprieve. He was asked to throw batting practice this week to the American League All-Stars.

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“I said to myself, ‘Don’t hit him,'” Raabe said. “And what do I do with the first pitch, I throw it into the dirt. After that, I was great.”

It was also a chance for Raabe to re-unite with a former teammate. He played with Derek Jeter.

“He was a shortstop and I was a second baseman, so we played in the Arizona Fall League together,” Raabe said. “Then I had a stint with him in 2000 with the Yankees.”

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That’s part of what this made this week special. It made him forget about a mudslide for a few days, and be reacquainted on the field with the game he loves.

Mike Max