Sean Floersch is no stranger to a baseball diamond. As a 14-year-old pitcher from Burnsville, he knows he can get the ball across the plate.
He’s just never thrown it in a stadium this big. Or seen himself on an outfield video board.
Stepping onto the field, his nerves remained at ease. He’s faced worse situations.
“Am I nervous?” Sean laughed, “a little bit. I’m not sure what I’m thinking.”
Two things were certain: throwing the opening pitch would be easy and it would be fun.
Getting the signal from a larger-than-life bear and hurled his favorite pitch, the fast ball, across the strike zone. The field cheered.
Tuesday night Sean became a Minnesota Twin. Manager Paul Molitor made it official hours before opening pitch, signing a one day contract with Sean from his clubhouse office.
Eleven months ago, doctors diagnosed Sean with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. After enduring 17 rounds of chemotherapy, he needed surgery to remove a tumor and three of his ribs.
Turns out Sean had a connection to the Twins during his cancer fight. While sitting at the skipper’s desk, he shared stories of Molitor’s oldest sister, who was one of his nurses as we underwent treatment.
“I tried to do what we could to enhance the memory of the day by spending some time with him and his family,” Molitor said after the game.
“I had Sean stand next to me at the National Anthem. He was excited, you could see the grin, it meant a lot to him. I’m really encouraged, it looks like his prognosis is going to be good,” said Molitor.
Now with a clean bill of health, Sean’s dream is to be a big league ballplayer.
The Minnesota Twins teamed up with Make-A-Wish Minnesota to make that happen. They’ve been his teammate throughout the fight. Sean’s favorite player, Brian Dozier sent him a video during his chemo encouraging him to keep up his good attitude.
On this night, Sean got to thank him and share he’s in remission.
“He’s been very excited. It’s been an exciting day,” his mom Sarah said before the game. “Before tonight, I thought, ‘I’ll be surprised if it comes together for what he wants.’ Everything has gone according to plan more than he asked for.”
“I went through the clubhouse and got to meet Dozier, [Torii] Hunter and the others. We took pictures and I got some autographs,” Sean explained modestly.
He also watched batting practice from the dugout, where a Hall of Fame pitcher shared some tricks of the trade.
“It was such a thrill,” Sarah said. “Bert [Blyleven] walked right over to us, made a special trip to see Sean, and talked with us for a long time. He kept showing Sean different positions and how to hold the ball. Being a pitcher, I know Sean was thrilled.”
Once the game started, Sean became the Twins honorary ball boy. In the 5th inning, he joined Blyleven and Dick Bremer in the Fox Sports North broadcasting booth.
This day is about more than just a game. It’s about finding inspiration for life after cancer. Sean struck out cancer, now he gets to focus on being a teenager.
“It’s been a ride for the last 11 months. To cap it all off with remission and this,” Sarah took in the moment. “It’s coming together. Tonight we’ll celebrate and then try to get back to normalcy.”