Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Peterson Pinch Hits, Pinches Himself

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Peterson Pinch Hits, Pinches Himself

Article excerpt

One year ago, Brock Peterson was a Bridgeport Bluefish. He was a 28-year-old playing for an independent baseball team, stuck with the title no professional ballplayer wants to have: minor-league veteran.

Peterson was in his tenth year of professional baseball. He had spent eight years climbing the ranks of the Minnesota Twins farm system, the team that selected him in the 49th round of the 2002 MLB draft. Now, the power-hitting infielder was in his second season of independent baseball, and at this exact moment one year ago, he had already come to the conclusion.

This was it.

No more baseball, no more major league dreams. He would finish out the season with Bridgeport and pursue a new career.

The money earmarked for education in his signing bonus with the Twins was about to expire, so Peterson planned to register for online classes with the University of Phoenix. He had no idea what he wanted to study, all he knew was that the life he had grown accustomed to as a veteran minor leaguer had to stop.

Then he received a phone call from the Cardinals.

Four hours before he planned to register for online classes, Peterson would now be reporting to Class AAA Memphis, looking for one more chance.

On Saturday, at 29 years old, in his 11th year as a minor leaguer, he finally got it. The Cardinals called up Peterson after hitting .306 with 22 home runs and 66 RBIs for the Memphis Redbirds.

"I waited a long time for this," Peterson said in front of his new locker in the Cardinals' clubhouse. "For it to finally happen, it just really means a lot to me."

A long time is an understatement. In this day and age, it's unheard of to have minor leaguers last as long as Peterson did before calling it quits.

"For us to be able to give him this opportunity, I think it's really special," general manager John Mozeliak said. "Very few times do players play 11 years in the minor leagues, because usually they quit or are told to quit. For him to persevere I think is a very special story. As you can imagine, we're pulling for him. …

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