The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

July 17, 2014

All-Star game was moment to savor for Glen Perkins

Left-hander is under contract through 2017

MINNEAPOLIS — The script for Glen Perkins hasn’t always gone so smoothly. Sure, there have been hiccups. Life is never perfect.

Rare, though, are the occurrences in sports that come together as marvelously as this for the Minnesota closer: taking the mound for the American League All-Star team and pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning in front of his roaring, adoring home fans.

When Perkins jogged out of the bullpen on Tuesday night at Target Field, he was taken aback by how loud the crowd became.

“I wasn’t fighting back tears, but it was an overwhelming moment to hear,” Perkins said. “It was a moment like that where you realize why you play the game and what makes the game so fun, and it’s the fans in the stands.”

His All-Star status and salary of more than $4 million this season put him in the societal elite, but in many ways Perkins is a lot alike many of those fans in the stands.

He grew up in a Twin Cities suburb, Stillwater, and lives year-round in Minnesota, a rarity for Twins players. Boating and fishing are two of his favorite pastimes. He’s regularly on social media, with a sharp sense of humor and down-to-earth perspective that further endear him to the masses.

Minutes after finishing one of his shakiest saves of the season, at Milwaukee last month, Perkins posted on Twitter: “I just did my best Ron Davis impression,” alluding to the Twins closer of the mid-1980s prone to wild pitches and blown leads.

Perkins has proven to be far more effective than Davis, though, putting himself on track to approach Joe Nathan franchise-leading all-time saves total. At age 31, under contract through at least 2017, Perkins isn’t going anywhere. The Twins have an option on his deal for 2018 that would be a market bargain at $6.5 million if he stays healthy and productive.

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