BEA student takes the mound at Target Field
Most students have days when they would like to stay home from school, but one Blue Earth Area eighth grader did not, and he received a major reward because of it.
Bennett Petersen is a 13-year-old student who lives in Delavan and goes to school at BEA?Middle School everyday.
It was his perfect attendance for the 2013-2014 school year that earned him an opportunity most will never experience in their lifetime he was chosen to throw out the first pitch at a Minnesota Twins baseball game.
“It’s actually kind of funny,”?Petersen says. “I hadn’t missed a day all school year.”
Which is one of the requirements of being selected for the Twins perfect attendance initiative.
“And, the day I?found out I?was chosen to throw the first pitch, I?had to stay home sick,”?Petersen jokes.
But, that was alright he was still qualified. So, on May 11, Petersen and his family went to the Twin Cities for the Twins vs. Mariners game.
“There were a lot of other kids there who had perfect attendance, too,”?Petersen says.
Of all those students at Target Field that day, Petersen was the only one selected to throw out the first pitch.
“Teachers and coaches write stuff up about the students and send it in and they chose me based on those things,” Petersen explains.
He says it made him feel good to know he was selected based on the things said about him.
And after all the students who had perfect attendance were recognized on the field, he felt many different emotions.
“I was excited but I was also pretty nervous,”?Petersen says.
He stepped on the mound to throw the first pitch to TC, the Twins mascot.
“It felt unreal at first,”?Petersen adds. “Not many people get to do this it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
And his perspective of the game changed a little, too, saying it really wasn’t all that hard to throw the first pitch.
“When you’re out there, the field seems smaller but the rest of the stadium seems way bigger,”?he says.
Since Petersen plays baseball at BEA?he is no stranger to tossing a baseball and he says the distance from the mound wasn’t much different than any other baseball field.
“Aside from throwing out the first pitch, we met the manager and got our picture with him and TC,” Petersen says.
When he met Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, Petersen was congratulated and got to chat with him for awhile as well.
“He shook my hand and said, ‘perfect attendance??Wow, I don’t think I have even made it to all the games,’ so we laughed about that,”?Petersen says.
Then, when all the excitement died down before the game, Petersen and his family were able to enjoy watching the Twins.
His parents Troy and Rachel, sister Ava, 5, brother Gabe, 2, and grandmother Vicky all went to the game, as well.
“And, the Twins won, so that made it even more fun,” Petersen says.
When Petersen isn’t busy throwing out pitches at Twins games, he is at BEA Middle School where he enjoys going to school everyday.
“Since I live in Delavan, I get to see my friends more at school and I also just really enjoy the subjects,”?he says.
He is involved in speech during the winter and plays baseball in the spring and his favorite subjects are math or science.
Next year he will be starting high school and says he will probably participate in the same activities.
But, when he joins the baseball team, Petersen will probably be the only BEA?Buccaneer who has thrown out a ceremonial first pitch for the Minnesota Twins.
“It was unreal,” he says.