Vikings' Peterson humbled, but still adored after softball oh-fer

  • Updated: July 13, 2014 - 10:33 PM

Vikings star Adrian Peterson struggled hitting the full-speed pitches of Olympic softball star Jennie Finch.

Photo: JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson stepped into a batting cage Sunday at the Minneapolis Convention Center, took a few hacks and declared himself ready to play later that day in the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball game at Target Field.

“It felt pretty good,” Peterson said. “I haven’t swung a bat in like 15 years, easily. I have to make sure I stretch, but I’ll be good to go.”

Peterson looked like Bo Jackson in his baseball uniform, but while athleticism can often flow freely from sport to sport, made-for-TV events have a way of humbling superstars.

In his first at-bat, Peterson grounded out to rapper Nelly at third (Nelly, in all honesty, was one of the best players on the field). In the next half-inning, playing the outfield, Peterson drifted back and dropped a fly ball. Next time up, U.S softball star Jennie Finch threw three fastballs past a stunned Peterson. He got another chance with Finch lobbing a few in, but he grounded to third again. In short, he looked like a guy who said he had only played two organized games of baseball in his life.

“I just got into football and stuck to that,” Peterson said.

Wild star Zach Parise played a couple of years of baseball growing up, and his comfort level on the field was more evident.

“The last time I hit a softball it was here, when T.C. Bear beat me in a home run derby,” Parise said before the game. “Maybe I’ll get some redemption.”

Indeed. He doubled in his first at-bat, singled next time up and played shortstop. Lynx star Maya Moore had an impressive stretch playing first base, save for a missed double play attempt that she protested.

It was all in good fun, of course, as everyone from Rickey Henderson to Andrew Zimmern shared the field. Henderson hit a leadoff home run and hot-dogged around the bases in classic Ricky fashion. Jack Morris and John Smoltz were the starting pitchers — same as they were for Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, albeit in a game with a little more on the line.

“You’re so used to being around hockey players,” Parise said. “To see legends from these other sports, I’m still a fan of a lot of them. … Rickey Henderson, Jack Morris, Smoltz. I was a fan growing up, so it’s fun to be around them.”

Peterson, Parise and Moore drew loud cheers. One of the strongest ovations came for former Twins slugger Jim Thome, who became an instant fan favorite in two seasons at Target Field.

“It’s so special,” Thome said. “When they invited me to come in, to me it was a special thing. I hadn’t come back in quite a while.”

MICHAEL RAND

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Marshall 52 FINAL
Northern Ill 23
Navy 17 FINAL
San Diego St 16
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Twins' offseason moves so far?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close