Souhan: One little chat changed Perkins' future in his home state

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 24, 2014 - 11:03 AM
hide

Twins closer Glen Perkins

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– Glen Perkins is an All-Star closer who has spent his entire life in Minnesota. He is the rare Twins player who lives in state year-round, has become a centerpiece of the Twins’ marketing campaign and has vowed to play for them as long as they will have him.

It’s easy to forget that three years ago the Twins considered trading him, and only Perkins’ intervention led to what he calls “a great life.”

Perkins butted heads with his coaches at the University of Minnesota, then quarreled with his Twins bosses. He was on his way to becoming another first-round bust when, late in the spring of 2011, he walked up to Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson.

“I can remember it like it was yesterday,” Anderson said. “He came to me right here and said, ‘Can I talk to you? I was born and raised in Minnesota, I’ve spent my entire life in Minnesota, I want to be a Twin. I want to be a better teammate, I want to be a better pitcher, don’t give up on me.’

“There was some talk of making a trade, then all of a sudden he saw the light.”

Perkins remembers traveling from Fort Myers to Clearwater, Fla., with the Twins and not pitching.

“That’s the first time that had ever happened to me,’’ he said. “I was angry.”

He walked into manager Ron Gardenhire’s office and asked why he hadn’t been informed he had made the team.

“I told Gardy, ‘I want to play here, if you’ll have me,” Perkins said.

Gardenhire said he would call Perkins later in the day. Perkins figured that was a brushoff. He picked up his father-in-law and headed to Sanibel to fish.

“The phone rang before we got to the causeway,” Perkins said. “Gardy said, ‘Pack your bags, you’re going north with us.’ ”

Perkins had a similar experience with the Gophers. The Stillwater High School product made lousy grades during his first semester in college. The Gophers redshirted him, and he spent his second semester “figuring out how to be a college student.” One day, Gophers pitching coach Todd Oakes called him about a rumor that Perkins wanted to transfer.

Perkins said that if he was going to leave, he already would be gone.

“I think that was the moment for Todd where he said, ‘OK, he’s committed, he just needs to figure out how to do it.’ I never had any more trouble.”

Why so much conflict? “I guess it’s a character flaw of mine,” Perkins said.

Now he’s Mr. Minnesota, or at least hangs out with someone vying for that title.

Perkins and Joe Mauer played for the USA in the World Baseball Classic and for the American League in the All-Star Game last year. They could play in the next All-Star Game, at Target Field.

With Mauer having twin daughters and wintering in Minnesota instead of Fort Myers, the two were able to enjoy the Polar Vortex together. “We played hockey,” Perkins said. “Well, it was more like ice dancing. No sequins, though.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Minnesota101000010372
Kansas City «00002040X682
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:Y.Ventura(8-8) L:C.Thielbar(2-1) S:G.Holland (29)
HR: MIN- D.Santana (4) KAN- None

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago WSox - WP: R. Belisario 7 FINAL
Detroit - LP: J. Soria 4
Colorado - LP: P. Hernandez 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 3
St. Louis - WP: S. Miller 6 FINAL
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 2
Philadelphia - WP: A. Bastardo 10 FINAL
Washington - LP: G. Gonzalez 4
LA Angels - WP: H. Santiago 1 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: R. Webb 0
Seattle - WP: J. Beimel 6 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: B. Shaw 5
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: T. Koehler 1
Minnesota - LP: C. Thielbar 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6
Toronto - WP: A. Sanchez 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: C. Qualls 5
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Locke 4 FINAL
Arizona - WP: O. Perez 7
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 2
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Winnipeg 27 FINAL
Hamilton 26
Toronto 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Edmonton 8/8/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Hamilton 8/8/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/9/14 6:30 PM
Calgary
Atlanta 85 FINAL
Tulsa 75
Phoenix 67 FINAL
Minnesota 75
New York 74 FINAL
Chicago 87
Indiana 76 FINAL
Seattle 67
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the Twins replace Ron Gardenhire?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close