MINNEAPOLIS — Growing up near Minneapolis, left-hander Glen Perkins thought it was neat enough that he even made the All-Star team when the Minnesota Twins got a chance to host at Target Field. Perkins also made the American League's roster in 2013, but didn't get a chance to pitch because it was Mariano Rivera's time.
It made him even happier when manager John Farrell let Perkins keep his locker space inside of the home clubhouse — even though Perkins volunteered to move so "a big star" could have a coveted corner spot.
When the pregame parade winded its way through downtown Minneapolis, the cheers from fans near Nicollet Mall nearly brought Perkins to tears. His wife definitely cried a little, he said.
Best of all, probably: Perkins got the final three outs for the save in a 5-3 victory for the AL on Tuesday night.
Has a dream ever come more true for a guy from Stillwater, Minn., who went to college at Minnesota and got to pitch in the majors with his favorite club?
What will he remember about this experience in 20 years?
"Probably how loud the crowd was," Perkins said. "That was — I wasn't fighting back tears — but it was an overwhelming moment to hear. Kind of the buildup as I walked out of the pen and then it got louder and louder as I was jogging in. And then, after the first or second out, I think they started chanting."
The partisan crowd, also excited to have catcher Kurt Suzuki of the Twins enter the game with Perkins, chanted, "Per-kins! Per-kins!"
"And those are things that don't happen during the regular season," Perkins said. "It was a moment where you realize why you play the game, and what makes it so much fun: the fans in the stands."
Another detail that rarely happens: A closer getting a save in his home ballpark in an All-Star game:
Perkins retired Miguel Montero of the Diamondbacks on a fly ball to center, he struck out Josh Harrison of the Pirates swinging, and Charlie Blackmon grounded to second for the final out.
"I never imagined it happening like this," Perkins said. "Ever."
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