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Baseball: An All-Star week for Peterson

Cole Aldrich is almost 7 feet tall. Brock Peterson is shy of 6 feet. Brad Mathiowetz hit 18 home runs this season for Rochester Mayo. Peterson has two career bombs.

Yet, in the span of six days, Peterson will have shared a court with a man who played 46 games for the New York Knicks this season, and a diamond with a kid his own age who was drafted by the Minnesota Twins.

Yes, it’s been quite a week for Cannon Falls’ Brock Peterson.

While playing in a summer basketball league game Sunday, Peterson, who is listed anywhere from 5-8 to 5-10, faced Aldrich, the former Bloomington Jefferson star who played at the University of Kansas. On Saturday, Peterson will take the field with Mathiowetz, Minnesota’s Mr. Baseball for 2014, a catcher who hit .570 with 18 home runs and 57 RBI this year.

“Cole Aldrich comes in (on Sunday), and there’s this 6-11 guy and I’m trying to box him out,” Peterson recalled on Monday. “It didn’t work out so well, so (offensively) I just stayed outside and shot 3(-pointers). (Defensively), I just didn’t want to get dunked on.”

Peterson was laughing while recalling his run-in with a man who was selected 11th overall in the first round of the 2010 NBA draft. The chuckles continued when Peterson was asked about Mathiowetz’s exploits.

“There’s a little different spin, he’s a draft pick and I’m a (Division 3) baseball player. He hit 18 home runs this year. That’s crazy. I have two. In my career. And it was in one game last year. I hit both against Kasson-Mantorville last year, and they won a state title. That was a good day for me.”

As a Class 2A All-State selection, it was probably obvious to select Peterson to the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Series South roster.

“Brock had an incredible past two years,” said Cannon Falls head coach Bucky Lindow. “He set school records for season batting average (.515) his junior year, and he also owns the career batting average record of .460. He won our quality at-bat award the past two seasons, and has been named All-Conference, All Sub-Section, and All-Section.

“That is all wonderful, but it pales in comparison with what kind of person he is. He truly cares for everyone he comes in contact with. If we are ever doing fieldwork, he will be the guy searching around for other jobs that need to be done. He is respectful and classy in everything he does. The people at the All-Star Series are blessed to have Brock as part of the South team.”

Peterson doesn’t see it that way. In fact, the Bomber senior was surprised to be named to the team, and all credit is firmly planted at the feet of anyone but himself.

“It’s an honor. All my teammates could have been (selected), and I wish I could take them all with me,” Peterson said. “They push me to the limits. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. And coach (Randy) Hartl is going up there, too. He was my JV coach, and I’m excited to have him there.

“I’m excited to do it,” Peterson continued. “I was kind of shocked. I’ve never been part of such a thing. It was cool to get that honor. To play with these new guys and coaches and see what it’s like.”

Saturday and Sunday will be the final prep baseball games Peterson plays as the Cannon Falls graduate will attend the University of Northwestern next fall.

“The first year, I’ll play basketball and baseball and see how that goes,” Peterson said. “I’ve met all the guys and they’re all great. And I’m close enough (to Cannon Falls) that all my buddies and parents can come watch. The coaches there supported me all year. The basketball coach came to more games this year than most people (in Cannon Falls). He’s great.”

The future, however fun it may be, is still the future. For now, Peterson is holding dear everything that makes Cannon Falls his home.

“That rock wall (at John Burch Park) is amazing. No one is under the grandstand unless it’s raining,” Peterson said. “And my parents … my mom is the scrapbooker, and my dad, he sits behind the fence, by himself, listening to the Twins game, with his pop and all his goodies. And he just sits out there and does his own thing. He just wants to observe. My parents are awesome.”

There is more awesome to come. In addition to facing an NBA giant and teaming up with an MLB hopeful, Peterson will take in a meal at one of the best golf courses in the state.

“It’s been an awesome week,” Peterson said. “And the (All-Star) banquet is at Hazeltine. That’s amazing.”

Kyle Stevens
Kyle Stevens is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, Kyle worked at the Owatonna People’s Press, as well as KWLM and KLFN in Willmar. You can contact Kyle by phone at (651) 301-7879, via e-mail at, and follow him on Twitter @RE_KStevens.
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