I can play center field

Published 9:16 am Monday, June 6, 2011

Column: Aaron Worm, Behind the Mic

If you played baseball as a kid, you probably dreamed of becoming a major league player.

You might have pretended you were Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Kirby Puckett or other baseball greats. I apologize to Twins fans, growing up, I was always Ozzie Guillen.

Aaron Worm

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As a left handed hitter, I would roll my wrist like Ozzie and try to line the ball over the second baseman’s head. I would sit in the backyard with a bat and a ball, and pretend the game winning run was on base, and I had a chance to win the game with a hit. I would toss the ball and hit it, and pretend I was running the bases after driving in the winning runs. My dream profession, besides radio, like most young baseball players, would have been to play pro ball.

My dream sort of came true on Wednesday. No I wasn’t called up by the Twins, even though with all the injuries they might have to start having tryouts to fill roster spots. Courtney Doyle and I participated in Twins fantasy Camp at Target Field. KATE Radio has been a long time affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, and the Twins Radio network invited a couple of people from each station that carries the Twins to participate.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when I walked onto the Target Field grass, and looked around this baseball cathedral, the word “wow” is all that I could think of. I got to field grounders at short, chase balls down in the outfield, pitch in the bullpen and take batting practice. Now when I dreamed of being a pro as a kid, that was always in fun, never a chance to become reality. (Official varsity stats for me for the Montgomery Lonsdale Baseball team — played one year, played one inning in the field, and got one at bat and struck out on three pitches).

But for at least a couple of hours, I could relive my days of pretending in the backyard, and actually feel like a pro, without the million dollar contract.

I think Alexi Casilla, Nick Blackburn, and Denard Span’s spots with the Twins are all safe. I won’t be taking their place any time soon. I booted a couple at short, never threw a strike in the bullpen (actually one pitch hit the wall and I felt bad for the catcher) and never hit a ball close to the warning track. I did hit a couple back up the middle, even though there wasn’t much velocity on them.

Former Twins Jack Morris and Tim Laudner were our instructors, and Laudner made sure we touched them all before we left by jogging around the bases. Now when I go to Target Field, I can tell my sons Lukas and Isaak that Daddy got a chance to be on that field. And I look forward someday to watching them in the backyard, dreaming that one day they too, could play on a big league field.

KATE Radio sports director Aaron Worm’s column appears each Monday in the Tribune. He can be heard from 6 to 11 a.m. weekdays on The Breeze.