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Perkins takes time to help loyal Twins fan from Bemidji

Minnesota Twins closing pitcher Glen Perkins delivers against the Chicago White Sox during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Chicago, April 21, 2013. Minnesota won 5-3. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

Professional athletes often get a bad reputation from the public as arrogant, selfish, and egotistical. While that description — as harsh as it is — may be true for some athletes, my experience Sunday with Minnesota Twins closer Glen Perkins should serve as a reminder to everyone that there are many professional athletes who are still very good people.

For those who have not heard from one source or another, I contacted Perkins on Twitter on Sunday morning saying “I had been screwed over on my online ticket order and was wondering if he could help.” To my surprise, he responded minutes later by asking how many I needed.

The exchange has been covered or mentioned in one way or another by: The Star Tribune, NBC sports, CBS sports, Yahoo, WCCO, KSTP, FSN North, and other networks or blogs online.

Luckily, because of my position here at the Bemidji Pioneer, I am able to provide a full story in my own words.

I was home — in New Ulm, Minn. — for my sister’s prom last weekend and my girlfriend and I were hoping to catch a Twins game on our way back to Bemidji Sunday. Because of it being the weekend of prom, we were unsure of who was all going to the game and how many tickets we would need until about 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

We usually get our tickets either through the Twins or from a season ticket holder, but because of the demand and proximity of the game, it was difficult finding four tickets together. After about an hour, we had decided to buy from a secondhand ticket site (for the record, I had used the website before and experienced no problems.)

The website authorized our order and I received an e-mail saying I would need confirmation from the seller and once I had that, we would get an e-mail with the “e-tickets” (printable tickets.) It said this would take one to three hours at the most. It was after 11, so I figured I would print the tickets in the morning before we left.

I woke up a little before 7 a.m. only to see that we had not received an e-mail.

Because my girlfriend and I were driving back to Bemidji, we had to leave earlier — about 9:30 a.m. — than we usually would. We planned on taking two cars up to I-94 (south of St. Cloud) and carpooling over to Target Field from there.

After spending nearly two hours sending e-mails, leaving voicemails, and refreshing my e-mail page, I knew it was time to go. I sent one final e-mail requesting for my order to be canceled (they typically do not offer cancellations) and left the house in a bad mood.

In a moment of frustration and desperation, I took to Twitter to ask Perkins if he could help me out.

I have always been a fan of Perkins since he was drafted from the Gophers back in 2004 and he seemed like a really nice guy based off of how he interacts with both members of the media and fans on Twitter.

It did not even take five minutes for my assumption of Perkins to be proven accurate. By the time we had filled up with gas, he had let me know that my tickets would be waiting for me at will call.

This is certainly not something that was expected of Perkins, especially considering I did not go through the Twins to order my tickets in the first place. But, for whatever reason, Perkins gave me the benefit of the doubt and secured our tickets.

We were all just thrilled and overwhelmed by the fact that a player on the Twins was giving us tickets to the game, we never really stopped to wonder where our seats were going to be. If anything, we had just assumed they would be in the upper deck — which would have been completely fine.

When we arrived at the ticket window, Perkins provided another surprise for us. I pulled the tickets out of an envelope to see that we were in row 24 of section 113 — directly behind home plate.

Unfortunately, by the time we got inside the stadium and to our seats the ushers no longer allowed fans to get closer to the field, so I never got the opportunity to thank him in person. I will be sure to do so at the next game I go to.

As we enjoyed the Twins’ 5-0 win during a beautiful afternoon, Perkins’ act of kindness had started to spread around the internet.

It started with mentions on Twitter, then it was blog posts praising Perkins’ generosity, and by the end of the night larger news networks were catching onto the story and wanted to learn more about what had happened.

There are many reasons why this has gotten the attention that it has. Some are enamored with how social media has made the world a much smaller place. Others like to criticize the “dumb kid” who got scammed on his tickets. Both of those are OK, but I prefer to acknowledge Perkins’ generosity and his true care for the Minnesota Twins fan base.

Moving forward, I expect Perkins and maybe even other members of the Twins will receive numerous requests for tickets (sorry!) because of this. Instead, I hope this reminds people that there is good in people of every profession.

As Minnesotans and Twins fans, we are lucky to have an athlete as generous as Glen Perkins on our team.