Derek Peterson is ‘The Most Interesting Man In The Clubhouse’

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Nearly every professional baseball player grows up with the game of baseball. The love of the game starts with pickup games in backyards, streets or the local park. For Shorebirds’ first baseman Derek Peterson, growing up in the game of baseball meant something a little different than most kids.

His father, Rick Peterson, is currently Director of Pitching Development for the Baltimore Orioles and a longtime pitching coach for several MLB teams. When Derek was growing up, Rick Peterson served as the pitching coach of the Oakland Athletics from 1998 to 2003, renowned for his work with Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson. Peterson then joined the New York Mets from 2004 to 2008, and additionally served another season as the pitching coach for the Milwaukee Brewers. Derek’s grandfather, Pete, was the general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1976 to 1985.

In the Shorebirds’ clubhouse though, that isn’t Peterson’s claim to fame. Several Shorebirds have named Peterson as their funniest teammate, quick with a joke to lighten the mood.

“I don’t really do practical jokes or pranks, my style involves a lot of accents,” Peterson revealed. “I have a few alter-egos or personalities that I’ll break out. One of them is a WWE wrestler, and I’m still looking to take the title back from Vince McMahon.”

When asked if he felt any pressure to succeed in baseball because of the family connection, Peterson jokingly answered “originally I had planned to play for Gordon Bombay and the Mighty Ducks.”

Turns out that was a fictional hockey team from a movie. His next choice?

“Then I made up my mind to play with Michael Jordan on the Chicago Bulls,” Peterson said. “But he retired before I got to the NBA, so all that was left was baseball.”

With his off-the-wall personality, how would Derek Peterson spend his free time during road trips?

“I try to work in a one-to-seven hour meditation to really find my inner self,” he said. “I often find myself doing active meditation during batting practice or even during this interview.”

On a more serious note, Peterson is an incredible teammate. He’s exactly the sort of person you want in your clubhouse. While Peterson was down in Florida for extended spring training, he listened to Shorebirds’ radio broadcasts online to hear how his teammates fared.

“Max Schuh is one of my good buddies on the team,” Peterson said. “I remember listening to his debut. I actually tuned in to a bunch of games, I can remember the call of Jomar’s first home run. I liked to envision what it would be like to be up in Delmarva, and now I’m glad I’m on the field rather than up in the booth.”

A lot of people, whether it’s his teammates, coaches or the fans, are glad Peterson is here too.

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