By Kristen Miller
Punk Lundeen of Cokato had the honor not many in their lifetime have throwing the first pitch at a Minnesota Twins baseball game.
Lundeen and his son Derek, along with Lee Dahlquist, were the auctioneers at a benefit recently held at the Metrodome Plaza benefiting the Mikey Morgan Scholarship Fund at Cretin-Durham Hall High School.
Items auctioned off included throwing out the evening’s first pitch, a week’s vacation in Colorado, sailing on Lake Superior, an autographed baseball bat by Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer, and much more.
This was the first baseball game Lundeen has been to in 17 years. He isn’t even a sports fan, though he knew this was a once-in-a-life opportunity and wasn’t about to pass it up.
Just before the National Anthem, Lundeen stood on the pitchers’ mound in front of 42,000 fans and threw a fast ball straight through the strike zone.
“It was a flame thrower,” said Dahlquist who witnessed the event.
Lundeen was able to bring three people on the field with him including Dale Brandel, and his son, Tyler, along with Tommy Nelson all from Cokato.
Though not saying exactly how much he bid for this opportunity, Lundeen says he would do it all over again.
The funny thing for Lundeen was his niece was in the audience and saw her uncle on the big screen.
Knowing he is not much of a sportsman, she called her mother to make sure it was really him.
Lundeen said he had such a good time at the Twins versus the Chicago White Sox game he won’t be waiting 16 years to go back.
Also, the first annual benefit and auction was such a success, raising $19,000. There are plans for another next year.