Around the time of Glen Perkins’ sixth annual Fifteen’s 5K charity race, the Twins’ veteran closer was nearing the finish line of a nearly 16-month rehabilitation process from major shoulder surgery.
“I’m in a better place mentally than I have been,” the three-time all-star said when he returned to Minneapolis the day before the Aug. 6 race. “I think for the first time in my rehab I’ve been pushing our medical and our front office to say, ‘Hey, let’s go.’ For a long time I didn’t feel good enough to take steps.”
The charity race itself focused on mental health. Proceeds from this year’s event went to the PrairieCare Child & Family Fund, which supports mental health innovations in education, services and research in the Twin Cities through community partnerships and health services innovations.
The race has become an annual summer highlight for fans in Minneapolis as well as Glen, who grew up in Stillwater, Minn., attended the University of Minnesota and has now pitched his entire 12-year MLB career with the Twins, who drafted him in the first round in 2004.
As is the case with a lot of causes with which players become involved, there was a personal connection. Alisha Perkins, Glen’s wife and the person who originally came up with the idea for the annual race, went public in early 2015 with her battle with an anxiety disorder she’s had since childhood.
A year ago, Alisha published a memoir called Running Home in which she chronicled the way she discovered her voice through running and mental health advocacy.
This year approximately 1,200 runners took part in the 8 am run that begins in downtown Minneapolis and finishes near home plate at Target Field. The Twins and Twin Cities in Motion supported the race and several teammates even participated in the event.
Eleven days later, on Thursday afternoon, the 34-year-old left-hander reached his goal by returning to the mound in the Twins’ loss to the Indians at Target Field.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) August 6, 2017
Major Leaguers are #GoingToBat for causes near and dear to them, as they personify the Players Trust’s motto to ‘care, act and inspire.’ To learn more about the charitable interests and activities of Glen Perkins and other Major Leaguers, please click here.