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Hastings native honored by Twins

Abbey Rother prepares to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the Minnesota Twins game on Friday night against the Yankees.

On Friday, Abbey Rother had one of the highlights of her 26-year-old life. She was selected to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the Minnesota Twins faced the New York Yankees at Target Field.

While the pitch sailed outside of the strike zone, the Twins' mascot, TC, caught the ball and then presented it to Rother. She was able to keep the ball and the jersey the Twins gave her.

She was so excited about the entire ordeal, she went to bed that night wearing the jersey, her mother Kris Rother said.

"She was very, very excited," Kris Rother said. "All she kept saying, even today, was, 'Can we go to the Twins game so I can pitch again?'

"She wants to go to all the games and be a pitcher. She thinks she's going to become one now."

Kris and Gary Rother learned Abbey was selected for the honor just last week. Gary Rother works for a liquor store in Minneapolis, and has gotten to know a salesman from Capitol Beverage, which distributes Budweiser. The Twins game on Friday was presented by Budweiser, and the brand was looking through the nominations turned in by sales people. Abbey was selected from that list.

Abbey is a big Twins fan, spending many nights watching games with her brothers Adam and Michael. On Friday, she was at the field, able to watch the game with a large group of friends and family.

Kris, Gary, Abbey and Adam were joined by family members Kathy O'Connell, Haddie Jo Furlong, Jeff, Chris and Joey Kuhn and Gordy, Cindy, Cassie and Maria Rother. Friends Tom and Renee Lucking also came along.

Abbey is a longtime member of the Hastings Sharks Special Olympics team and goes to Lifeworks. Through Lifeworks, she is often seen around town, especially at the City of Hastings Public Works department and the police station.

"She's very well known around town," Kris Rother said.