There was only one baseball player signing autographs at the Minnesota Sports Holiday Show, but I was sure to get Pat Neshek to sign a baseball for me. I even had him inscribe "2014 National League All-Star," to recognize his most recent MLB accomplishment.
Neshek just signed a two-year, $12.5 million contract with the Astros, but at this time last season, he didn't even know if he'd be playing in the majors. After struggling for the previous season with the Oakland Athletics, he became a free agent and signed with the St. Louis Cardinals to a minor league contract, with an invitation to Spring Training. He was hoping to catch on with the Cardinals as a right-handed specialist to come out of the bullpen against right handed batters. He increased his fastball velocity and began integrating a few other pitches, and became the set-up man for closer Trevor Rosenthal, and was selected to participate in the 2014 All-Star Game, being held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.