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Poppen family enjoys watching grandson pitch in MLB

Carolyn Poppen: 'It was so exciting watching him’

Minnesota Twins pitcher Sean Poppen throws to a Boston Red Sox in the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Minneapolis. Boston defeated the Twins 9-4 and Poppen made his MLB debut. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton- King)

MANSON — It’s been a hectic and exciting week in Marvin and Carolyn Poppen’s house.

The long-time Manson residents watched as their grandson, 25-year-old Sean Poppen, made his major league debut for the Minnesota Twins this past Wednesday night.

Just a few days prior, Sean’s dad, Craig, had made the trek back to Iowa for a family wedding and to help his parents around the house before returning to Virginia.

Those plans were halted once Sean received a late-night call from the Twins saying he had been promoted to the big leagues.

“Craig was just going to stay after the wedding for a few days to help us out because at 86 years old, there are just certain things we can’t do,” Carolyn said. “He was heading back home when Sean called him right after hearing the news.

“Craig was in Des Moines, so he switched up his plans and headed for Minneapolis.”

Minnesota was coming off a 17-inning win over the Boston Red Sox and called up Sean to help with the depleted bullpen. He went four innings, striking out two and inducing three double-play balls.

“Craig drove up to the game and there were 17 relatives and friends who made it there,” Carolyn said. “Several Poppens live up there, and many of Nancy’s relatives were there, too. It was very exciting, and the broadcasters for the game were so complimentary of all the support that Sean was getting.

“They panned through the crowd a few times, and I saw many members of my family, so that was really neat to see.”

Despite the quickness of the promotion, Carolyn said many people were sending messages on social media about the news.

“It was just so neat to see all the support he was receiving,” she said. “Marv had people coming up and stopping him on the street to talk about it.

“I think we ended up with over 200 messages on Facebook that we are still responding to.”

She added that other members of the family headed out to local restaurants to catch the game and see Sean on the big stage.

“It was just so exciting watching him,” Carolyn said. “It all was put together so fast in the middle of the night and bingo, you are there.

“The Twins flew his wife, Taylor, up for the game and I thought that was just a really neat thing. They are expecting in September, so this has just added to an incredible few months for the family.”

A graduate of Harvard, Sean has made a rapid climb through the ranks, dominating at Double-A and Triple-A before earning his one-night spot in Minnesota.

All the while, his grandparents have continued to follow his career from afar.

“We’ve been listening to his games through the internet since Harvard,” Carolyn said. “But it was so much more exciting to watch him play in the big leagues.”

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