For kids growing up in the Bronx, the dream is to play in Yankee Stadium. In Boston, it’s Fenway Park. All choose their favorites, learn the stances and memorize the stats. For kids growing up in Omaha, the stadium most dream to play in is the most revered college baseball site in the entire country. It is where Presidents have played and future Hall of Famers first starred. The place is Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. For Kyle Peterson, it is the place where summers were spent and lineups were memorized. Guys like Paul Carey, Robin Ventura and Oddibe McDowell became role models. The Maniac was unmatched and the goal was to have your name announced by Jack Payne just once. For Peterson, it was what summer was all about.
In the summer of 1995, as a freshman at Stanford, Peterson accomplished what every kid growing up in Omaha dreams of; he led his team to the College World Series. During his freshman year, Peterson went 14-1 and was named the Pac-10 pitcher of the year and the national freshman of the year. In his three years at Stanford, Peterson led the Cardinal to Omaha twice and was named the conference pitcher of the year again in 1997. Peterson’s 35 career wins at Stanford trails only Jeff Ballard on the Cardinal’s all time charts and he left Stanford holding the single season wins, strikeouts and career strikeout records. He was the 13th overall selection in the 1997 Major League draft and became the 3rd player from the ’97 draft, and first ever Future’s Game participant, to pitch in the Major Leagues. Peterson spent parts of three years in the Big Leagues and retired in 2003 after three separate shoulder surgeries.
Immediately upon retiring, Peterson joined ESPN as the network continued to expand its college baseball coverage. Over the past eight years, Peterson has appeared on over 300 nationally broadcasted baseball games including the College World Series, Little League World Series and Major League Playoffs. He has been a member of two Emmy nominated ESPN events, the 2003 Little League World Series and the 2004 Major League Playoffs. Peterson’s passion, however, remains with the college game. His insightful viewpoints and educated analysis continues to set the standard for a sport that grows in popularity and fan following year over year – and one where kids’ dreams of playing in revered stadiums surely start with a two week stop in Omaha.
Today, Peterson resides in Omaha with his wife of 11 years, Julie, and their 3 children; Teddy (5), Janie (3) and Lucy (1).