Veteran Minor Leaguer And MLB Scout Dies At 46 From Covid-19
Veteran minor leaguer, major league baseball scout and former standout high school football player Charles Peterson Jr. died Sept. 13 of complications from covid-19. He was 46.
A standout high school football player who caught the winning pass to secure the state championship for his high school in South Carolina, Peterson pursued baseball professionally.
He played in the minor leagues for 14 seasons, then became a scout for the St. Louis Cardinals, reported the New York Times. He was also a volunteer football coach at Spring Valley High School in Columbia.
Peterson was actually responsible for signing the cardinals’ top draft pick, third baseman Jordan Walker.
“He had a real infectious presence,” Cardinals’ assistant general manager and scouting director Randy Flores told the Times in a phone interview “He was everything that’s fun about scouting. And he did a great job forging a relationship with the Walker family.”
Originally from Laurens, South Carolina, Peterson was known to be a humble, helpful and fun-loving family man.
“He didn’t have a lot of time for himself, because he dedicated his life to helping others achieve their goals and aspirations,” his wife Karen Peterson told NBC. “He did everything he could for his kids and the young people in his life.”
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His daughter, Alexis Peterson, agreed. She remembered her father as a role model.
“At a very young age, he set a standard for me, him being a hometown hero, not only just in sports but how he treated people within the community,” Alexis told a local TV station, according to a Times transcription.
Peterson was hospitalized at Prisma Health Richland Hospital for weeks before succumbing to the virus, according to NBC News. He is the among the more than 203,000 that have died from covid-19, including children who were predominately Black, Latino and Native American.
Even while he was fighting for his own life, his best friend told NBC he was trying to ensure his family would be okay. He asked him to look out for his 17-year-old son Charles III, nicknamed Trey, whom he also coached.
“The last time I spoke to Charles, he was in the hospital,” Mitchell Moton, who coached alongside Peterson at Spring Valley told NBC News. “He said to me: ‘This virus is real. Make sure Trey is OK.'”
Moton said he promised he would do so. “He texted me right back and said: ‘Mitch, I don’t know if I’m going to get back out there. Your word Trey will be OK,’” Moton added.
In addition to Karen, Alexis and Trey, Peterson is survived by another daughter T’Keyah Peterson and surrogate son Keegan Kolesar, brothers Deron and Chris and his mother Carolyn.