Basin Electric employee, cancer survivor throws first pitch at MN Twins game

Will Hangsleben, real time trader II, with the baseball he threw at the May 16 Minnesota Twins game.

Will Hangsleben, real time trader II, with the baseball he threw at the May 16 Minnesota Twins game.

Life threw Will Hangsleben, Basin Electric real time trader II, a curve ball at the end of his senior year in college. During the week of his final exams, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. At a time when Hangsleben should have been focusing on graduating college and getting a job, Hangsleben instead began cancer treatments.

“It was the beginning of an interesting journey,” Hangsleben says of the next four months of chemotherapy and one month of radiation treatments. Hangsleben credits his positive mindset and a good supporting cast of family and friends that got him through cancer.

So, when he was asked to throw the ceremonial first pitch to represent Leukemia and Lymphoma survivors at a Minnesota Twins baseball game, he didn’t hesitate to say yes. But the butterflies immediately set in as he realized it was really going to happen.

Three years and one week after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Hangsleben’s ceremonial pitch kicked off the May 16 baseball game between the Minnesota Twins and the Tampa Bay Rays. Leading up to the game, his friends sent him videos of ceremonial pitch bloopers and jokingly told him not to screw up the pitch.

“I threw the pitch, which surprisingly was down the plate,” Hangsleben says. “I’m not going to lie, I was a little worried about my friends giving me grief if I did screw up the pitch.”

Just sitting in the stands at Target Field, the Minnesota Twins stadium, one can tell it’s pretty vast, but Hangsleben says the stadium looks much bigger from the pitcher’s mound.

“It’s like it’s twice as big when you’re down on the field looking up at it. It’s massive,” he says with a laugh. “And those lights. … People say those lights are bright on the field, and yes, they are!”

Hangslegen’s story will be featured in the July/August 2015 issue of Basin Today Magazine.

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