EFFINGHAM — Growing up, Dave Pruemer had a dream similar to most young boys. He wanted to play Major League Baseball.
“It’s every kid’s dream to make it to the big leagues,” he said. “I realized early on that I wasn’t going to make it by playing, so I had to adjust my path a bit.”
Now the head athletic trainer for the Minnesota Twins, Pruemer is living the big league dream.
After eight years as an assistant trainer with the club, Pruemer has been promoted to the top training job in the organization.
“It’s an honor,” he said of the promotion.
Pruemer’s path to the big leagues was similar to the path a player would take. After graduating from Teutopolis High School and Southern Illinois University, Pruemer worked with Northwestern University and the Pittsburgh Pirates before finding his way to the Twins organization in 1995.
There, he started working for the rookie-level team in Elizabethton, Tenn. The following year, he was promoted to the single-A team in Fort Myers, Fla.
After two years in Fort Myers, he spent four years with the double-A team in New Britain, Conn. From there, he moved on to the triple-A team in Rochester, N.Y.
After being named International League Trainer of the Year in 2004, Pruemer finally got the call to the majors, where he became an assistant trainer in 2005.
Now, Pruemer gets to prowl the dugout along with baseball stars like Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, attempting to keep them healthy — something easier said than done.
Pruemer said he enjoys working with the big-name stars, who are not that different from everyday people.
“You realize when you get here that they’re normal people too,” he said. “They just happen to be able to hit a round ball with a round bat better than everyone else.”