Cap Peterson

Charles Andrew Peterson was born in Tacoma on Aug. 15, 1942, and graduated from Clover Park High School in 1960. Nicknamed "Cap" from the initials in his name, Peterson signed a contract with the San Francisco Giants and general manager Rosy Ryan for a reported $90,000 out of high school and played with the Giants from 1962-66, making his professional debut in Tacoma in an exhibition against the Tacoma Giants in 1963. He also spent time with the Washington Senators (1967-68) and Cleveland Indians (1969) among MLB teams.

Peterson compiled a career stat line of 269 hits in 1,170 at bats for a .230 batting average over 536 MLB games. He also played three years of minor league baseball after his major league career ended before retiring to join his family's construction business. He spent two years playing minor league baseball in Tacoma, with the Tacoma Giants in 1963 and then with the Tacoma Twins in 1972, the first year of Tacoma’s affiliation with Minnesota. In 1962, he was named the Topps Minor League Player of the Year with the El Paso Sun Kings after batting .335 with 29 home runs and 130 runs batted in, earning his first trip to the majors with San Francisco.

A 6-foot-2-inch, 195-pound outfielder, he batted and threw right-handed and was traded to the Washington Senators in December 1966 in a transaction that sent future 1967 National League Cy Young Award winner Mike McCormick to the Giants. Peterson's best MLB season came with Washington in 1967, when he batted .240 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in a career-high 122 games.

"He's a tough out," former Washington Senators manager Gil Hodges said of Peterson. "He's the sort of batter you want in there when you have to stay in the ball game. You know he won't quit."

That won't-quit mentality carried through both on and off the field for Peterson, who battled a kidney disorder that eventually led to his early death in 1980 at the age of 37. Prior to his death, he went back to school to earn a college degree from Pacific Lutheran University in 1972. He also worked with the Tacoma Elks Lodge, Lakewood Rotary Club, Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and the local Lutheran church. He and his wife, Liz, had three children: twin daughters Julie and Jane and son Andy (or Cap, Jr.).

Stan Naccarato, general manager of the Tacoma Tigers who signed Peterson to the Tacoma Twins in 1972 said Peterson was "a fine person, and he touched all those he met."