COVID-19 kept Pete from the ballpark – 3M Science helped bring him back
Apr 14, 2021

The year 2020 wasn’t all bad for retired 3Mer Pete Steinhagen.

The COVID-19 pandemic freed him up to hang dry wall and paint his garage.

“I called it my COVID project,” said Pete.

He and his wife, Janet, also celebrated the birth of their first granddaughter in 2020.

“That a was big silver lining for us,” said Pete.

Pete retired from 3M in the spring of 2019 after a nearly 40-year career. As he thought about post-retirement, Pete knew he wanted to stay active. He also loves baseball and helping people.

“I thought working for the Twins might be fun,” said Pete. “I reached out and applied to work in guest services.”

Pete was hired for the 2019 season to help fans during home games at Target Field. He greets patrons at the turnstiles, answers questions about the ballpark, helps them locate seats and many other supportive tasks.

After his first season with the Twins, Pete was excited to return in 2020. But the pandemic kept him at home as fans were not allowed to attend games that year.

“It was disappointing,” said Pete. “I just love being at the ballpark. It’s one of my favorite places.”

Little did he know that his former employer would soon team up with the Twins as the ballclub’s Official Science Partner to help bring back fans.

The partnership involved 3M scientists and Twins’ staff working together to study the dynamics of Target Field, identify high-traffic areas and common touch surfaces and then build out enhanced cleaning protocols. The collaboration took several months in total.

“An old 3M colleague sent me the official announcement,” said Pete. “I thought it was a perfect fit.”

All of that behind the scenes work paid off as fans were finally allowed back to Target Field for the 2021 season.

On April 8, Pete took his first step back inside the ballpark for the Twins’ home opener. He was beaming.

“It felt great to be back again,” said Pete. “I’m a prouder 3Mer.”

Along with sporting venues, 3M has partnered with healthcare facilities, schools, retail outlets and other industries to help bring businesses back from the pandemic. The company offers its 3M Clean and Protect Certified Badge Program , a comprehensive system for cleaning, disinfecting, sanitizing and monitoring facilities, to help scale the effort.

“3M is applying its science in a comprehensive way to help people return to work and play,” said Silvia Perez, president of 3M’s commercial solutions division. “We were thrilled to partner with the Twins and showcase that science in our own backyard.”

For the home-opening game, Pete was assigned to be an usher in rightfield. He helped fans to their seats and answered questions about some of stadium’s new changes. He remembers helping a young couple find a spot for their stroller and seven-month-old baby.

“Our granddaughter is about the same age,” said Pete. “It made me look forward to taking her to her first Twins game.”

With his garage finished, it looks like Pete now has a new project.

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