Hall of Fame Focus: Baseball Player Andy Petersen

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Each day between Oct. 10 and the Willamette University Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 19, the Hall of Fame Focus will highlight one of the individuals or teams being inducted. Baseball player Andy Petersen, who played for Willamette during the 1930, 1931 and 1932 seasons, is highlighted today. He will be inducted posthumously.

A total of five former Bearcat student-athletes, two teams, one coach and one individual selected for meritorious service will be inducted into the WU Athletic Hall of Fame this fall.

The induction ceremony will be held at the Salem Convention Center. A social hour will start at 6 p.m. (PDT), with the banquet and induction ceremony starting at 7 p.m.

Andy Petersen
Attended WU:  1929-32

Andy Petersen was a baseball standout for Willamette from 1930 through 1932, throwing an incredible three perfect games as a Bearcat. Also an offensive threat, he batted .597 in 1931. On March 21, 1931, in one of his perfect games, he struck out 15 batters.

During the 1931 Northwest Conference championship series, Petersen pitched a complete game and hit the winning home run in game one, then pitched game three for the title, collecting 32 strikeouts in the series.  His career single-game high was 23 strikeouts.

In 1932 Petersen traveled to Japan with other U.S. athletes where he bettered the home run distances that Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig had recently set on the same field.  Following a short stint with the New York Yankees organization, Petersen pitched for the Triple-A Portland Beavers in 1934 before retiring from baseball in 1935.

Petersen was inducted into the NAIA District 2 Hall of Fame in 1965 and was selected for the McMinnville High School Hall of Fame in 2007.

Andy Petersen pitched a total of three perfect games for the Bearcats.

Andy Petersen pitched a total of three perfect games for the Bearcats.