By Rob Rains
The Cardinals announced Sunday night that scout Charles Peterson, who had been hospitalized for nearly a month while battling COVID-19, has died.
“Charles had an incredible impact on our scouting department. He brought a tremendous work ethic, keen eye, and booming laugh with him every day. My prayers are with his wife Karen and family as anyone who ever talked to CP knew how proud he was of them,” said Randy Flores, the team’s scouting director, in a prepared statement.
Peterson had been an amateur scout for the Cardinals since 2012. He also served as a special assistant to Flores, and was responsible for scouting South Carolina, Georgia and north Florida. Among the players he signed for the Cardinals was the team’s top pick in this year’s draft, Jordan Walker. He also was the signing scout for catcher Andrew Knizner, among others.
John Mozeliak, the Cardinals president of baseball operations, said in a press release, “Charles always would light up the draft room. His smile, his voice, his energy…you knew it was Charles. He was a special man that made others better. He will be missed.”
The news that Peterson, 46, had died brought reaction from the college baseball world and the scouting community.
On Twitter, Clemson head coach Monte Lee said, “Big Pete was a special person. All of us in the baseball community will miss him dearly. Please, wear a mask. Take it seriously. I don’t want to lose another friend!”
On the official Twitter page of the East Coast Pro scouting showcase, their message said, “Our scouting community lost a good man today. He was kind & gentle and always trying to make everyone better. He always had a smile & a laugh & touched a lot of lives for a young man.Our hearts are broken & saddened.Our prayers go out to his family. RIP CP RIP. We’ll miss you.”
The news that Peterson was seriously ill first became known on Friday, when a gofundme campaign was launched to help raise money for his treatment and for his family. That announcement said Peterson, who lived in Columbia, S.C., had been hospitalized since Aug. 17 and was on a ventilator in intensive care. On that page it said that there had been “no real improvement” in Peterson’s condition since he was hospitalized.
Flores said Friday that Peterson was fighting for his life.
Peterson had been involved in baseball since 1993 when he was the first-round pick of the Pirates out of a high school in South Carolina. An outfielder, Peterson reached Triple A in his five years in the Pittsburgh system before playing for more than eight years in independent league baseball.
He also played professionally in Canada, Mexico and Taiwan and before joining the Cardinals as a scout also worked for USA Baseball.
On the gofundme page, the posted message said, “Charles is a devoted husband and father, son, brother, loyal friend and colleague, and mentor to many aspiring young athletes. He has built his life around sports and helping others. He spends countless hours sharing his time, talent, and skill helping others develop and live up to their full potential. He’s always been a play maker on and off the field.
“Now it’s our turn. Pete needs us to step up and be the play maker. I ask you to continue to pray and send positive thoughts. Please assist us in raising funds for Charles and his family to help ease the burden this terrible illness has placed on them.”
The listed goal of the gofundme campaign was $5,000 but as of Sunday night more than $31,000 had been raised in the first nine hours of the campaign.
To make a donation, CLICK HERE
Photo of Charles Peterson with Jordan Walker courtesy of St. Louis Cardinals