MLB Players Honor Moms On Mother’s Day In The Absence Of Games
Sunday was Mother’s Day and usually, we have baseball where players across Major League Baseball wear pink trimmed uniforms, using pink bats and honoring moms across the world. One of the most memorable moments in recent MLB history occurred on Mother’s Day 2010 when Dallas Braden threw a perfect game with his grandmother in attendance, who raised Braden after his mother died of cancer when Braden was in high school.
Although no games were played this Mother’s Day, the MLB did try their best to honor moms the best they possibly could. On their website, they ran an article where one player from each of the 30 teams honored their mom.
Here are some of the notable ones:
James Paxton of the New York Yankees on his mom Barb: “When I was first getting started playing more competitive baseball in high school, I was going to a team that I knew I would have to run a lot more for conditioning,” Paxton recalled. “I was not in great shape when I was younger. I was always a little chubby and really didn’t like running, but I was determined to make the team I was trying out for. I started running laps around the park behind our house and my mom would sit by our fence with a water bottle for me.”
Whit Merrifield of the Kansas City Royals on his mom Kissy: “My mom was the best athlete in the family [four-time state high school champion in tennis] but she also is the most superstitious by far,” Merrifield said. “When she watches me play, she will move around the stadium trying to find the ‘lucky spot’ for me. One time when I was in the Minors, she was there with a lot of her family and I had a bad series going. In the final game, I struck out in my first at-bat and she had seen enough — she left her family and went to a section of the stadium that was completely empty and sat there.”
Braden Bishop of the Seattle Mariners on his mom Suzy: “Obviously, Mother’s Day means a lot to me,” Bishop said. “Now that she’s gone, it takes on another meaning. We continue to honor her. We kind of see every day as our Mother’s Day and how we approach who we’re trying to affect and who we’re trying to serve. The significance of Mother’s Day brings about us trying to share what she was about, honoring her love and trying to spread that to others.”
Vince Velasquez of the Philadelphia Phillies on his mom Juanita: “She’s an icon, a role model,” Velasquez said. “My mom is entirely the heart and soul and brains of the operation throughout our family. My dad worked four jobs before I was born. Then he worked three jobs. My dad was working at UPS when I was growing up and going to these tournaments. I can appreciate the fact that my mom got me to where I needed to perform at the highest level. We went to tournaments constantly. Every week. She was the only one taking me. My mom was always there. I think that’s one of the things that I cherish the most.”
Curt Casali of the Cincinnati Reds on his mom Cathy: “One of my favorite memories I have about my mom — we lived in Atlanta, Georgia, when I was like five or six, right around when I started to get into baseball. My dad was traveling a lot for work. We had this big, big tree in our front yard. It was just tall and super skinny. I would play catch with my mom and she would throw the ball as high as she could over the tree and I would be the one catching it and then trying to throw it back over the tree back to her. My Mom is probably the first person who taught me how to play catch. She played a big role in getting me into baseball early on because for a while, it was just me and her while my dad was on business trips. She took the bull by the horns and helped me get on my way. She had a really good arm. She used to play tennis in our neighborhood with a bunch of the other moms. She was pretty good at it and contributed to the athleticism in our family.”
Carson Kelly of the Arizona Diamondbacks on his mom Traci: “My dad was working with Nike, so it was Mom who was the trooper. She would take us on all of our trips if we were playing travel ball. She would sacrifice so much just to give us the best opportunity to play — make sure that we were fed and had our Capri Sun’s and our orange slices. I mean she was always prepared and always on top of it. She was always there and she still reminds me to this day, ‘Hey, I’m always here for you.’ She would take me to school early in the morning for practice and then we had a facility in Vancouver, Wash. that was probably a 45-minute drive from our house. And after practice for the school team, which probably lasted until like 6 p.m., she would pick me up and take me up there where we would practice for another few hours and then it’s like 10 p.m. So, she was going from 5:30 in the morning to 10 at night making sure I was where I needed to be and had what I needed. It’s something that I can never repay her for. I love her so much for doing all that and being my biggest supporter.”
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