My Mom, she wasn’t like a baseball mother who knew everything about the game. She just wanted me to be happy with what I was doing.
– David Ortiz
For those of us that still don’t know or remember, Sunday is Mother’s Day. One day a year we set aside to honor mothers who brought us into this world and, apparently, can also take us out of it as well. You know how much trouble you are in if your full name is used. This Sunday, Major League Baseball will honor Mother’s Day with pink everywhere. From bats to mitts to pink cleats, each player will be decked out in pink to honor their mothers and thank them for all their hard work they put in to make a major league dream possible. Players will share stories of their mothers and what they did for them when they were young. Some stories will be happy, and some will be sad, as not everyone’s mother is still alive to be with them. We all know how important a mother is to our lives as regular people and not ball players, but Mom also serves in a lesser known but still just as important role on the team: Team Mom.
If you played little league growing up, you know about the team mom. She always had orange slices and capri sun, chilled on ice ready to go post game. She ran the snack shack, she took book, she cheered the loudest on every play — not just for her kid — and she took over when the coach was tossed due to arguing balls and strikes (or was that just my childhood?). Team mom is a very important role for any team and it is time she gets the recognition she deserves.
My mom doesn’t particularly like baseball. She is not a fan of any team, and she couldn’t tell you who her favorite player is because there isn’t one (she would probably say me, but we know it’s not a skill-based assessment, there are ulterior motives behind her pick). But my mom was there in the stands watching me play every weekend, and she still comes out to see me now and then, playing in an adult league. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest my mom would spend many cold Saturday mornings wrapped in a blanket in the stands of my little league games. She sacrificed sleep and sanity to watch me play the game I loved, cheering me on the whole time. I always said I got my love of the game from grandpa, but mom was the one that drove me to games and was always there to offer words of encouragement after an 0-4 day and always had a snow cone ready. Ah yeah, fruit punch! Mom was the one that made my love of the game possible with all the sacrifices she made to get me there in uniform, clean uniform, with all my equipment ready to play every weekend allowing me to play and not worry about the little things.
How big of a roll do moms play? Just watch a video of the biggest baddest dudes to play the game. Watch them as their tough exterior melts away to expose a crying baby when seeing their mothers, ones they may have not seen in years. So, here’s to mom, finder of things hiding in plain sight, fixer of ouchies, the ultimate fan, maker of ants on a log, and a constant support system. Love you Mom and a happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! Play ball