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Blue Jays appreciate moms' constant support

Mothers helped Arencibia, Janssen and Lawrie achieve their dreams

TORONTO -- It's the little things that count.

That's just a small part of what makes mothers so special, and that's no different for Major League players.

Blue Jays teammates J.P. Arencibia, Casey Janssen and Brett Lawrie all gushed about how special their mothers are, and the one constant they mentioned was the little things.

"My mom has just always been there for me ever since I can remember; making my lunches to go to school, picking me up from school, driving me places [and] buying me stuff," Lawrie said. "There's just a lot of things and you can't name them all on one hand."

"She was always there," Janssen said. "Running me around to all my sports practices, being my No. 1 cheerleader, and also helping me out, playing and doing stuff in the backyard."

It's the things that moms do without thinking twice, but it plays such a large role when it comes to making the transition to professional athlete, and it's something the sons don't forget.

"I'm here because of her," Arencibia said. "My mom was always a rock. My parents divorced when I was younger, and she was a big part of my life. [She] was always there for me, always helping me and always doing everything she can do to give me an opportunity."

A part of being a mother for an athlete is that you get to share some of their finest professional moments with them.

For both Janssen and Arencibia, that day came in their Major League debuts.

Janssen, 31, was drafted by the Blue Jays in the fourth round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft and got the call to the big league club on April 27, 2006. Back then, Janssen was a starter, and he made his debut versus the Orioles at Rogers Centre, with his mom in the crowd.

"She was able to come and be there to see me finally live out my dream," Janssen said.

Arencibia's mom also made it for her son's first game, and it was quite the debut. Toronto's everyday catcher found himself in a Blue Jays uniform for the first time Aug. 7, 2010, and hit a home run in his first at-bat. He went 4-for-5 with two home runs and three RBIs in his first game.

"It was a good game for her to come to." Arencibia said. "I got to live a dream. And it still feels like a dream when I look back at that game."

For Lawrie, it was the phone call to his parents after being called up to the Majors that sticks out.

"It's always special when you get an opportunity to give some news like that. It's just a lot of fun," Lawrie said. "My family has never got to experience anything like this. When I get to share what I got with my family, because I know they've done so much to get me here, it's really important that I give back to them and show them a good time."

Arencibia has similar sentiments.

"I'll never forget that phone call," the 27-year-old said. "We're both kind of emotional. [It's] something that I've been dreaming of. And for her as a mother, she was dreaming for the day that I get to live out my dream. It was a special day."

"For me, the joy of sharing it with them and showing them the appreciation of all those hard years of practices, and being there for me through Little League, and then high school and college, finally came true," Janssen said.

"Thanks, moms, for all you do. In typical baseball fashion, I tip my hat to you," Lawrie said.

Evan Peaslee is an associate reporter for

Toronto Blue Jays, J.P. Arencibia, Casey Janssen, Brett Lawrie