Allen's 'Mama A' loved by all, means all to one

May 8th, 2020

CLEVELAND -- What do Indians outfielder and pitching prospect have in common? The obvious answer is that both came from the Padres' organization. Dig a little deeper though, and they may tell you they share a mom.

Allen’s mother, Dale, doesn’t have the same DNA as Reyes, but the two have developed a special bond.

“[Reyes is] one of the most exceedingly welcoming, jovial, happy-go-lucky men,” Dale Allen said. “He has such a huge personality in the public eye. But he's such a warm and fuzzy teddy bear. At Tribe Fest, I hadn’t seen Frannie in three months and as soon as I see him, it's just like ‘Mommy! Hey, how are you?’”

“When I was in San Diego, she fell in love with Franmil,” Logan Allen said. “She loved how Franmil would sing, she loved how Franmil was just so animated about everything he did.”

Being tied to the baseball community, it’s not hard for these bonds to form. Players spend as many as nine consecutive months together, causing the term “teammates” to transform into “brothers.” And when Dale Allen’s son adds some brothers, she has no problem filling the motherly role.

“I think being a baseball mom is like a sorority, like we once had in college,” Dale Allen said. “You love these boys as they grow into young men, as if they were your own sons because their moms aren’t always there. There’s always someone to pick up for your boy when you’re not there.”

Allen said his mom has set up every apartment he’s had during his Minor League career. Shes takes him and his friends to dinner each time she’s in town and always makes sure they have enough essentials before she leaves.

Her motherly instincts are natural, but her baseball knowledge took a little more work. Dale Allen grew up in France and moved to the United States during her teenage years. When Logan Allen started showing an interest in baseball, mom did her best to learn the game, especially after she realized he had a chance to make it his future.

“He went to Cooperstown Dreams Park when he was 12 with the team,” Dale Allen said, “and the owner, Lou Presutti, came to me and said, ‘Your son has a very special talent. I’m telling you, I see a lot of kids every summer, like thousands. This kid is going somewhere.”

That moment became a turning point for the Allen family as they prepared for a potential future in baseball. But that preparation wasn’t always so simple. Allen’s older brother, Philip, has severe cerebral palsy and requires 24/7 nursing care. Because Dale had been told she could no longer lift her eldest son due to back problems, her husband stayed home more often to take care of Philip, prompting her to be fully thrown into the baseball world for the first time to take Allen to his games and practices.

"She used to have nicknames for my pitches she doesn't know," Allen said. “She could never say the word ‘curveball’ with her French accent, and my teammates would absolutely just die over it because she’d say ‘blooper ball,’ ‘the slidey thing’ and then she called it an ‘up change’ for a while instead of a ‘change up.’ She knows what she's talking about, it's just her own way of saying it. She does that all the time with little things, and that was always our way of communicating.”

That baseball bond shared between Allen and his mother has only grown. The soon-to-be 23-year-old was drafted in 2015 by the Red Sox, traded to the Padres the following season and played in their farm system for four seasons. The family did its best to schedule trips to see Allen pitch professionally, but in Dale Allen’s eyes, none would top the moment that happened on June 17, 2019 -- two nights before her birthday.

Allen called her late in the evening and asked her to get his dad and put him on speaker. She told him that his dad was in the shower and couldn’t talk, but Allen told her she needed to go get him anyway. Nervously, she rushed to the bathroom and hit the speaker button.

“He goes, ‘Mama, Daddy, we did it,'” Dale Allen said. “I said, ‘We did what?’ And he goes, ‘I just got called up to the Major Leagues.' It was the greatest way he could’ve said it. He goes, ‘I know it’s not your birthday mom, but I’ll be throwing the night before, and we’ll celebrate into your birthday.' And I was like, ‘Wow. Mama, we made it.’”

Dale Allen and her husband rushed to get their suitcases packed and hurried out their front door in North Carolina at 3 a.m. to make sure they got across the country in time to see their son debut in San Diego. Leaving the house for the Allen family isn’t always simple: They have to make sure Philip’s nursing staff is properly equipped, so they treasure every moment they have at Allen’s games.

“It was crazy just to look in the stands and ... see my dad in tears and my mom just screaming,” Allen said of his debut. “I promise you, no matter how many people are at the stadium, I can point her out in the crowd based on her scream anywhere. She is loud and proud, and it’s awesome.”

The pride in Allen's voice as he speaks about his mother is unmistakable. Allen’s debut is one of his fondest memories with his mom, but he also recalled the time she sneaked into his middle school dance -- dressed in all black -- to peek in the windows and was caught by his principal. And then there was the time she brought speakers to his youth baseball game to play walkup music for everyone on his team.

He laughed when he said those memories were embarrassing, but he also noted that it was when he realized he had the cool, fun mom.

No matter how much she has on her plate from caring for her eldest son, to her dedication to Allen’s career, to the time she spends with her youngest son -- plus all the “adopted” kids she’s picked up throughout Allen’s time in baseball -- the woman known as “Mama A” wouldn't have it any other way.

“She’s so fun,” Allen said. “It means the world to me.”