Special surprise from Mom: 'You're getting me emotional, man'
"Is this live right now?"
About two seconds after Cardinals outfielder Lars Nootbaar said those words during an interview with ESPN's Eduardo Perez prior to St. Louis' Sunday Night Baseball game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, the tears began to flow.
"You're getting me emotional, man," said Nootbaar, who had just seen his mother appear live on the television monitor.
Just prior to Kumi Nootbaar appearing on the screen on this Mother's Day, Nootbaar had been describing what she means to him. In a word: "Everything."
"She's my everything," he said. "She's my best friend."
Nootbaar was taken by surprise, as was Red Sox manager Alex Cora, whose mother was also brought aboard the ESPN telecast for a live interview. We learned that Iris is in touch with her son "every single night" via text message.
"When we win, there's a 'W' in there," she said with a laugh. "But when we lose, no 'W.'"
Nootbaar and Cora were the big winners even before the first pitch of Sunday night's game, though it didn't hurt that the Cards ended up beating Boston, 9-1, to complete a big weekend sweep.
Cora would be receiving a text with a 'W' in it, thanks to an offensive outburst that included a 3-for-5, two-double performance by Nootbaar, whose mother was surely watching with delight.
During the Nootbaar interview, after Kumi thanked her son for the flowers that he sent to her, he replied with that all-encompassing word again, expressing the infinite reach of his gratitude to her.
"Thanks for everything," Nootbaar said before he started to cry again. "That's my best friend -- you guys are doing this to me, man."
Kumi said what the world was now seeing -- that Lars is a crier -- to which he offered a clarification.
"I only get emotional when I see her," he said before saying four words that summed everything up as he wiped more tears from his eyes:
"I love you, mom."