A salute to mom from a member of every club

May 10th, 2020

Mother's Day is special everywhere, and in baseball, it takes on an added significance since so many MLB players wouldn't be where they are without the love and sacrifices of their mothers as they were growing up. With the help of all 30 MLB.com beat writers, here are touching Mother's Day memories and messages from a member of each club.


BLUE JAYS: Danny Jansen on his mom, Kathy

Danny Jansen knows that his mother, Kathy, would also love to be at the ballpark right now, where she continues to be his biggest supporter.

“She’s an amazing person. She’s always been there for me, my dad [Steve], too, and they’ve always made sacrifices for me," Jansen said. "She’s made so many sacrifices with her time and by buying me things when I was younger. I know that she never wants to miss another Opening Day, so we were going to make that happen this year. That’s going to be something going forward, she’s never going to miss one of those. She just means the world to me. I wish I could be playing baseball right now in front of her. I know that means the world to her. They just got a new TV on the deck and they love spending time out there watching me play baseball. I wish I could be with her, and Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!” -- Keegan Matheson

ORIOLES: Austin Hays on his mom, Terrie

The first time Terrie saw her son Austin play in the Majors, in 2017, she “had tears running down my face.” Hays often had his mother on his mind growing up playing baseball, also. As a pre-teen on the travel-ball circuit, he stopped wearing batting gloves because he ripped them so often sliding into bases, he felt guilty constantly asking for new ones.

“It seemed like every weekend we were getting another pair of batting gloves, another pair of batting gloves,” Hays says. “I started to feel bad about her always having to buy me batting gloves so I stopped wearing them for a while, and it just stuck.”

Now, Hays is one of the few big leaguers who hits barehanded. He also hears his mom’s voice echoing in his ears every time he leaves the batter’s box. The Orioles’ center fielder credits her for helping shape his tenacious style of play.

“Everybody jokes on me that I’m always going to run hard, whether it’s down the line or for a fly ball, that’s kind of my reputation,” he said. “It’s because whenever I hit the ball [growing up], the first thing she would do is yell from the stands: “RUN!” So when people ask why I run hard, it’s because it’s been instilled in me forever. My mom used to scream it at me from the top of her lungs!” More > -- Joe Trezza

RAYS: Willy Adames on his mom, Ana Sobeida Luna

Throughout his professional career, Willy Adames has established himself as one of the clubhouse leaders due to his outgoing personality and ability to communicate and be playful with all his teammates. Those qualities, added in with his actual performance on the field, is what Rays manager Kevin Cash calls the “it” factor.

Adames credits all of that to his mother, Ana Sobeida Luna. 

“My mom is a really humble person,” Adames said. “She always taught me that you have to treat people with respect, especially older people. She taught us to be really simple and not fall in love with materialistic things.”

While the family won’t be spending Mother’s Day together this year, Adames and his mom will still be connected through FaceTime. In fact, it’s been Adames’ mother that has gotten him through meal prepping during his quarantine. 

“My mom’s food is the best there is,” Adames said. “I cook with her on the phone. I can do it by myself, but at first it was my mom that would help me with everything.”

Adames and his mother talk every day and have always had a strong relationship. He acknowledges that he wouldn’t be in the big leagues had it not been for the support of his entire family. There were times that Adames wanted to return to the Dominican Republic and stop playing baseball, but his family wouldn’t let him. 

That’s why when Adames finally reached the big leagues in 2018, the family shared a special moment inside their hotel room. A moment that Adames says he’ll never forget. 

“You know, you go through a lot of rough times during the Minor Leagues,” Adames said. “But seeing that I had realized my dream, she just started crying. I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything.” -- Juan Toribio

RED SOX: Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom on his mom, Esther

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom doesn’t need to ask for reading recommendations. He knows he’ll get a steady stream of them from his mom, Esther. And if Bloom’s two sons are looking for some new material, Esther has them covered also.

“My mom is a teacher by trade, and so she is a voracious reader," Bloom said. "To this day she’s always mailing and e-mailing articles and books that she thinks I’ll find interesting, and now she’s doing that for my kids too -- digging up children’s books out of storage that I used to love and sending them to my boys.”

And in this day and age where so many communications are electronic, Bloom takes comfort in knowing he will still get some meaningful “snail mail” from his mom.

“She also loves to write and sends great handwritten notes for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions,” Bloom said. “I still have one that she sent me fifteen years ago after I got my first full-time job in this game, telling me how proud she was of all of the hard work that I put in to get that opportunity. It’s a great feeling to know your mom is always in your corner, and she definitely has been!” -- Ian Browne

YANKEES: James Paxton on his mom, Barb

James Paxton says that he has always been his own toughest critic. The Yankees left-hander credits his mother, Barb, for helping him remember to take it easy and enjoy the ride.

“My mom has been a huge part of my career,” Paxton said. “She has cheered me on from the start and was always there to help me through the tough times.”

Barb Paxton had admittedly not been much of a sports fan before James began his path toward the big leagues; she owns and operates The Cloth Shop, a store on Granville Island in Vancouver, B.C., that sells fabric, quilts and the like. But when James found his calling on the mound, Barb helped provide the support that the budding athlete needed.

“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.”

When Paxton threw a no-hitter for the Mariners on May 8, 2018, his parents were on the edge of their seats for every pitch, watching anxiously with the occasional tears in their eyes. That special moment is but one of many that Paxton holds dear on this Mother’s Day.

“Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!” Paxton said. “I love you so much and am so grateful to have you for a mom. You’ve been so supportive and encouraging of my dreams, and I wouldn’t be where I am without you.” -- Bryan Hoch


INDIANS: Logan Allen on his mom, Dale

Around the guys in the clubhouse, she’s “Mama A.” 

No matter what organization or Minor League team Logan Allen has played for, his mom has naturally evolved into becoming a mother-like figure to all of his closest friends and teammates. Her giving and nurturing nature makes it so simple that guys like Franmil Reyes just yell “Mama!” every time she’s around. 

“I've been getting a few texts from [Reyes] during this whole thing,” Allen said. “He didn't even ask about me. Franmil knows I'm fine, I guess. He just wants to know how my mom's doing. She's gotten pretty close to him. She was like that with a lot of my teammates when I was in San Diego and [Mike Clevinger] knows how awesome she is and she’s gotten pretty close to [Zach] Plesac. So she's very much like a team mom.”

When Allen started getting into his high school years of baseball, Dale became the main person to take him to and from practices while her husband was taking care of Allen’s brother, Philip, who has severe cerebral palsy. She did not know much about baseball before Allen started playing when he was a child, but when she was thrown into his regular routine, the France native learned as much about the game as she could. 

"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.”

Allen listed countless stories that he deemed his favorite about his mom, including a time where she dressed in all black and snuck around his middle school dance to peek in the windows to see what was going on or the time where she brought speakers to his youth baseball game to play walk-up music for all of his teammates. But any moment that she’s able to watch him play, considering she has so much to balance with Allen’s older brother's health condition at home, is special to Allen. 

“She’s just so fun,” Allen said. “It means the world to me.” More > -- Mandy Bell

ROYALS: Whit Merrifield 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.

"Of course, I hit a home run my next at-bat. She goes back to sit with her family but when I come up again, she goes back to the empty section where she had been except there is one guy sitting there now and it’s right next to the seat she was sitting in. I see her sit down right next to him and I’m sure he’s thinking, ‘Lady, what are you doing? There’s all kinds of empty seats here. You gotta sit right here?’ I think I almost consciously made an out so she’d go somewhere else. She told me later that she explained to him what she was doing and they got a good laugh out of it.”

TIGERS: Daniel Norris on his mom, Sandra

Daniel Norris has become known as a big coffee drinker over the last couple of years, both in the Tigers clubhouse and around town. But when Norris was playing in Little League back home in Johnson City, Tennessee, he and his mom had a pregame ritual with soda.

“It was funny, before every game when I was younger, I would be walking around getting ready and my mom, she would give me a little bit of Mountain Dew, just a jolt of Dew,” Norris said. “I don't think I've had a soda since this, but it was a good luck charm.”

It wasn’t just soda that his mom would provide. With his father working hard through a lot of weekends to support their bicycle shop, mom was also the chauffeur for most of Norris’ youth baseball career.

“My dad had the bike shop when I was younger and when we would have travel ball in Knoxville or wherever, the sacrifices my mom would make to take me and leave the sisters,” Norris said. “I just think about the sacrifices my mom made.” -- Jason Beck

TWINS: Nelson Cruz on his mom, Dominga

When Nelson Cruz signed his first professional contract as a 17-year-old in the Dominican Republic all those years ago, he had never been outside of his small hometown of Las Matas de Santa Cruz, in the northwestern corner of the country, near the Haitian border. His mother, Dominga, was so reluctant to let her son leave the nest that she took a two-week hiatus from her work as a teacher to follow him to the first stop of his baseball journey.

For two weeks, Dominga lived out of a hotel. Every morning, she would wake up, pick Nelson up from the house where he lived with other players and follow him to the facility, where she would faithfully wait until he was done with games or practices so that she could take him back. Most teenagers these days probably couldn’t imagine having their mother with them so much around all of their new friends, but the young Cruz felt protected and comfortable for those first few days of uncertainty after leaving home.

“It was hard for her to leave my side,” Cruz said. “They always want to take care of their sons. Like I said, they don't see you as a grown man. They always see you as a kid. You know?"

“She tells me that I'm her baby,” he added. “She calls about, 'Did you eat?' 'What did you eat?' 'Do you have food?' 'Are you sick?' Stuff like that. She'd always make time for that. She calls every morning. She sends me a text every day, every morning, to find out how did I feel, how did I sleep.”

Imagine how tough it must have been for Dominga when Nelson made his way to the United States and missed nearly a full decade’s worth of Mother’s Day celebrations before they could finally be together again when Dominga joined Nelson during an early year game in Texas. That Mother’s Day, May 13, 2007, Nelson was determined to make up for all those years that he’d missed.

“I woke up that day and I was like, 'I need to do something cool for my mom,'” Cruz said.

Fast-forward to the bottom of the ninth inning, when Cruz stepped to the plate with one out in a 6-6 game. He took a big hack at the 0-1 pitch from Angels righty Scot Shields and lifted the ball all the way over the right-center field fence for the first walk-off homer of his storied career -- with a proud mom in the building.

“It was magical,” Cruz said. “I remember we went back to the house and we were watching the highlights on ESPN, and she just kept going, 'Play it back! Play it back!'" -- Do-Hyoung Park

WHITE SOX: Aaron Bummer on his mom, Kelly

White Sox reliever Aaron Bummer had a Mother’s Day tradition as a young player he is glad to have given up. It’s not something like sending flowers to his mother, Kelly, or writing her name on his glove.

For some reason, Bummer went through a short streak where he seemed to get hurt on the actual day itself.

“I don’t know if it’s a necessarily good thing,” said Bummer with a laugh, during a phone interview from his home in Nebraska. “Growing up we always played Mother’s Day tournaments ... [one] year, I got hit by a pitch on my wrist and had to go get x-rays. [Another year] I broke my elbow and gashed up my leg pretty bad. I still have a pretty cool scar for it. Thankfully over the last five or six years I haven’t been hurt on Mother’s Day, so we are going to kind of hope that tradition keeps coming.”

Kelly Bummer actually was her son’s first T-Ball coach, and it was her and Aaron’s father, Craig, who were the first line of support for the southpaw. They were the ones driving multiple hours to games throughout Arizona, and it was mom sitting through contests on Mother’s Day itself instead of being at home relaxing.

Their sturdy home base started Bummer on his way to becoming one of the better setup men in the American League and earning a five-year, $16 million deal agreed upon during this past Spring Training. And after that one brief period, Kelly Bummer doesn’t have to worry about doctor or hospital visits on her special day.

“It was awesome, and she was awesome, kind of supporting me and my brother throughout everything,” said the married 26-year-old Bummer, whose wife’s name is Amber. “In reality there is no way to repay your parents, your mother or your father, for everything they did for you.

“They were role models for me, and I hope I can eventually be the same for my children one day. That’s one of the greatest gifts I can give to them is to raise my children in the same light that they raised me.” -- Scott Merkin


ANGELS: Ty Buttrey and his mom, Robin

Angels reliever Ty Buttrey’s father, Dan, pitched at Northwood University in Michigan but his mother, Robin, insists he got his athleticism from her side of the family. Robin was a softball pitcher and her father pitched professionally in the Yankees organization. But his mom says that the most athletic person in the family is Buttrey’s grandmother, who was still mowing her own lawn at the age of 92 in South Dakota at the time of Buttrey’s MLB debut with the Angels in 2018. Buttrey appears primed to be the closer of the future for the Angels and his mom played a huge role in helping him get to this point. -- Rhett Bollinger

ASTROS: Joe Smith on his mom, Lee

An elementary school teacher in Ohio, Lee Smith made sure her only son’s grades were on point. Mike Smith traveled a lot while working sales, so often it was Lee who was taking Joe and his sister to their games and events as kids in Ohio. “I would be playing baseball or something in the front yard with some friends and she’d be yelling at me because I was late to my tutor and all this stuff and I wanted nothing to do with it,” Joe said with a laugh. “I just wanted to play sports. She was good, man.” Smith’s thoughts will be with his mother this Mother’s Day. She was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease in 2012 and has spent the last 2 1/2 years living in a nursing facility. More > -- Brian McTaggart

ATHLETICS: Jesús Luzardo on his mother, Monica

From driving him all across South Florida for travel ball as a kid to helping him through a grueling Tommy John rehab process as an 18-year-old, Luzardo is grateful to have had his mother, Monica, by his side throughout baseball and life.

“I just remember all the times she would take me to baseball practice and then take my sister to her swimming practice,” Luzardo said. “She would go back and forth daily, so we were a lot to handle. I’m thankful for my mom always being there for me and doing whatever it took for us.”

Now rated Oakland's No. 1 prospect with expectations as the club’s next ace, Luzardo never hesitates to thank both of his parents for their role in helping him get to this point in his career. -- Martin Gallegos

MARINERS: Braden Bishop on his mom, Suzy

 Braden Bishop understands pain. The young Mariners outfielder broke his wrist and missed half a year in the Minor Leagues in 2018. He took a 98 mph fastball to the ribs last season that resulted in a lacerated spleen, wiping out much of his rookie campaign.

But this will be a different ache on Sunday, the personal kind that hits the heart: his first Mother’s Day without his mom. So the 26-year-old will sit down and write a letter to Suzy Bishop, knowing full well she won’t see the words, but hoping the effort helps express his emotions and keeps him connected with the woman who inspires him daily.

Suzy Bishop died last October at age 59, but her spirit lives on in a pair of baseball-playing boys -- Braden and his brother, Hunter, the Giants' first-round Draft pick last year -- who push forward with the 4MOM foundation that Braden began in 2014, when his mother was first diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.

“Obviously, Mother’s Day means a lot to me,” Braden said this week from Sacramento, Calif., where he’s working out and waiting for baseball season to resume. “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.” More > -- Greg Johns

RANGERS: Chris Woodward on his wife, Erin

Erin Woodward ran into a problem in 2016, when the family moved from Tampa Bay to suburban Phoenix after her husband took a job as a coach with the Dodgers. Her son Grady had signed up for Little League but the team had no manager. The Yankees were in danger of being dispersed to other teams before Erin stepped up and volunteered to become the manager. Some dads were skeptical. Others were sure that her husband Chris, manager of Major League Baseball's Rangers, was the brains behind the operation. But after seven seasons -- fall and spring -- the parents have realized that Grady’s mom is in charge. This season was supposed to be her "Last Dance" before the family moved to Texas, but that has been cancelled because of COVID-19. More > -- T.R. Sullivan


BRAVES: Ozzie Albies on his mom, Judari

Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies recently discussed the love and appreciation he has for his mother, Judari Albies, who has proudly watched her son’s games on a daily basis from their family residence in Curacao.

"Mother’s Day is always special to me," he said. "I always try to do my best every single night. But especially on that day, I’m going to try to do even better.

"My mother tells me every day she’s proud of me. I have to honor her by playing this game every single night. Her care and support means a lot to me because she’s the only one I have left. My dad passed away. So, she’s a mother, dad and everything for me.

"She understands why we are away from each other. We still talk every single night. Playing baseball is something we had to accept to have a better life and we did it.

"Before I went to Spring Training in 2018, she told me she wanted 20 homers. I had 18 and then I had a two-homer game the first game she saw after coming to Atlanta to see us play the Blue Jays just before last year’s All-Star break. She was crying the whole game. That’s one of the best memories I have, that she was there that night." -- Mark Bowman

MARLINS: Miguel Rojas on his mom, Norma

Miguel Rojas’ mother, Norma, is a doctor in Venezuela. Growing up, Norma was usually working when Miguel was playing baseball, and his grandmother regularly took him to practices and games. Norma first saw Miguel play in the big leagues in late May of 2017. She was in the United States for her birthday, which is May 28. 

“It was at Marlins Park,” Rojas said. “It was pretty special. It was the first time she was in the United States watching me play in the big leagues. For me, I was really excited. But at the same time, I felt the pressure that I needed to do something for her. I remember the first couple of games she was here, I didn't do so well in the games. I was putting pressure on myself because I wanted to do good. We had a conversation after one of the games. I was kind of upset because I wasn't playing good baseball at the time. I was putting too much pressure on myself, and she could feel that. She said, 'You know what? I don't need for you to show me what you can do. I know what you can do. Just go out there and play for joy, and have fun.'" It’s advice that has helped motivate him. -- Joe Frisaro

METS: Pete Alonso on his mom, Michelle

A significant number of Pete Alonso’s baseball genes can be traced to his mother, Michelle, a former Ohio Wesleyan University softball player who often ferried her son to games with a bag of balls in the car. The younger Alonso distinctly recalls one such day when he was around nine years old. His father was out of town on business, and Pete and Michelle arrived at the field about an hour before first pitch.

"None of the coaches or kids on my team were there,” Alonso said. Rather than wait around idly for others to show up, Michelle took it upon herself to step in and personally throw Pete batting practice.

“I raked that game, too,” Alonso said. -- Anthony DiComo

NATIONALS: Eric Thames on his mom, Maureen

When Eric Thames signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, he wanted his mother, Maureen, to share the moment in person. She was uneasy at first about making the trip, but it was important for him to have her there. 

“‘You’ll love it. It’s like New York City,” he told her.

She decided to embark on the long journey, and she soaked up the experience once in Korea.

“She flew out there and she was like, ‘This is actually really nice, it’s really safe and the restaurants and this and that,’” Thames said. “It’s funny, she was so afraid, how people are, we’re so afraid of the unknown, all this stuff. But once you get there it’s like, ‘Oh, this is just like our hometown.’”

For all the times Thames has had his mother in the stands, the KBO games still stand out to him. 

“She went to the games and she was dancing,” Thames said. “I have a video of her dancing with the fans. It was awesome just to see her get out of her comfort zone and enjoy the game. It made my heart melt.” -- Jessica Camerato

PHILLIES: Vince Velasquez on his mom, Juanita

Vince Velasquez’s mother Juanita played a critical role in the pursuit of his dream to be a professional baseball player.

“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 [Leonard] 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.” -- Todd Zolecki


BREWERS: Ryan Braun on his mom, Diane

If then-Brewers scouting director Jack Zduriencik was unsure of the genetic basis for Ryan Braun’s competitive streak, he found out the night the Brewers introduced their 2005 first-round Draft pick to the Miller Park faithful.

It was June 25 of that season, the night Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks each hit their first Major League home runs in a win over the Twins at Miller Park. Braun signed his first pro contract, then watched the game from a suite with his mother, Diane, his father, Joe, and club officials. Zduriencik happened to learn that Diane Braun, besides literally being a brewer – she had a long career at Anheuser-Busch -- was a marathoner, and Zduriencik mentioned offhand that had he known, he would have reserved a spot in the Sausage Race.

“She grabs my arm,” Zduriencik said, “and goes, ‘I want in!’”

So, the Brewers made it happen. They found shorts and socks and running shoes that fit, and Zduriencik accompanied Diane down to the tunnel in the left field corner, where the sausages warm up for the race, which now takes place after the sixth inning.

"I brought up the rear so bad that the rest of them had finished and I was just rounding home plate,” Diane said with a laugh. ‘My only goal was to stay upright.”

Up in the suite, her son watched with a smile. Mom played a significant role in his baseball development, Ryan said, including one notable construction project when he was about 14 years old and younger brother Steve was 12. It was Diane who built them a full-sized batting cage in the backyard of their Southern California home, a popular place for neighborhood kids and future high school teammates.

And it was Diane, according to Ryan, who kept the boys focused on school. Ryan eventually turned down baseball scholarships to Stanford and Cal and instead went to the University of Miami on an academic scholarship.

“I grew up with the most incredibly loving and supportive parents I could ever imagine having,” Ryan said. “My mom set the bar almost impossibly high for what it is to be an incredible parent, and I strive to be half the parent to my children that she was to me.” More > -- Adam McCalvy

CARDINALS: Tommy Edman on his mom, Maureen

When Edman found out he was getting promoted last June, one of his first calls was to his parents. Excitement plentiful, they boarded a plane from San Diego to Chicago to see Edman make his debut at Wrigley Field. And when they found he’d be staying in the Majors past the series with the Cubs, they boarded a plane to New York to see Edman play the Mets a week later. That’s where one of Edman’s favorite memories about his mom, Maureen, took place.

On June 14, Edman laced his first Major League hit, a line-drive double to center field. It wasn’t just Edman who was excited about it.

“When you watch the video, you can hear her screaming,” Edman said. “ It’s faint because of the crowd, but if you listen really closely, you can hear her. That’s my favorite thing. She’s always been a really loud cheerer, but I’ve always appreciated that a lot.

“She’s one of my biggest fans, always has been and always will be.” -- Anne Rogers

CUBS: Ian Happ on his mom, Mary Beth

For many players, the first phone call after being promoted to the big leagues is to their parents. For Ian Happ, he got to deliver the news to his mom in person.

Shortly before Mother's Day in 2017, Dr. Mary Beth Happ hit the road to watch her son play in Salt Lake City with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. After the Friday night game, Happ got the call to the manager's office and learned he was wanted in St. Louis. He went back to an uncle's house and told his mom the news.

"That 2017 Mother's Day, I don't think I'll ever top," Happ said. "That's about as good a Mother's Day and as good a gift, and being able to tell her in person. A lot of people don't get that opportunity."

Happ also had his brother in town with them at the time, making for an emotional moment for the entire family. Two years earlier, Happ’s dad, Keith, passed away following a battle with brain cancer.

“For all of us to be there together as a family to experience that, and travel together and just really to go through it all, all together,” Happ said, “those are always special experiences.”

On the Saturday before Mother's Day, with his mom in the stands at Busch Stadium, Happ launched a seventh-inning home run for his first career hit. On Sunday, all he did was collect two more hits off Cardinals veteran Adam Wainwright. Happ gave the pink-accented road jersey, plus the lineup card from his debut, to his mom.

"That was really a special Mother's Day," Happ said. "It was special for all the stuff she put up with and went through when I was younger. To be able to give that to her as a present was really fun." More > -- Jordan Bastian

PIRATES: Joe Musgrove on his mom, Diane

When he was a child, Joe Musgrove would play catch in his front yard with his mother, Diane. When he started playing travel ball at seven years old, Diane was always there. These days, Diane will call her son to point out a segment on MLB Network or send him an update on MLB.com or something she saw on Twitter. “She just absolutely loves the game,” Musgrove said.

Beyond being his biggest fan and most comforting supporter, Musgrove said Diane has always been “the rock” of his family. That was never more true than when her husband, Mark, was stricken by an autoimmune disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome and essentially paralyzed from the neck down for nearly two years.

“The schedule that she was running on every day, it was absurd and it wasn’t sustainable,” Musgrove said. “But some way, she did it with never a single complaint.”

Diane is also a natural host and a heck of a cook, which, combined with Musgrove’s ability on the mound, made their house a popular spot for San Diego scouting trips. Musgrove said he received in-home visits from all 30 teams when he was in high school, and about half of them came back for a second visit -- but they might have been more interested in what Diane had to offer.

“They were coming over for another meal, because we hardly ever talked baseball the second time,” Musgrove said, laughing. “They were just coming over to get some good food and hang out.” More > -- Adam Berry

REDS: Curt Casali 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.”


D-BACKS: Carson Kelly 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.”

DODGERS: SportsNet LA broadcaster Alanna Rizzo on her mother, Maria

"My mom, for me, has been the constant. My relationship with her, she’s always been my support, never pushing or forcing me to go in a certain direction. A lot of people have role models in this industry. For me, it’s more my mom. Watching her as I grew up, in that single-parent role, she was going to school part-time while working full-time while raising two daughters with very little financial assistance. She would chip away at an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, then a master’s degree -- one or two classes at a time. Through all of that, she was always somebody I could count on.

"And she served two roles -- Mom and Dad. While I have a love of sports from watching Broncos games with my dad, my mom has been the steady figure my life. She loves baseball. Her father was a spectator of the Cuban Baseball League. My Mom was born in Cuba. Mom always said she wishes my grandfather was alive to see me cover Major League Baseball and talk about baseball and cover Cuban-born players in the Major Leagues. He passed away in 2005, and I didn’t start covering baseball full time until '07. So, he missed this part of my career. My mom is a baseball fan, but she knew baseball through him. She started as a Rockies fan, but now she’s a huge Dodgers fan. You go where your kids go."

GIANTS: Wilmer Flores on his mom, Sodely García

García played a major role in Flores’ early baseball development, shuttling her son to all his practices when he was growing up in Valencia, Venezuela. Her commitment helped Flores land an amateur contract with the Mets at 16, and he rewarded her dedication when he reached the Majors in 2013. After launching his first career Major League home run against the D-backs, Flores presented the ball from his milestone homer to García.

García continues to support Flores’ career to this day. When the coronavirus pandemic halted baseball operations in March, she stepped in to help her son continue his training, throwing rounds of soft toss while sitting poolside.

“Staying ready with mama helping,” Flores wrote. “Te amo.” -- Maria Guardado

PADRES: Greg Garcia on his mom, Belinda

Greg Garcia's mother, Belinda, played an integral role in her son developing into a professional athlete. She was on hand for nearly all of his youth baseball games, and she took him to and from practices. But Belinda's skill set went a bit beyond that.

"She was actually the head coach of one of my youth soccer teams," Garcia said. "I remember those experiences, thinking, 'Wow, this is pretty cool.' It was an all-boys team, and she's our coach, and she did a great job."

Garcia’s favorite baseball-related memory with his mother came during his first start in the big leagues in 2014. He wasn't certain where his parents were sitting and hadn't seen them all game. Then he roped a double for his first career hit. Upon reaching second base, Garcia looked toward the left-field corner -- and there they were.

"I looked up and just found them in the crowd somehow," Garcia said. "I don't know what it was, but I just saw them, and I remember that look on her face." -- AJ Cassavell

ROCKIES: Jeff Hoffman on his wife, Marissa

Marissa Hoffman spent early March contributing ideas and helping the Rockies Wives Foundation make arrangements for 26 cancer patients from Children’s Hospital Colorado to make a special trip to Spring Training in Scottsdale for a weekend of fun that included going to a game and a major party with Rockies players.

“I reached out to see if we could get balloons donated for decoration during the game night, and then I also reached out to get the photobooth there for the kids,” she said. “Other than that, I had normal duties just like everybody else --- going to the store to pick up snacks, and ordering stuff from Amazon for craft night.”

But she was busy in other important ways. The Hoffmans already had one child, Tytan, who would turn 1 on March 20. And their second boy wasn’t going to wait.

She was working with many of the other wives and girlfriends up until Houstyn arrived on March 6. That was the same weekend the Children’s Hospital group toured Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

“It all happened so fast,” Marissa said. “I was in the hospital while all the girls were busy with all this stuff. Ashley Chrisman [pitcher Kyle Freeland’s girlfriend] was in and out of the hospital with me. So he [the baby] showed up right in the thick of it all. I missed the entire weekend, which was really a bummer. But the girls did such a great job.

“I was in contact with Ashley and Morgan McGee [wife of pitcher Jake McGee] the whole time. I definitely didn’t forget what was going on. It was heavy on my mind, and I was excited for it, even. I asked my doctor if there was any way that we could get the show on the road a little quicker so I could watch at least one of the events. My doctor was hilarious. She was like, ‘Leave the hospital early?’ But the whole birthing process was easy and uncomplicated --- well, as easy and uncomplicated as it gets.”

Still, after it was over, the Hoffmans had two healthy children --- and Marissa had played a part in making a bunch more children happy. -- Thomas Harding