Gomes' unique path aided by mom

May 12th, 2017
Yan Gomes with his mom in Brazil. Gomes is the first Brazilian-born player to play in the Major Leagues.

CLEVELAND -- ' path to the big leagues was unique. In a country obsessed with soccer, Gomes fell in love with baseball, eventually becoming the first Brazilian-born player to reach the Major Leagues. Gomes' mother, Claudia, was there every step along the way.

"She literally did everything," Gomes said. "Our way of doing it in Brazil is kind of like travel teams now. We would go all over the country and play. I was like 10 years old and somebody had to come with me. She would go everywhere, and she actually became our team scorekeeper. She just learned it on the go.

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"We traveled everywhere, all throughout Brazil, and she was right there with me at all times. My dad couldn't make all the trips. My mom was there for every single one of them. Wherever I needed it. It was a lot to ask. She still had her own job, but she was there for everything."