With Mother’s Day recently coming and going, I thought it would be appropriate to write an article about how incredible my mother is. Now, you may be thinking ‘why are you writing this for bleacher report, a sports Web site?’
The short answer is that my mom is a baseball fan. The long answer is, well you’re going to have to read the rest of the article to understand the long answer.
When I was growing up, I rooted for all the teams my dad rooted for. The Lakers, the Packers and the Oakland Athletics. When I was very young, my parents split up. Although I would spend time with both of my parents, it was mostly up to my mom to raise me as a single parent.
I always had a deep love for baseball, but growing up in Arizona, the only baseball we had was spring training. My mom also was a big baseball fan, growing up in Detroit and watching the Tigers play.
So here was a baseball loving, single parent trying to raise a baseball loving, young boy. The only problem was that she was a Tigers fan, and I was an A’s fan. That would all change in 1998 when Arizona was granted an expansion team, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
My mom would take me to games, and even though the team was not very good in its first season, it was something my mom and I could do together. Little did we know the Diamondbacks would change our lives.
The following year, we continued going to as many games as we could. We would sit somewhere new every game, as often times we were the recipients of free tickets from friends or people we knew. Not to mention, the D-backs became the first team ever to reach the playoffs in only their second year of existence.
The years went on and we continued to attend as many games as possible. In 2001, the D-backs once again made history, becoming the fastest team ever to win a World Series, in just their fourth season.
The entire postseason that year was magical for the D-backs. In Game Five of the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals, the D-backs won the series in the bottom of the ninth on a Tony Womack base hit. Yes, I was lucky enough to be at this game (as well as Games One and Two) thanks to my mom waiting in line for nearly 12 hours to get tickets.
The D-backs took care of the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS that year and during the elimination game in that series, my mom was back in line, hoping to be able to purchase World Series tickets for her and her 12 year old son.
Mom outdid herself this time, standing in line for a jaw-dropping 14 hours! But it was worth it because she and I would be attending Games One and Two, and, if necessary, Games Six and Seven of the 2001 fall classic versus the New York Yankees.
Now, I am eternally grateful for everything my mom has done for me. From standing in those lines for hours on end for playoff tickets, to standing in line with me multiple times (in 110 degree heat no less) so that her son could get some bobblehead dolls, the newest craze in ballpark giveaways.
Not to mention that after the 2001 season, she bought season tickets for us (so there would be no more standing in lines for playoff games). I estimate that since the D-backs inaugural season in 1998, she and I have probably attended around 600 games (An average of about 50 per year give or take, as well as all playoff games).
That’s a hell of an amazing mom, yes? Ah, but that barely scrapes the surface.
Not only was my mom thrilled that the Arizona Diamondbacks gave us both something we could love, but she decided to take it a step further. Every year since 1997, my mom and I have taken vacations during the summer to different Major League stadiums.
In fact, this August we will be heading to our nation’s capital to see the home of the Washington Nationals.
After that, we will have seen games played in every stadium except Toronto.
Yes that’s right, as of now my mom has taken me all over the country and we have seen games in 30 different stadiums (we have seen games in Qualcomm and Petco, the old and new home of the Padres, as well as games in Tiger Stadium and Comerica Park, the old and new home of the Tigers).
Many months in advance, my mom plans the trips. She books the hotels, rental cars, airline flights, and plans other sight-seeing activities for each city and pretty much takes care of every detail on her own, and all I have to do is enjoy the trip.
In other words, my mom is Superwoman. Baseball is the one thing in life that has really brought my mom and I together; it’s the one passion we both truly share.
I know I am extremely lucky to have been able to go on the incredible trips that I have been on; not many people are able to do what my mom and I have accomplished. But no matter what, the truth is none of us would be who we are without our mothers.
Whether you’re lucky enough to go to different Major League stadiums every summer with your mom, or are just able to watch the occasional game on television, or even if your mom has no interest in baseball, tell your mom how much you love her. Enjoy every second that you’re with her and let her know how much she means to you.