April 9th has been synonymous with baseball around my house. It usually finds our family at a Rockies game, in many cases the home opener. Being my mother’s birthday, April 9th holds even greater significance, as mom took a leading role supporting and nurturing our collective love of baseball.
When I played the game, I played it hard – always giving 100%, and sometimes toeing the lines of legality. I was first ejected from a game in 8th grade for colliding with the catcher at home plate. Right or wrong, mom was always there to support me and encouraged me to play the game as it was meant to be.
This particular memory of my mother, however, finds me at my most apprehensive spot on the baseball field – in the stands, seated next to her, watching my brother pitch (I was always a nervous wreck whenever he pitched).
With men on base, Jeff raced to cover home plate on a passed ball. He received the ball from the backstop, applied the tag, and absorbed a colliding blow from the runner attempting to score. Jeff came away shaken, favoring his wrist, and the runner was called out, but not ejected.
Mom went ballistic.
She stormed out of the stands to the backstop berating the umpire – demanding that he eject the runner. Having seen me ejected for similar offenses, she sought justice now that her other son was on the receiving end, and she was not going to stop until she got it. After several attempts to appease my mother, the umpire realized that she would not relent, and finally gave mom the old heave-ho. She would wait out the rest of the game from the parking lot, and in years to come I would tell others with a small glow of pride that of all of my family members to never get ejected from a baseball game, my mother is not one of them.
Mom’s support for our baseball efforts never waivered. Whether playing, or coaching, she was always there to support us. And now that her son’s playing days are over, she still supports our baseball efforts, taking an active role in readership and commenting on this blog, and staying up to date with our Fantasy League and Major League Baseball in general (as always).
Thanks, mom, for all of your support throughout the years. You have been an integral cog in our collective baseball consciousness. Even more, nearly ¼ of this league would not exist without you. So thank you.
And Happy Birthday!