Isn’t it amazing what a mom is willing to put up with?

And that’s before her child gets involved with athletics.

I remember my sports schedule growing up, and it is amazing that my mom (also known as my grandmother) doesn’t have a voodoo baseball with pins stuck in it.

She is amazing. And, albeit a day late (like most men), here is my ode to you, Ma. You have earned at least one column:

Thank you, Ma, for washing my uniform countless times, but always making sure it looked spotless so that the pictures Pa took looked beautiful.

Thank you, Ma, for allowing Pa to yell at my Majors coach, who had completely destroyed my confidence after he drafted me two divisions above my age bracket. I would have quit if it had continued like that.

Thank you, Ma, for not forcing me to clean my socks when I was on a hot streak. Actually, thanks for letting me “hide” them in my baseball bag. I know you knew where they were, you just let it be. I thank your nose buds as well.

Thank you, Ma, for sitting in the car, wincing every time it looked like I got hurt or something went against me in the game, but never yelling at me or the umpires. You put me first, and that means you put yourself second. That’s what makes you a wonderful mother.

Thank you, Ma, for also not going to games when you knew you couldn’t control your emotions. You knew I had Pa at all times, so you let the boys be boys. But, it made it even more exciting sometimes, when I got to tell you the story through my eyes when I got home. And you knew that.

Thank you, Ma, for supporting me after I got cut from the freshman baseball team. You encouraged me to work harder, because I wanted to, not because you did. If I had wanted to quit, you would have let me. But, you left the decision in my hands, and it made me want it even more. And it paid off the following two years. You know me like no one else does.

Thank you, Ma, for also supporting me when I wanted to play football as a junior in high school. Your previous two experiences with that were horrendous, but you let me do it. It was a great experience, but only because you put yourself second, again.

Thank you, Ma, for being there after I tore up my arm trying to resurrect my career during college. Even though you told me to concentrate on school, you didn’t hold it over me, you helped me recover. It was never about guilt with you, it was always about the lesson that could be learned.

And, finally, thank you, Ma, for always reminding me of my priorities in life. As I grow older, I yearn to make a final stab at my dream of playing professional baseball. But, I have a son now, and it’s my turn to be there for him like you were there for me.

You see, I learned from the best.

Thanks, Ma.


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