“In our game of baseball, more often than not, the mom is usually the mom and the dad”
Before Sunday’s Mother’s Day game against the Twins, Indians manager Terry Francona was asked if there was a memory that stood out about his mom, Roberta. She passed away years ago after a battle with breast cancer, so this day gives Francona a chance to reflect each year. He shared a fun story from his childhood with reporters. Here’s the tale in his own words:
“I lost my mom a long time ago, so it gives me a chance to reflect, which I appreciate. But then it also gives me a chance to celebrate. I’ve got a daughter that’s now a first-time Mother’s Day recipient. So, that’s a pretty cool thing. In our game of baseball, more often than not, the mom is usually the mom and the dad.
“Probably my favorite story of all about my mom was … when I was 10 or 11, they used to have this thing called the Phillips 66 — remember that was the gas station back then? — they used to have this thing called the pitch, hit and run contest. And my dad was gone that summer and we couldn’t go. You had to throw a baseball into a net — like from the mound. You had five throws into a net. You threw the ball up and hit it. It was almost like punt, pass and kick. So, my mom got a bucket, put cement in it and we put a fishing net [in it]. I practiced for months on my own, because my mom couldn’t catch to save her life.
“And we went down there, me and my mom were sitting in the front row getting ready for it. All the dads were like telling their sons all this, ‘Get your arms up,’ and all this [crap]. The competition starts, man, and I beat everybody’s [butt]. And then they disqualified me, because my dad was a Major League player. I hadn’t seen my dad in three months. My mom was so upset. She was so upset that we’re driving home, right? And she was crying. You know when you’re tearing up when you’re so mad? She’s grabbing the wheel and she was going to take me to get ice cream. And I said, ‘Mom, we don’t have to go to Ohio to get ice cream.’ We were across the line. Maybe that’s where I got that from. She was so [ticked].
“For years, it was the funniest story ever. If you look, there was a disclaimer. I’m not sure why the hell it mattered. I hadn’t seen my dad in three months. I was heartbroken, man. And I kicked everybody’s [butt]. I practiced [so much]. It was a little disclaimer like, if you were a kid of one of their employees or a son of a Major Leaguer. Who in the hell thought of that? I hadn’t seen him since February.”
Happy Mother’s Day to all the great moms out there.