When it hits the fan!

Written by Diamond Lil

Minor League Moms

Usually, baseball moms have already seen their sons achieve star status by the time the press introduces them to the general public. Well for every Mrs. McGwire, there are thousands of "Minor League Moms" that agonize over each setback and cheer each success as their sons reach for the show.

I thought I would share an exchange I had with such a mom as her son spent a season bouncing between AAA and the Athletics. Note that names were changed to protect the identity of the player and his mom. Unfortunately, this rookie pitcher never made the team and is now out of baseball.

Hi Betty,

Joe was extremely polite when he came over to talk to me, even though I could see he was very down. I told him the whole team had done badly and that the Twins were "in a zone".

Keep the faith Betty, it really looks like this is his big chance with the A's. I have the feeling he has a good chance because they need starting pitching and middle relief as well.

Think positive,


Dear Lil,

I'm so happy you saw Joe. Don't be put off if he seemed down. He is often unapproachable (by anyone, including me) if he feels he's done badly. He is a perfectionist when it comes to pitching.

You also caught him when he was dead tired. He didn't sleep a wink the night before he went up to the bigs (nor did I). Not good when you have to go out and perform. I insisted he go to bed and I stayed up so I could call him and make sure he didn't miss his plane to Oakland. When I called to wake him up, he said he had not gone to bed because he just couldn't sleep. Such is the life of a ballplayer, especially a minor-leaguer on the edge.

Are you sure Joe took Jack's spot? I saw last night that Ken is scheduled for tonight, and I'm holding my breath for what that might mean for Joe. I felt bad for Jack, too. When Joe was up last time, he offered to let Joe live with him when they returned to Oakland. I know Joe liked him. Cold, cold business, baseball. I assume that Oakland was dumping his salary.

I'm so thrilled that Joe gets to be buddies with Plato. Joe has loved Plato since he was a very small boy, and he was once compared to "The Plato" by his high school coach. He and Joe are so much alike. I met Plato last year when they were here. When Joe saw him come in the door of the hotel, he dragged the two of us over to meet him. He is a very nice fellow, and looks much younger in person than on TV.

So Lil, I just want to tell you that Joe is a real sweetie when he loosens up, so don't be put off if he was in a sour mood. He is his own worst critic, and he can't hide it. If you see him tonight, tell him, "We're with him, as always!" --and of course I'll be watching via the net. Forever grateful to you Lil! Give him a squeeze for me.


by Diamond Lil

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