There is no baseball without mothers. Mothers who patiently played catch with young ballplayers in sweltering backyards and the moms who sat through innings in which walks alone enacted the mercy rule.
Long mornings on cheap folding chairs and tightly clutching coffees during interminable playoff tournaments held hours from home. Moms who know the game inside and out and dutiful moms sitting in traffic and shell out for parking so their kids might see their heroes once a year.
The game as we know it would cease to be without moms, let there be no doubt. Every year on Mother’s Day, Major League Baseball raises money and awareness for breast cancer as players use pink bats, pink bases and all manner of softly-hued merchandise.
Let’s take a cue from them and salute some of the best mothers in baseball history.
For giving a gift to the world
Played nine games in the Alabama-Florida League in 1951 for the Enterprise Boll Weevils - a hat I wish to buy and a place I wish to never visit.
Enterprise, Alabama is home to former Yankee Ben Paschal, a bench player during the Murderer’s Row days who started 40 games in 1925 when Babe Ruth was out with a “stomach ailment” aka an STI. Enterprise is also home to “the only statue to an insect pest in the world”, according to Wikipedia.
Nicknamed “The Mummy” because he lurched around on the mound looking like a damn mummified corpse, Coates carved out a long career as a reliever and spot starter in the sixties, pitching 247 times in the big leagues.
A great feat considering he was essentially replacement level for his whole career, a career that almost ended thanks to a broken arm that cost him two years early in career. Was known as a beanball artist unafraid to throw at batters, betraying the entire mummy ethos.
A fourth round draft pick by of the Baltimore Orioles out of Auburn University in 2010, Mummey struggled through four pro seasons before the O’s eventually released him earlier this season.
Sort of catcher, sort of outfielder, sort of hitter for the Atlanta Braves. His next home run will be the 100th of his career. Uses Danzig’s Mother as his walkup music.
Walter L “Mother” Watson pitched twice for Cincinnati Red Stockings of the American Association in 1887. Died at age-33 in Ohio, also known as “getting it coming and going.”
Pitched six times in 1955 for the Clinton Pirates of the Mississippi-Ohio Valley league. Is probably related to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, somehow.
Apparently plays or played in Cuba at some point in 2010 and 2012. Is probably better than most Astros. Has the greatest name to ever pass your lips.
A 20th round pick by the Minnesota Twins, Mummy played 44 games of short season rookie ball in 2005 for the Billings Mustangs, where he was a teammate of Jay Bruce. Is probably now out of baseball. Middle initial is (awesomely) “D”.
Played in the low minors in the late 50’s, getting as high as the AA Texas League, where he was a teammate of Ruben Amaro, father of current Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. Current...for now.
The baddest mother in the game by a considerable margin
Feature photo courtesy of Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA TODAY Sports