On Mother’s Day, the Orioles will have plenty of celebrations. However, sometimes, it’s not the festivities we remember but rather the stories we share.
Behind every baseball player who believes in himself is a mother who believed in him first. Although that line is widely used, it couldn’t be closer to the truth. Whether it’s a mother or someone who has stepped into that role, baseball, and the Orioles organization for that matter, are riddled with countless stories about mom and the game.
Most of my fondest memories come from the Baltimore Orioles and my parents. God bless her; my mother would cheer for every play, contend with every ump, and be right in the action for every pitch even if she didn’t understand it. That enthusiasm didn’t stop when we left Camden Yards either. No, it followed her wherever she would go to watch me play.
You see, moms are the backbone that makes it all work. I can remember trying to get out the door for practice or a game countless times, and I would’ve forgotten my head if it wasn’t attached, but she didn’t. Honestly, most of us would be lost anywhere in life, let alone in baseball, without moms.
Mother’s Day has a unique tie to Baltimore Orioles baseball.
As we prepared for this Mother’s Day, we wanted to share stories of moms and baseball. Not just from our point of view but from inside the Orioles organization and its fans. As always, Orioles Nation showed up! We had the fantastic opportunity to swap stories with more than a few close to the game, and here is what they had to share about their mothers and baseball.
Robert Neustrom #44, Norfolk Tides, OF
"It’s a funny one. When I was young playing Tee-ball, I used to hit the ball and run to third base. My mom gave me the nickname “Wrong Way Robert,” all out of fun."
I think it’s safe to say that things have changed for the Tides outfielder, but there’s no doubt mom might have had a strong hand in that.
Ben McDonald, Former No.1 draft pick by the Baltimore Orioles 1989-1995, current MASN analyst
"Having been a player and coaching 14 years of travel ball all different age groups, I can honestly say that moms and baseball go together like apple pie and ice cream. Moms are the glue that makes it all work; they are the biggest supporters of their kids and also the biggest critics of the coaches! I would have never been successful at any sport without my mom! God Bless all the moms out there; y’all are the difference makers! Happy Mothers Day to all."
Justin Ramsey, MiLB Pitching Coach for the Baltimore Orioles
"I have a huge Mother’s Day whiff. Born in the Bay Area and growing up in Sacramento, we were huge A’s fans. So obviously, we went to A’s games all the time. We would go to A’s games a lot for Mother’s Day. Back in 2010, my mom and I talked about going to the game but decided just to watch it from the comfort of home instead of making the drive. Dallas Braden proceeded to throw a perfect game."
Brad Wandell (Talkin Birdy: An Orioles Podcast, Co-host)
"Shoutout to my mother, Heather Wandell! Mom didn’t give a crap about baseball one way or another but always made it to every game, got me to every practice, and helped teach me the importance of being a part of a team. Mom helped instill the core values in me from a young age! Love you, mom!"
As a fan, player, coach, analyst, or anything in between, it is easy to see the connection between mothers and their importance to the game of baseball. Again, we want to give a massive shoutout and say thank you to Robert, Ben, Justin, and Brad for sharing their stories about their moms and the game of baseball.
Lastly, we want to say thank you to moms everywhere. It’s honestly the least either of us can do for all the hard work, hours, frustrations, and enjoyments that you put into and got out of dragging us all around this beautiful game! In some way, whether small or huge, none of us would be where we are today without you! Love you mom, Happy Mother’s Day!