Boston might’ve pulled off a series finale win tonight, but the biggest story out of this Sox-A’s series – aside from the fact that Oakland has Boston’s number – was outfielder Stephen Piscotty’s home run in Game 2 of the series.
Back in April, I tweeted about Piscotty and his mom, how she was suffering from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, but would come to home games in a wheelchair just to see her son play.
Gretchen Piscotty was diagnosed with ALS in May 2017. At the end of last season, despite having signed Stephen Piscotty to a 6-year contract, the St. Louis Cardinals traded him to Oakland. They sent him home so he could be nearer to his mom as her illness progressed, and he even moved in with his parents to help care for his mom.
On May 6, just a few weeks after the first Sox-A’s series, a week before Mother’s Day, Gretchen Piscotty passed away. She was only 55 years old.
In Piscotty’s first at-bat since coming off the Bereavement List, he went deep, hitting a solo homer off Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez that sailed over the Green Monster. As he rounded the bases, he looked to the sky and tapped his heart, a gesture he says was his way of saying “I love you and thank you” in her final days when she could no longer speak.
Post-game, Piscotty told reporters, “Coming around third, just immediately started thinking of my mom. I put my hand over my chest like she would do, and that’s kind of going to be my thing going forward.”
He described the moment as “pure joy.”
Oakland manager Bob Melvin said, “to hit a home run in his first at-bat like that, there’s something in the air. Probably Gretchen.”
I don’t disagree. I’ve always believed baseball has magic in it.
Having seen David Ortiz point to the heavens thousands of times in honor of his own mother, no Boston fans should be anything but happy for Piscotty.
Photo: Mercury News