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The old saying is true: mothers do know best
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In recognition of Mother's Day, I wanted to take the opportunity to not only address how important and essential a mother can be in a young person's life - especially an athlete's - but also how inspiring my mother has been to me.

It's so important for a mother to not only be there for her child, but also support her son or daughter, particularly when it comes to sports. Of course, this might be impossible during the week, seeing as an athletic event may conflict with work. But if given the opportunity to attend your child's game, a mother is really the only cheerleader in the stands a young person needs.

And just because today is the time in which we celebrate all mothers, it should not be limited to just one day, leaving the other 364 days to just broom your mother to the side. Every day should be regarded as Mother's Day.

Ironically, when trying to relate my mother to sports, the two really don't go together; it's almost like trying to talk about how spectacular the U.S. Poker Championship is with your local pastor.

My mother didn't play any sports when she was younger. Instead, she spent her time working with my grandparents in their garden, attending worship, playing with her dolls and reading. She was a straight-A student, and an exceptional person to have in the classroom, so I'm told.

But the only sports I know of my mother playing were ones in college that she was required to participate in - badminton and trampoline. (I had always known that badminton was certainly a class, but trampoline was a new one to me. But, hey, it's a sport, right?)

I often wonder who and where I got my athleticism and love for sports from, because my father was not an athlete, either.

Growing up, my mother was perhaps the least athletic person I knew of. But that didn't stop her from attending all of my baseball games from T-ball to Little League to high school. And she would have attended more of my games in college had I not played in a different state.

There isn't a day that goes by when I don't take a moment to reflect on how special it was seeing and hearing my mother cheer for me in the stands. She might not have known exactly what was going on in the field at certain times, but she always knew when her son had made a mistake, like striking out or making an error.

For example, I'll never forget a game in high school when I made two big-time errors in center field. Both times I misjudged a ground ball which scooted past me and rolled all the way to the fence, and both times the bases were loaded and all six of the runners scored. (I was also part of a triple play during the same game after I made a sliding catch with the bases loaded, but it didn't matter.)

It was the absolute worst feeling in the world. I wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out, and it was the only time I can ever recall actually hating baseball. In fact, my mother's parents (my grandparents) were there, and it was the only game they ever attended because they were elderly and unable to make the trip from North Carolina to Mississippi.

Plus, it was the only time I have ever cried during a baseball game. You know the line - there's no crying in baseball. Well, that day it didn't apply in this case.

But it was my mother who was there for me that dreadful evening to help lift my spirits, and she did. She took me for ice cream, and kept telling me repeatedly that there would be other days and that it wasn't the end of the world. As the week passed, I knew she was right.

To this day, whenever we get together my mother is usually the first to ask when the Braves play again. And once in a while, she'll rattle off some random figure or statistic that I was unaware of. But she pays attention to sports because she knows I love them, and she loves me; that's all that matters.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom - I love you, too.