Have you ever taken one of those baseball personality quizzes? You know... the ones where you answer a bunch of questions and your responses determine which player you most resemble. I took a few this weekend and discovered I'm somewhere between Ichiro Suzuki and Chipper Jones.
This got me thinking. Which player does my mother resemble? And after some research, I came up with Roberto Clemente.
I've always been fascinated with Clemente and his legacy. He fought for racial equality, player's rights in baseball, and in addition to his amazing baseball career... he's often remembered for helping the less fortunate. During the regular season Clemente was involved in community outreach programs for inner city kids in Pittsburgh. And when the season was over, he'd return to Puerto Rico and offer free baseball clinics to the kids in the community.
In short, he was generous, hard-working, caring, and old school... just like Mama Fuji.
She has always been there for her family, friends, and her community. I can remember growing up and hearing my father tell her that she puts everyone else's need in front of her own. As an adult reflecting on the past... I can totally see that.
While I was in elementary school, she volunteered in my classes on a regular basis. And when she wasn't in the classroom, she helped out in the school library, on the playground during lunch, and chaperoned on numerous field trips. In terms of popularity, she definitely knew more people at my school than I did.
She was also there for me outside of school. Whenever I was sick, she'd be there to take care of me. If I was sad, she tried to cheer me up.
During my little league years, she would play catch with me in the front yard, shuttled me back and forth to the baseball field, and attended most of my games. She even volunteered to be the Team Mom on several of my teams. Words can never express how much I appreciate her using her free time to make and design those awesome team banners. But that's my mom.
And if it wasn't for my mom, there's a chance I wouldn't be collecting sports cards today. She has always supported my love for the hobby. From 1981 to 1986, my mom was the key financial contributor to my cardboard addiction.
Thirty years later, when I visit my parents in Las Vegas, she still offers to go with me to the local card shops.
She might not be a 2x World Series Champion, a 12x Gold Glove Award recipient, or a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but she's a hall of famer in my book.
I love you Mom! Thank you for everything you've done for me, Dad, and our friends and family. You truly are the greatest.
Happy Sunday and sayonara!