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Sports also make moms very special

There’s a reason why players say “Hi mom” when the camera pans to them.

Although there’s nothing like the father-son relationship when it comes to sports, moms are not excluded from the equation.

Many moms are the taxi service to and from practice. They wash uniforms, at least until the kids hit middle school in which case you show them how easy it is to load the washer and transfer said items to the dryer (that’s how we did it with my kids).

But there are other things that moms — or grandmothers for that matter — contribute besides their undying support.

When I was 12, I got jobs cutting grass. I wanted to save my money and buy a transistor radio in order to listen to the Cincinnati Reds’ games. Before Fox Sports began televising every game, the Reds only televised their away games to make sure people came to the home stadium.

When the Reds were on the West coast, I’d hide my radio under my pillow and lay on my side so that the earphone wasn’t visible.

Of course, I’d fall asleep and run down the batteries and have to ride my bike to the store the next day to buy some new ones. But for some reason the batteries started to last longer. I don’t know if they were a higher quality or if it was the fact my mom would come into the room at night and turn the radio off.

My mom — Rose Walker — was raising 10 children so she rarely went to any of my games. My dad worked any overtime he could get and he had a part-time job on weekends, so he only made a handful of games.

I would go down to the Ironton Recreation office to get a card for sign-ups, fill it out myself and have my mom sign it. I’d get myself to practices and games. I was too ate up with sports to worry about anything except playing.

My mom said several times she needed to check with the hospital to make sure she took home the right baby. No one to that point in time in our family cared so much about sports except me. She told me I was probably going to marry my baseball bat.

Moms double as the team doctor, but they also serve as the disciplinarian when needed.

I remember the time my dad was building a carport and he went to the store. I was about 10 and he left the ladder by the house. I climbed up to look around and then started back down. I missed the ladder and fell about 10 feet face-first.

Yes, it hurt and I knew mom could make it all feel better, but I wasn’t supposed to be up there and when dad got home he would make another part of my body feel a lot worse.

I toughed it out and never told them. Until now.

By the way, that wasn’t the only time I climbed onto the roof. There were a lot of whiffle balls that got stuck in the gutter.

My mom is one of the most kind-hearted, compassionate people I’ve ever known. I used to always feed stray dogs and then they were my pet. Mom told me it was okay, but no dogs were allowed in the house.

I often would feed the dogs some leftovers and if they were thirsty, I’d pour them a bowl of Kool-Aid or Hawaiian Punch. Mom caught me once and told me not to do it again and I didn’t want to disappoint her so I made sure I was more careful not to get caught the next time.

There was one night when I came home and the dog was lying on the landing of the staircase. I asked who let the dog in and my mom said she did. There was thunder and lightning outside and she said the dog was scared.

Uh-huh. Drill sergeant material she wasn’t.

Many times right after high school I would drive to Cincinnati to see a Reds’ game during the middle of the week. The next day I would come home from work and she would ask it I knew the Reds had won. I told her, “Yes, I was there. I went to the game last night.”

That set off a panic. She said if she had known, she would have been up all night worrying about me until I got home. I told her, “I know. Why do you think I never tell you I went to the game until after I get home?”

The Virgin Mary is in another league as a mother. She is sinless, her son is God, and she can talk her son into doing miracles all the time.

My mom might not be a saint — although raising 10 kids could get her on the ballot — but I think she is the greatest mom of all-time. It’s not that other moms aren’t great, but the evidence is too strong in her favor.

I mean, she’s had to put up with me for most of her life.

Happy Mothers’ Day.



Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.