Usually, the parent who PawSox infielder Nick Lovullo fields the most questions about is his father.
In many ways, it’s completely understandable. Not every kid can boast the claim about their dad serving as a major-league manager. Nick’s dad Torey is in his third season as the dugout leader of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Around these parts, Torey is better known for his stint as a bench coach with the Boston Red Sox and manager of the PawSox.
But with Mother’s Day this coming Sunday, Nick Lovullo was more than happy to talk about the impact that his mom Lynn had on his life
“She deserves most, if not all of the credit,” said Nick. “My dad was always traveling due to baseball, but the person and man I am today is because of my mom. She’s so supportive and I love her. She did an amazing job raising me.”
In pro baseball circles, it’s known as a Mother’s Day tradition to see hitters wield pink bats. Nick Lovullo will be one of the players taking part in this initiative. The spot on the bat where the player’s name traditionally appears … for one game it will read “Lynn Goldfield.”
“We have a really close and very special relationship,” said the younger Lovullo. “I’m very lucky to have a great mom like her.”
With the calendar showing that we’re a few days away from the 24-hour observance devoted specifically to motherhood, several members of this year’s PawSox team took the time to talk about the support they’ve received from their biggest fans. From the days of being driven to Little League games, mom has been there … a guiding and nurturing hand who doesn’t care if their son goes 4-for-4 or 0-for-4.
To mom, they’ll always be their little boy regardless of what happens on the diamond.
Josh Ockimey (first base), Mom’s first name: Cathy
“She was so supportive. Between myself and (my twin brother) Michael, we were always thankful when she made it out to games because she was working. Now, she’ll send me inspiring text messages. If I have a bad game, she’ll say ‘Keep your head up. We still love you regardless if you do good or bad.’”
Mike Shawaryn (starting pitcher), Mom’s first name: Kathy
“From Little League right up until now, she’s been a huge support system. She’ll come up to Pawtucket and bake cakes, which I know the team likes. Really good baker. We’re far away from home so she just tries to bring a little piece of home to us. Moms definitely love you no matter what. They love you for who you are and that helps put things in perspective regardless if you have a good game or a bad game. They’ve been there since changing your diapers to now. For my mom to see that transition, I’m sure it’s more incredible than anything I do on the field.”
“The biggest sacrifice she made was driving me to high school every day. The school was 30-40 minutes away from my house. We had plenty of long car rides where she was driving and I was sleeping, but she was always there to pick me up. In making baseball my career, she’s been 100 percent behind me the whole time.”
Jantzen Witte (infielder), Mom’s first name: Karen
“She’ll text me after games. All the sports I played growing up, she was always there, taking me to practice all the time.”
Bobby Poyner (relief pitcher), Mom’s first name: Kelly
“Growing up, she put a ton of time into taking me to games and supporting me. I’d say the biggest part is that she’s always there regardless of how I throw … good or bad, whether we’re winning or losing. She’s still the same. It’s good to be able to give her a phone call after a tough game. Sometimes, we don’t even talk about baseball. She’ll say ‘Hey, how it’s going?’ Sometimes, that’s all it takes. My mom is the best.”
Cole Sturgeon (outfielder), Mom’s first name: Cyndi
“She took me everywhere. Travel ball, she was always on the road early in the morning and late at night. She sacrificed more than I knew at the time in order for me to enjoy what I was doing. Whether you’re going good or bad, you can never tell when you talk to her. That kind of puts things into perspective. To her, it’s just a game. Good or bad, she’s always there, which is nice.”
Teddy Stankiewiez (starting pitcher), Mom’s first name: Dena
“She means the world to me. She would take me to do things if my dad was busy and did everything to help the family out. Even now, she’ll say ‘Love you. Have a great day. Go kick some butt.’ Her telling me that definitely keeps me happy throughout the day.”
Sam Travis (first baseman/outfielder), Mom’s first name: Nadine
“If I needed something, my mom would be the first one there. As you become a young adult, you appreciate what your parents did for you when you were a kid. Whether it’s going good or bad, she’s always concerned about me. In her eyes, I’m still her little boy. She’s always looking out for me. I can’t thank her enough.”
Josh Tobias (infielder), Mom’s first name: Jackie
“I’m part of a big sports family. She would drop off myself, my brother, or my sister at whatever game we had. She’s been a huge emotional supporter and always had our back. Every conversation we have now, it starts with ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ If I have a tough game, she’ll say ‘Go get ’em tomorrow and do your best. We’re still proud of you.’ We’ve got a special connection. I’ll call her and she’ll say, ‘I was just getting ready to dial your number.’”
Kevin Walker (pitching coach), Mom’s first name: Judy
“She dedicated a lot of time to make sure I had everything for baseball. She helped lay the foundation for what I’m doing right now. I know she enjoyed watching me play, but I also know she was happy about me playing the game. Without her support, I don’t know if I would have loved baseball like I did.”
Oscar Hernandez (catcher), Mom’s first name: Loisbeth
“The love my mom showed me … she’s always been supportive. After games, she’ll ask how I did. Did I do good or okay? Sometimes I’ll say, ‘It wasn’t a good day for me, mom.’ She’ll tell me tomorrow is another day and that she’s there if I want to talk to her about it.”
Happy Mother’s Day to the PawSox Moms and to all Mothers on this special day!
The PawSox take on Gwinnett Friday, May 17 at 6pm on YurView, Cox channels 4 and 1004 in Rhode Island.