If you caught a glimpse of Stephen Piscotty’s home run on Tuesday night, well, you’re probably wondering when your chill bumps will calm down. Batting for the first time since his mother Gretchen died after a battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease, and barely 24 hours after her services, Piscotty launched a majestic home run that left Boston’s Fenway Park as if it had wings.

Grab a tissue and have another look:

These kinds of moments are the ties that bind real life and sports, and while we’ve all been guilty of assigning more metaphysical weight to a moment than it deserves, there was no denying that something special had happened Tuesday night.

“It was pure joy,” Piscotty, who patted his chest as he jogged from third base to home plate, said after the game. “It’s been an emotional week. (I) just felt good knowing that my family was watching and my mom was watching.”

“I don’t know what to say about that,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We thought the first hit he got at home was dramatic based on what he was going through, but to hit a home run his first at-bat like that, there’s something in the air. Probably Gretchen.”

Sadly, the grieving athlete is a recurring theme. They don’t always perform an awesome act when they return to the playing field. But when they do, the moment stays with you.

Example: Bobby Bonds, father of the Giants’ Barry Bonds, succumbed to cancer on Aug. 23, 2003. Barry Bonds took a week away from the team, returning on Aug. 30. In his second at-bat, he cracked a home run off future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, giving the Giants a 2-0 lead in a game they would win 2-1.

The moment was so emotional for him that his heart began racing — 150 beats a minute for a few minutes.

“That’s the closest I’ve seen a major league guy come to actual crying,” said manager Felipe Alou. “I think we all know why. That was the first homer after his dad passed away.”

“I lost my dad,” Bonds said quietly afterward. “It’s really tough right now. Emotions just went through me. I got a little light-headed. I couldn’t stop my heart from pounding. It’s better now. I’ll get through it. It’ll just take a couple days.”

Strangely enough, Bonds’ home run was the capstone to an uncanny run of Giants players who returned from bereavement with an …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News


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Magic swings by Piscotty, Bonds display power of grieving athletes

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