Baseball Moms

As I’ve walked around the ballpark this season, I’ve felt an odd sense of camaraderie that knows no team colors. There’s a sense of solidarity when you can bond over popcorn stuck in your teeth, bleacher-bruised tail bones, and an unwavering stance against white baseball pants. The Baseball Moms. For decades, this group has caught a lot of dirt with its reputation for shortsightedness and loud, uncoached banter. I can’t say that all of that has been newly remedied—though today’s sterile turf fields significantly cut down on the dust-slinging—just that I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the women at the ballpark.

So much about baseball has always translated metaphorically to the Game of Life. From firework-worthy home run moments to the uncelebrated heroic sacrifice bunts, the good game has provided writers and deep thinkers with fodder since Civil War hero Abner Doubleday developed it in 1839. This moment is for the mothers.

 Yes, we’re the ones who scrub the popsicle juice and grass stains off jerseys at midnight for tomorrow’s game. We’re the ones who make sure the kids are on time (or fairly close!) when the coaches reschedule practice, again. We’re the ones who plan vacation days around tournaments, who pack and haul coolers of Gatorade for the team—and while these unhailed efforts build sisterhood, they’re really acts of love for our families. Deep down, we know every ballplayer—T-baller to Detroit Tiger—only needs one thing from his mother: love. 

There’s a Byzantine icon that is believed to have been painted sometime around the 13th-15th century known as “Our Lady of Perpetual Help.” Here, the artist has depicted the Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus. The Archangel Michael is poised in the upper left corner with a spear, a wine-soaked sponge, and the crown of thorns. St. Gabriel hovers opposite with the cross and nails. The image is meant to portray Jesus having just dreamt of His future Passion. Frightened, He has dashed into the consoling arms of His Blessed Mother so hastily that He lost a sandal. Even though it’s a foreboding vision of agony and suffering, the artist also successfully portrays victory with its trophy-like golden background and royal crowns on the King of Kings and His Queen Mother.  His precious, little hands grasp hers, and she lovingly embraces her perfect son near her heart… but she also presents Him to us, to the world which He will redeem.

There must have been countless beautiful memories for Mary with the Young Jesus. Maybe how His mother’s arms were His favorite resting spot, or playing games together around the humble home in Nazareth, or the gifts He would make for her in His father’s workshop. As He got older, there were the home run moments like how Mary lobbed it in for Jesus at the Wedding at Cana. 

“Do whatever He tells you,” She must have smiled in quiet knowing of her Son’s capableness. Never worrying, never doubting, always trusting He’d do exactly what was right. 

Then there was the darkest day when the great game seemed over… when all who were watching must have thought He lost, couldn’t handle the stage, or couldn’t deliver when it really mattered. Deserted by His team, the greatest sacrifice in all of history went unrecognized. Alone—except for the jeerers and mockers, the beloved disciple John, Mary Magdalene, and His steady mother—Jesus died. 

Our culture puts a lot of emphasis on youth sports, yet so few make it to the high school, college, or professional levels. It almost begs the question: what’s it all for? After all, how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. I still think the ballfield is a great place to grow up—so long as it’s balanced. Parents, this is where we help. We’re the ones who tip the scale with family, weight it heavily with pastors and Bible school, music lessons or fishing, and many, many days with no practice and no real goals other than togetherness. Being that soft place to land, that buffer between ball (or swim/dance/whatever) and the world, and leading them to be truly fed at the Lord’s Banquet—that’s what it means to be a Baseball Mom, to continually help and champion our sons and daughters to true, lasting victory. 

As we remember mothers this weekend, I pray every woman embraces motherhood, be that spiritual or biological. May God guide us, and may we each grow in virtue to become perpetual helpers of those entrusted to us. Go, Moms!

Author: Neena

Neena is a Kentucky wife, mother, and beekeeper. Her first novel, THE BIRD AND THE BEES, is a Christian contemporary romance available now. Visit her at

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