I have the greatest sports mom!!!
You name it: baseball, soccer, track & field, basketball, volleyball, field hockey, softball, crew and football -- Grammy Sullivan has seen it all.
She's now 79 but shows no signs of slowing down. She remains the most loyal supporter of Sullivan family athletics.
Her best moment as a sports mom came during the summer of 1968.
Mom had taken me, my brother (not a big baseball fan) and two of our friends to a Red Sox game. We had seats down the right field line about halfway up the grandstand. I know the Sox ended up winning the game but I can't remember the score.
I can tell you about a foul ball that I've been talking about for 44 years. I think it was the 6th inning. The Angels' Roger Repoz lined a foul ball in our direction. Chaos followed!!! My mom, who is 5-3 and maybe 100 pounds on a good day, had a Manny Pacquaio moment. She made one quick, no look stab and it was over. That foul ball went home with the Sullivans. Didn't I tell you she was the greatest sports mom?
I wish I could tell you that I still had the ball but I think I lost it about a week later. I don't care. I'll ALWAYS have that memory.
Some other great sports moms.
Peggy McCall. She is the woman behind the Miracle League. Peggy is like the second mom to hundreds of special athletes. She doesn't just run the league. She lives it.
Our NBA moms - Annette Fisher (Derek), Bettye Williamson (Corliss), Diane Johnson (Joe) and Carolyn Brewer (Ronnie).
All four players - Derek Fisher, Corliss Williamson, Joe Johnson and Ronnie Brewer - have a couple of things in common: all handle themselves in a classy way both on and off the court and they have been good to their hometowns.
I know for a fact that Mrs. Williamson made Corliss promise that he would do something nice for Russellville after he signed his first big contract. That nice thing turned out to be a $1 million donation for a new Boys & Girls Club.
Check out the Jack Stephens Center at UALR and you'll see a state-of-the-art practice court. The Fisher court ($600,000 donation from Derek) and the Fisher Fellows Program are just two example of Derek's generosity to his alma mater.
When the high school "Jammin' for Jackets" needed a financial boost, they went to Joe Johnson. Thanks to Joe, every athlete in Pulaski County who qualifies will get a letter jacket for free.
And every off-season up in Fayetteville, you can count on Ronnie Brewer holding at least one camp for kids. If you've met the four moms, you know the sons are just following mom's lead.
Sports moms come in all shapes and sizes. They do a number of ordinary things in extraordinary ways. They are there to cut up oranges, set-up fund raisers, wash the uniforms, and haul the kids to practice. Most importantly, they are always in the stands cheering on their sons and daughters.
Today, I salute all sports moms for all you do. I'm posting this a day before Mother's day so some of you can share a story about your sports mom. I have met thousands of great sports moms over the years, starting with a greatest of them all!
Happy Mothers Day to Grammy Sullivan and every other mom like her!
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