They pick you up when you’re down. They know what you’re thinking and can articulate what you’re feeling. They’re always right even though you think they’re always wrong. They can bring out your best when you’re feeling your worst.
They are mothers.
Every May we celebrate moms across the nation, and the intangible ways that they move us to be better in everything we do. But what happens when we take a look at what is tangible? What does the raw data tell us about the Power of Mom in sports? We crunched some Mother’s Day numbers to find out.
As it turns out, baseball players in Baltimore have hit the most home runs on Mother’s Day since 2012, while pitchers in Chicago have racked up the most strikeouts during that same stretch. Basketball moms in search of a Mother’s Day treat should be on the lookout for palm trees, as players in Florida and California have the most playoff double-doubles over the last five years.
Among the three major American sports that are in play on Mother’s Day, more than a few individual performances stand out. Certain players simply have a knack for bringing their A-game for Mom, and whether you’re a lesser known player who chooses Mother’s Day to show off, or you’re the 2014 league MVP who averages more points per game on Mother’s Day than any other player in pro-basketball history, there’s always a special moment waiting after the buzzer sounds.
Are these performances statistical anomalies, or are they something bigger? For some athletes, the mom connection is clear. The aforementioned 2014 MVP delivered an unforgettable acceptance speech that year in which he declared his mom to be “the real MVP.” A certain Oakland pitcher-turned-analyst put on a show for the grandmother who had raised him after his mom passed away with his Mother’s Day 2010 perfect game. And there’s a pretty famous former New York shortstop who chose Mother’s Day this year to retire his number in the Bronx.
For athletes, all of this can be seen as a way to show their appreciation—a gift of sorts, like a bouquet of roses. Like all of us, they’re just looking for a way to show their gratitude, and to thank Mom for inspiring them to be great every day.
Statistics provided by ESPN Stats & Info