By Quinn Jamieson
Rockies pitcher Antonio Senzatela lost his mother to stomach cancer three years ago. Every time he takes the mound, he honors her. On Sunday, though, there was extra meaning to the moment.
Sunday was Mothers' Day, a full day devoted to mothers.
And it was Senzatela who drew the start for the Rockies in the final game of a homestand, which in honor of the special day featured players from both team sporting pink accessories including shoes, socks, armbands, hats, gloves, and bats. It was Major League Baseball's way of supporting breast cancer awareness in an effort to find a cure for a disease that 12 percent of women are diagnosed with at some point in their lifetime, according to breastcancer.org.
On the mound for the Rockies was Antonio Senzatela. The game against a divisional rival was the last game of a home series and was his first start since a disappointing outing against San Francisco. All of that was important but wasn’t the reason that it was a special day for Senzatela
Coming off a disappointing outing against San Francisco, the 24-year-old Senzatela took the mound with the name of his mother, Nidya written on his shoes and hat.
“I just woke up today and told myself, ‘I have the opportunity to make her proud of me,’” Senzatela said. “I wanted to throw a good game for her, and for the team.”
Prior to the game, Rockies manager Bud Black insisted that Senzatela started the game based purely on rotation, but admitted that he was excited about watching his pitcher play on such a meaningful day.
Senzatela didn’t disappoint, putting together a solid winning performance in 6 2/3 innings of play. The right-handed pitcher struck out seven, surrendered four hits and three runs in the Rockies won 10-7.
“I am just grateful to God and the team for giving me this opportunity,” Senzatela said. “It was really special for me.”
It was Senzatela’s second career victory on Mother’s Day.
He wasn’t the only Rockies player to step on the holiday. Charlie Blackmon homered on two consecutive at-bats in the 2nd and 4th innings, contributing 3 RBI’s.
After the game, Blackmon claimed that he hit poorly on “special days,” including Father’s Day and his own birthday. This clearly wasn’t the case when it came to Mother’s Day.
“I guess I just love mom the most,” Blackmon said with a laugh.
Blackmon’s “biggest supporter” (his mother) was no doubt following his play closely today.
“She’s super locked in,” Blackmon said. “She watches all the games and cares about my teammates.”
So much so, that her latest interest is Jon Gray’s newest haircut.
Teammates hairstyles aside, the “fresh perspective” that she brings, is something that Blackmon values greatly.
“It's just really nice to talk to her,” Blackmon said. “Like this morning, I called her and we didn't have to talk about baseball, but she still will talk about baseball with me. I just really enjoy her still being part of my life.”
The game will go into the box score as a much-needed Rockies victory, but for players like Senzatela and Blackmon, it was an opportunity to honor those that they love most playing the game that they love.