St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty led the team to victory over the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the playoffs at SunTrust Park on Wednesday. His first order of business after the win? To hug his mother.
Afterward, Flaherty, 23, marched up to his mother, Eileen, in the stands and the two shared a sweet hug. He shared a photo of the sweet moment on Twitter, along with a shot of another hug, simply writing: “Love you Mama.”
The Cardinals beat the Braves 13-1, with Flaherty giving up just one run over six innings. A video of the mother-son moment showed Flaherty patting his mother on the back during their long embrace as the crowd cheered.
The game was a shocker to many, as some expected Flaherty would sit out for much of the all-but-decided game in order to keep him fresh for future games, according to Yahoo Sports. Instead, he ended up throwing 104 pitches.
Eileen adopted Flaherty as a single mother when he was just 3 weeks old, according to Today. “She’s special. She’s a special woman and there’s no other way to put it,” Flaherty told FS1 earlier this year. “She’s done absolutely everything possible for me to be in the position that I’m in right now. And there’s not enough ways for me to thank her. It’s just a special relationship that we have and that we’ve built, but she’s a special woman.”
He also told FS1 that he’s very close with his mother, and even lives close by. He added that he’s grateful that Eileen took him in all those years ago.
“I’ve been thankful every day because, had that not happened, I don’t know where I would be right now,” he said. “I don’t know what position I would be in. I definitely wouldn’t be sitting here today. That moment is something I just thank her for.”
Flaherty never misses an opportunity to praise his mom. For Mother’s Day, the athlete shared a throwback photo of himself, his brother Grady and their mother on Instagram.
“Love you Mama! Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you for Everything!” he wrote. “I can’t thank you enough for all that you have done! Love you Mama!”