Oakland A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty lost his mother over the weekend. Gretchen Piscotty died at 55 after battling ALS, the disease known for taking the life of New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig.
Piscotty took Monday off from the team, but returned Tuesday night for the A’s game against the Houston Astros.
It was an emotional scene when Piscotty stepped to the plate for the first time with fans, teammates and Astros competitors alike giving him an ovation. Piscotty took time to appreciate the moment and acknowledge the support sent his way from around the stadium.
He then hit a line drive to center field.
Before the at-bat, Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. made sure to give the fans some time to show Piscotty how they felt.
McCullers, who stepped off the mound before Piscotty's AB, says, "I know this game in general can be emotional, and I can only imagine what he was going through today. I wanted to give him some time to come up and have the fans recognize him. I just wanted that moment to be his.”
— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) May 9, 2018
Later in the game, Piscotty made a running catch on the warning track to rob Jose Altuve of what looked like an RBI multi-base hit.
The baseball community has rallied around Piscotty, including Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish, who donated $10,000 for ALS research after the Piscotty family set up a fund seeking $100,000 in Gretchen’s name.
The A’s, who traded for Piscotty from the St. Louis Cardinals last year in part so he could be closer to home and his ailing mother, pledged to match funds up to $50,000 in the fundraising efforts.
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