What role did your grandmother play in your life?
My grandmother (Mary) was such a special woman, and more importantly, a great influence to me. Most fans know that I'm a big wrestling fan, but what they likely don't know is that my love of professional wrestling stemmed from my grandmother. Not many people can say, "I think of my grandmother every time I attend/watch wrestling." She was such a special lady.
How will you honor her on Mother’s Day?
Not a day goes by in which I fail to recognize the sacrifices that my parents, grandparents and ancestors put forth to allow me the opportunity to play the great game of baseball. On Mother's Day, my high socks and pink New Balance cleats are a tribute to my family - especially my grandmother, who is my biggest fan from up above.
What does it mean to you that NB has been committed to the fight against breast cancer for over 27 years?
It's great to partner with brands that share in your philanthropic mission. New Balance has been a tremendous supporter of my Grand Kids Foundation and our countless off-the-field community programs. I'm honored to have the ability to utilize my position to support initiatives, such as breast cancer awareness, that are important to my family.
As your team’s representative for the Honorary Bat Girl campaign, what struck you most about the survivor stories that you read?
I spent an entire afternoon reading submissions and was completely taken aback by the energy and positivity set forth by each and every survivor. These women were mothers (some, grandmothers), daughters, wives, friends and NY fans - spending every day working towards a common goal. Their stories were so different yet so similar and I couldn't help but think "these are the real Champions".
Even though I was only able to select one Honorary Bat Girl to represent us on Mother's Day, my Grand Kids Foundation and I are committed to hosting each of our NY 2016 finalists and their families at a home game this season. They might not all serve as honorary bat girls, but I'll be giving each of my NY 2016 finalists their very own pair of pink New Balance kicks!