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Happy Mother’s Day, baseball fans

I very much love my Mommy, who very much loves baseball, and is why I love baseball. Let me also tell you a funny story about that...

Ichiro Suzuki #51
I picked this picture because I know my Mom is going to love it.

Today is that Sunday in May we know as Mother’s Day—in case you forgot (you’re welcome, you handful of horrible children I just reminded). I am not a mother, but I do have a mother, and she’s great! In fact, my mother is the reason I love baseball, but you might have already known that because I talk about her a lot.

I have many stories that I could tell and have told about my Mom, but today I will just tell one. Of course my stories are relevant here because my stories about my Mom are 95% of the time also about baseball.

Anyway, a few years ago on Christmas my family gathered in my Mom’s living room for the annual gift exchange. My Mom is an excellent knitter and always knits us some glorious socks for Christmas, which is great. Socks are basically the best gift you can ever give anyone who is not less than 18 years old (if less than 18 years old, though, socks are probably the worst gift you could give them). So this particular year my Mom had all of her sock-sized presents under the tree for us, but also had one large, gift-wrapped box labeled for me.

This gift from my Mom was clearly the largest present under the tree in terms of size, and I had absolutely no idea what the hell it was. Frankly, I was a little embarrassed. I did not ask for anything at all for Christmas. Now this thing? I didn’t have space for whatever it was. My Mom shouldn’t have. Not for me. As an (almost) life-long Minnesotan, this was unbearable, being in a room with such an unreasonably-sized gift I did not ask for. It made me feel like I was a dog in a circular-shaped room desperately searching for the corner and/or exit.

After my siblings, Mom, and I had literally opened every other normal, sock-oriented gift, my sister—who was far more curious than I was—finally yelled at me: “OPEN THE BOX! OPEN THE BOX!!”

So I—reluctantly—pulled the wrapping off the gift.

It was a brown box that said “Ichiro” on the side written with a sharpie.

Unfortunately, it was not actually Ichiro in a box, but I did know exactly what it actually was. See, my Mom is a gigantic baseball memorabilia hoarder collector, especially baseball cards. She literally has rooms full of boxes full of baseball cards (and all kinds of other stuff). She has an entire locker from the Kansas City Royals’ old spring training facility in her basement. Just don’t ask.

Hence, I knew what this Ichiro box was—it was one of her at least three boxes full of Ichiro crap items I knew she had in her basement collection. It was a lot of stuff, but the best part was (especially to me as a Minnesotan), she didn’t even give me all of it! She was just lazy so she wrapped one of the boxes and told me I could pick out three things from the box.

I know I may have sounded like a butt-hole in this post, but the Ichiro box was my favorite present I’ve ever received. It perfectly encapsulated how my Mom knows me and why I love my Mom so much.

I love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day.


Yeah I totally have this 2001 AL MVP Bobblehead.

Maija Varda

And this sweet-ass action figure of Ichiro bunting.

Maija Varda


Maija Varda


Maija Varda