05/11/12 10:00 AM ET
Mom a key ingredient to Beavan's success
By Josh Liebeskind / MLB.com
"I kept all the stats, all his brothers' lives and his life -- every baseball game," she said. "I probably still have every baseball book of every game that the boys played in. I love keeping score; I love keeping stats."Although Blake reminds Michele she can find his stats online these days, she still keeps score when he takes the mound for the Mariners. He might be able to find his stats a tad bit easier these days, but when Blake was in the lower Minor Leagues, they weren't always the easiest to come by on a quick turnaround. So Michele was always there for her son when he called, armed with his ERA, his pitch count, and just like always, anything else he needed. And for a mother as dedicated as Michele, a woman who has missed just one of her son's debuts with a team (when he was with Bakersfield of the California League), it was not even a question whether she was going to be at her son's first Major League game. "We get a call on Saturday, July 2," said Michele, starting a story from the summer of 2011. It's a tale that it is all too obvious she will be able to recite many years from now, without hesitation or the exception of any detail. "We were down at our ranch. We had just finished mowing, it's the middle of July -- you can imagine, it's 105 out there. We were smoking ribs on the grill and having a beer. "I look at my phone, and it's Blake. And it's not the time of day Blake would normally call you. I was like, 'What is he calling for?' And he goes, 'Hi, Mom, what are you all doing?' I was like, 'Well, we're smoking ribs and just finished mowing,' and this and that. And I said, 'What are you doing?' And he said, 'Well, I start tomorrow at 1.'" Michele knows Minor League games don't generally don't start at 1, and she also knew Blake's game was not scheduled that early. It didn't take long for her to connect the dots, and set off a subsequent celebration. And even though they had to take two planes, both of which had mechanical problems, Michele and the family were able to get to Seattle before Blake's first pitch. It's a game she'll never forget, and not just because Blake got the win. If he had been stuck with the loss, she would have been there for him with words of encouragement, just like all those years growing up traveling to far-off tournaments. "She always wishes me good luck before my start and tells me good job," Blake said. "Or even if it's a bad start, good job and get them next time."