It’s been a tough few months for Oakland A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty, who was traded to the A’s from the Cardinals this offseason partly so he could spend more time with his mother Gretchen following her diagnosis with ALS. Gretchen passed away at 55 earlier this month, and Piscotty took some bereavement leave so he could attend her celebration of life. But his return to the team Tuesday night against the Red Sox was quite something, with his first at-bat ending in a home run over Fenway Park’s famed Green Monster wall in left field:
— Oakland Athletics 🌳🐘⚾️ (@Athletics) May 16, 2018
That came on an 0-2 count against pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, and it was an impressive shot. And it’s just the latest memorable moment for the A’s against the Red Sox this year, as pitcher Sean Manaea threw a no-hitter against them last month. And, as per MLB.com’s Jane Lee, Piscotty’s gesture as he crossed home plate was to honor his mom:
Stephen Piscotty looked to the sky, tapping his heart as he crossed home plate.
Playing in his first game back with the A’s after taking time to grieve the passing of his mother, Gretchen, Piscotty had just homered in his first at-bat at Fenway Park on Tuesday night. The gesture, he said last week after his mom died following a year-long battle with ALS, was her way of signaling, “I love you and thank you” in her final days.
Piscotty missed four games while on the bereavement list to be with his family, who gathered in Pleasanton, Calif., on Monday for a celebration of Gretchen’s life.
It’s neat to see the way baseball has rallied around the Piscotty family, with everyone from Cubs’ pitcher Yu Darvish to the New York Yankees donating to a fund for ALS research in memory of Gretchen. That fund’s raised over $67,000 of its $100,000 goal so far, and this should help get it even some more attention. There are unquestionably still plenty of tough moments ahead for Piscotty and his family, but his return to the A’s lineup after this bereavement leave couldn’t have gone any better.