Stephen Piscotty felt ‘mom was with me’ during his return to A’s
OAKLAND, Calif. — Wherever he went on the field, Stephen Piscotty felt his mother’s presence.
Two days after Gretchen Piscotty died from Lou Gehrig’s disease, her son was back at work for the Oakland Athletics. Full of sadness, but enveloped in love.
“All day, I didn’t feel alone. I felt like someone was with me,” he said a day later, on Wednesday. “I had a round in batting practice where I hit five homers out of five and I’ve never done that. That’s not me.”
Piscotty received an extended ovation from the Coliseum fans before his first at-bat Tuesday night. Prior to stepping to the plate in the second inning, he placed his hand on his heart — a gesture of appreciation for the reception in memory of his mother.
“That’s something my mom would do when she wasn’t able to speak,” Piscotty said in his first remarks since her death. “This was just, ‘I love you and thank you.’ That’s what I did in the box and that’s kind of her way of saying. I’m going to keep that with me.”
Houston pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. walked behind the mound to let Piscotty soak in the emotion. Several of McCullers’ teammates clapped along with the crowd.
“I feel for him and I feel for his family,” McCullers said. “From everything I’ve heard, he’s an awesome guy. I just wanted him to have some time to be able to come up and have the fans recognize him. I wanted that moment to be his.”
Piscotty then singled to right as the crowd burst into more cheers.
“It was a special moment,” Piscotty said. “I got in the box and heard the crowd start to roar and stepped out. I just wanted to acknowledge and to say thank you for all the support the A’s community has given me. It was a cool moment and I know my mom was watching.”
Later, Piscotty’s father, Mike, was interviewed on the scoreboard.