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Throughout baseball’s history we’ve seen many great father and son duos. Now though, baseball is providing a pretty cool mother-son moment as New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius will continue following in his mother’s footsteps by representing the Netherlands at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Gregorius was officially named to the Netherlands roster on Wednesday, where he’ll join notable major leaguers such as Xander Bogaerts, Kenley Jansen, Jurickson Profar, Jonathan Schoop and Andrelton Simmons.
The connection? His mother, Sheritsa Stroop, was once a member of the Dutch national softball team.
The story coming full circle on this level is remarkable, but it might have seemed inevitable to those who know his family. When Didi Gregorius was born on Feb. 18, 1990, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, he was born into a family with deep baseball and softball ties. His father, Johannes, was a pitcher for the Amsterdam Pirates. Prior to that, his grandfather pitched for Lucky Strike, a team in his native Curaco. His older brother, Johannes Jr., was once a pitching prospect in the Orioles system.
It was impossible to avoid the baseball bug, but it’s obviously worked out well for Gregorius. He’s an established major leaguer who’s been thrust into some difficult positions at a young age. That includes being tasked with following Derek Jeter as the Yankees regular shortstop.
Gregorius has suited up for the Netherlands before too. He helped them win the Baseball World Cup as a 21-year-old in 2011. He was slated to represent them again in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, but an injury to his throwing elbow prevented him from playing.
Prior to that though, only his mother had represented his home country in competition. That gives them an undeniably cool connection. Perhaps even better though, it seems his mom is still providing inspiration and motivation.
While Gregorius revved up his preparations for the new season, his mom was right there with him as evidenced by this video of her running some parachute drills.
The caption attached reads: “When mom says…. that’s easy.”
What he’s really telling us there is that’s not easy, and that his mom is still one competitive athlete who could run circles around most of us.
If Gregorius enjoys a big World Baseball Classic or even an All-Star season in 2017, we should give a large portion of the credit to his mom for setting a great example and providing constant motivation.
For a closer look at the World Baseball Classic rosters, click here.
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