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As Stephen Piscotty crossed home plate, he put his hand to his heart and, just briefly, glanced upward to the sky. He had just taken another step in one of baseball’s most emotional journeys this season.
Piscotty homered in his first at-bat back from the bereavement list, which he landed on after the death of his mother Gretchen on May 6. Facing Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, Piscotty launched a ball over the Green Monster and made his trek around the bases. It was an amazing moment.
Piscotty had been out of the Athletics lineup since May 11, taking time off to mourn Gretchen Piscotty after nearly a year-long battle with ALS, but not before getting a hit in his first at-bat after her death. After taking a span of time off that included Mothers’ Day, Piscotty made his return count in a 5-3 Athletics win.
Placing a hand over his heart carries special meaning for Piscotty, who told The Mercury News last week that the gesture was something his mother did to pass on her love.
“The hand over my heart, that’s something my mom would do when she wasn’t able to speak. 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.
Piscotty’s homer made waves around baseball, with Orioles center fielder Adam Jones calling the feat “incredible.”
A reserved Piscotty told reporters after the game that it had been “an emotional week,” but the feeling he had from the home run was “pure joy.”
Stephen Piscotty postgame reaction on hitting a solo home run in his first at-bat and first game back after returning from the bereavement list. pic.twitter.com/pTmNSGfhkm
— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) May 16, 2018
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