Brusdar Graterol's mother Ysmalia shed tears watching her son play professional baseball for the first time on Tuesday night
It was a family reunion seven years in the making.
Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Brusdar Graterol pitched in front of his mother Ysmalia for the first time in his career on Tuesday night, reuniting with her after seven years earlier in the day.
Graterol, 25, was in tears after pitching a 1-2-3 scoreless 8th inning, walking off the mound and pointing up to the skybox where his mother was watching and celebrating her son’s performance.
The Dodgers pitcher had not seen his mother, who lives in Venezuela, in seven years.
"It was so incredible,” Graterol told reporters after the game through an interpreter. “I've always wanted to pitch in front of my mom. Being so successful as I've been pitching lately, it was so emotional and nice to have her here. We never really gave up on any situation, and luckily we found a way to get her to the United States."
The last time Ysmalia saw her son play baseball was in 2015 when he was playing in the Dominican Summer League, according to local NBC Los Angeles. Graterol then came to the United States shortly after, and made his Major League Baseball debut in 2019 with the Minnesota Twins.
Graterol’s mother has missed milestone after milestone while their family tried to find a way for her to travel to the U.S. for the better part of the last decade. Graterol was traded to the Dodgers and helped them win the World Series in 2020. That offseason, Graterol got married. And in April, he and wife Allison Landa then welcomed their baby daughter Aria — all while Ysmalia was unable to be there to celebrate with her son.
On Tuesday night, however, she was.
Graterol told ESPN he picked up his mother from the airport earlier in the day and that she’ll be staying in the U.S. throughout the remained of the regular season and into the playoffs.
"There have been a lot of things that have been very hard. When I made my debut, she wasn't here. When I got married, she wasn't here. When I had my daughter, she wasn't here," Graterol said. "Those are very difficult times. But to be able to now share that and be there with her is special."
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As he walked off the mound Tuesday night, Graterol began to cry as he waved to his mother in the crowd. He was then greeted by manager Dave Roberts, who hugged him and told him to look up to find his mother sitting in the stands watching him play for the first time in years.
"It was emotional. How can you not appreciate that moment for Brusdar and his family? That was one of the top moments I have been a part of," Roberts said after the game. "The players rallied around it, and it was good to see."
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