Kansas City Royals Mike Moustakas: His Journey

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Mike Moustakas’ breakout season eventually included an All-Star appearance, after KC fans piled up 19.3 million votes in support of their third baseman. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

"“I knew it wasn’t good,” Mike told Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com. “I picked up. He was crying. I started crying. My wife started crying.”"

I was as hard on Mike Moustakas as anybody.

Going into 2015, I was all but done with Moose. I appreciated what he had done for the Kansas City Royals that previous October, but 27-year old players with 2,000 failed plate appearances don’t just turn things around.

Even as Moustakas began defying the odds in April and May by raking out of the two-hole, I still wouldn’t have called myself a fan of him.

However, late last month, I read an article by Ken Rosenthal on FoxSports.com, in which Moustakas opened up about the death of his mother for the first time.

I had known that Moustakas had been placed on the bereavement list twice this season and there was a certain amount of speculation throughout the twitterverse that Connie Moustakas had passed on.

In that article, Moustakas talked about how his mom had been on the verge of death twice during the season, but somehow fought her way back.

He also talked about how he was able to give her his All-Star game jersey and how she was wearing it around the hospital.

As I read this, the Mike Moustakas I watched on television began that slow, often non-existent evolution into a real person in my mind.

It’s hard to explain sometimes. As fans, we watch, we analyze, and we critique, which is part of what makes sports so unique.

But it’s easy to forget, as we pummel players with bad numbers and anecdotes, that these are human beings, playing out their lives in front of a sea of people.

As I continued to read the article, my heart sank at my complete lack of perspective. Not just in the matters of his mothers sickness, but even of his struggles as a player.

I played baseball from the age of five until I was a sophomore in college. Over those years, my own mom struggled to understand how to deal with me when I struggled.

That thought brought me to the three and a half years I spent destroying Moustakas for his struggles in between the lines, and made my heart hurt.

As he struggled to pull himself up to even just mediocrity, his mom watched, and supported him, as she watched her son fight to keep his career alive.

Which makes Moustakas resurgence on the baseball field even sweeter, and all the more timely.

Next: What was a sign of things to come