Dodgers pitcher plays in front of mom for 1st time after 7 years apart
"It was so incredible," pitcher Brusdar Graterol said of the reunion.
A Los Angeles Dodgers star who spent the past seven years playing baseball in the United States while his mom lived in Venezuela saw his dream come true Wednesday night.
Brusdar Graterol pitched at Dodger Stadium in front of a packed crowd that included his mom Ysmalia Graterol.
"My wife actually took a picture of where they were sitting, and then I was able to signal exactly where she was when I was pitching," Graterol said through an interpreter after the game, according to a video shared by Major League Baseball. "[There was] so much emotion going through me, obviously, just happy tears the whole time."
Brusdar Graterol was first reunited with his mom on Sunday, when she arrived from Venezuela after spending seven years trying to get to the U.S. to see her son.
"I was paralyzed in that moment when I first saw her. I didn't really know what to say. I didn't know what to do," he said. "[I] just embraced her as much as I could. And obviously she would say how beautiful I am, how big I've gotten. And then I just remember telling her how it felt like home."
Brusdar Graterol, 25, was born in Calabozo, Venezuela, and made his Major League Baseball debut in 2019 with the Minnesota Twins, according to his MLB profile.
He said that after working for so many years for his mom to be allowed into the U.S., there was finally forward movement that happened in the last two weeks that brought her to Los Angeles.
"We got a document that helped her get here," Brusdar Graterol said. "We obviously wanted to move this as fast as possible. Luckily, we were able to do it this past weekend."
Brusdar Graterol was brought out to pitch in the eighth inning in Wednesday's game against the Detroit Tigers, which the Dodgers went onto win 3-2.
He said he was "emotional" until the music started and he prepared to throw his first pitch, which got him to focus back on the game.
After pitching, an emotional Brusdar Graterol was seen hugging a member of the Dodgers coaching staff in the dugout and then both pointing to his mom, who blew a kiss back to her son.
"Me and my mom grew up together. We went through all of it together," Brusdar Graterol said. "She was a mom and dad figure for me the whole time, and I've always wanted to be an example for her and for her to be proud of me."
In addition to watching her son pitch for the Dodgers, Ysmalia Graterol also got to see her daughter-in-law Allison Landa Graterol -- Brusdar Graterol's wife -- and her granddaughter Aria, whom the couple welcomed earlier this year.
Brusdar Graterol said his mom is planning to stay for several more weeks, hopefully through the World Series, which will end in early November.
"She'll be with us for the end of this season and then hopefully she'll be with us to celebrate the World Series," he said.