Arenado's outlook, approach shaped by mom

Arenado's outlook, approach shaped by mom

DENVER -- Millie Arenado realized that her son, Nolan, had athletic ability as far back as machine-pitch -- one of the earliest steps of baseball development.

"He was playing first base, and there was a ball hit between second and first," Millie said. "And I was like, 'Oh, my.' And he would dive for balls and do things other kids couldn't do at the time."

But one of the lessons Nolan Arenado has learned, in large part due to his mom and family, is being special comes from actions, not abilities. It's why on Mother's Day, the whole crew -- including Nolan Arenado's father, Fernando, and brothers, Cousy and Jonah -- can enjoy Nolan's two Rawlings Gold Glove Awards and rising status among the game's third basemen. Humility when all is going well and grace when it isn't are lessons that started at home.

Nolan Arenado, 24, spent the offseason living at his parents' Lake Forest, Calif., home with his two brothers. Jonah, who is younger than Nolan, is a player in the Giants' organization, at Class A Savannah. When he hit his first professional homer this season, Nolan Arenado and his parents were listening to the game via computer.

But mom noted that she also knows when Nolan Arenado is on his own. Last July 25, he was removed from a home game against the Pirates for not running out an infield grounder. He was afraid to make that phone call to his parents, who weren't in town but were watching the game. But his phone didn't ring.

"I felt like it was high school again, where my dad was going to ground me," Nolan Arenado said.

But there was no call.

"He needed to feel this one," Millie Arenado said.

After a couple of days of worrying what his parents thought, he called them an apologized.

"I wish that wasn't the way I would have gotten better, but it helped me in the long run," Arenado said.

Millie Arenado said it goes back to a lesson many parents are trying to push across to their children -- perspective.

"When he was growing up, we tried to keep everything balanced," Millie Arenado said. "We'd remind him, 'You're a part of the team, but you don't win unless everyone is together.' We didn't say, 'You're so awesome.' We wanted to keep his head level.

"We wanted him to be confident, but not cocky. And we wanted him to be a good teammate."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.