Eaton appreciative of mother's love, guidance

Eaton appreciative of mother's love, guidance

CHICAGO -- The Twitter account of Robin Eaton has not been active since around Valentine's Day 2015, but there's one post from a few years ago that seems especially fitting at this time of year.

It's a picture of a very young Adam Eaton, eating spaghetti in his high chair, with the greeting "Happy 25th bday to my baby."

Robin Eaton's "baby" now serves as the leadoff hitter and right fielder for the Chicago White Sox, and he produced an All-Star-worthy April, both offensively and defensively to help the South Siders' first-place standing. Eaton is happily married to Katie and is the father to Brayden, who was born on April 9, living a great life steeped in parental guidance from his youth.

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"I wouldn't be here without them, especially my mother, with her trying to mold me into a person of good stature," Eaton said. "When she lays her head on her pillow at night, she knows she gave us everything she could. She did a heck of a job."

Eaton is the lone member of his family who didn't follow a military path. His father, Glenn, served in the Air Force and his brother, Zack, is currently serving. His mother served three years in the Army, and Eaton claims she is the best shot in the family.

A great moment for the Eatons came last July 4 at U.S. Cellular Field, when Zack surprised Adam in center as one of the military members honored pregame.

"From a mother's point of view, what a blessing," said Robin, who was at the game with her husband and was totally surprised. "I just thought, 'This is an unreal moment.'"

The youngest Eaton was a bit of a handful as a kid. But Robin Eaton said Adam had a great heart, and it was more along the lines that if there was something to get into, he would get into it.

As an example, Robin described a moment standing in the kitchen at the family's home in Springfield, Ohio, when she suddenly felt the windows shake. She ran out through the patio to find a young Adam having set off a rodent bomb that his father had hidden in the garage. His friends had talked about trying to find some fireworks, Adam thought he knew of some and barely escaped without serious injury.

"He's always been a people pleaser," Robin said. "And the boys in the neighborhood latched on to that pretty quickly, so whenever there was something dared to be done, it was, 'Adam, you go do it,' and he would, unfortunately. He was not afraid to do anything."

"I'm sure there were nights where she cried because I was such an idiot, and put so much turmoil on the family," Adam said. "But just unconditional love and being strong for the family is what I think of my mom as."

That support included Eaton's early soccer days and even middle-school interest in the trombone. Baseball became Eaton's true calling, bringing him to the dream-like moment where he currently stands.

"My heart is full," Robin said. "All moms are proud of their kids. I am most proud of him because of the family man that he has become. Certainly the career, that goes without saying, but he puts family first."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.