Dodgers' Seager still mom's 'baby'

Dodgers' Seager still mom's 'baby'

Corey Seager will spend Mother's Day out of the country as the Dodgers will be in Toronto, but the flowers and chocolate-covered strawberries will arrive at Jody Seager's house on Sunday as usual.

"She hates that I buy them," said the 22-year-old, "but she eats them. She loves them."

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Corey might be baseball's top prospect, a National League Rookie of the Year Award candidate and the Dodgers' starting shortstop. But he has another title at home.

"Corey's my baby," said mom, who also sent to professional baseball Kyle Seager -- the her eldest son and starting third baseman for the Mariners -- and middle son Justin, a first baseman in Seattle's farm system.

Jody and Jeff Seager didn't just produce three ballplayers. They produced three gentlemen. Teammates, club officials and media alike have found Corey to be polite, professional and respectful, unspoiled by the attention and adulation he's received throughout his rapid climb to the Major Leagues.

"You want them to be successful in their field, but as a mom, it's even more rewarding when a stranger says they love your son, that he's the nicest guy, signs autographs, is polite," said Jody. "That means more as a mom. I guess that means at some point, I did something right."

An athlete in her own right, having competed in track and field, volleyball and softball in school, Jody has been a schoolteacher who taught physical education for 15 years. And in her rare spare time, she was the quintessential Little League mom, according to Corey.

"A lot of miles driven to a lot of different fields, a lot of cheering, a lot, a lot of screaming," Corey recalled. "She's always been one of the moms that cheers and yells. You know the one you walk by and go, 'Who is that screaming?' That was my mom. But mostly it's been a lot of fun.

"She did a lot of running after me and my middle brother, Justin, while Kyle was playing. Then a lot of me running around when Kyle and Justin were playing. Then all three of us playing. She's been to a lot of places and seen a lot of the world from us playing. She wasn't a baseball coach, but she always had a lot of advice. 'Yeah, yeah, thanks, mom.' That kind of stuff. All in a loving nature."

Jody said one of the toughest moments for her was when Corey was taken by the Dodgers in the first round of the 2012 Draft, knowing that unlike his brothers, he wouldn't attend college but would become a teenage professional baseball player.

"He's my baby, so from that respect, it made it a little more difficult," she said. "It's kind of strange sending your 18-year-old into that world that Kyle had already been living in. But Corey has always had to keep up with his older two brothers, and that probably made him a little more prepared. Kyle always gave him pointers, he'd been through it already. It helped him to have an older brother to turn to. But I always hated to send out my youngest."

Coming in the middle of the baseball season, Jody said Mother's Day was always spent at some ballfield with one or more of her sons. Now she spends it in front of a television or computer, watching them play.

"I still feel a connection," she said. "And I still get flowers and chocolate strawberries. Who can complain about that?"

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.