Mom crucial to Pina's early development

Mom crucial to Pina's early development

When 29-year-old journeyman catcher Manny Pina was informed by the Brewers in Spring Training that he had made his first big league Opening Day roster, his first call was to his mom in Venezuela. They cried tears of joy together.

"When I was younger, she was the one always taking me to the field," said Pina, the youngest of six kids whose father worked long hours building funeral caskets. "We would take a taxi to the field and she waited for me, then we went back home and she made food for the family. Every day for seven, eight years. So when the Brewers said to me, 'You made the team,' I came back to the past and thought of my mom.

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"She texts me every day. If I get hit by a pitch or something like that, she gets so worried. If she cannot watch on the computer, my sister or my brother tell her what happened. She is always watching out for me. This season, she is so happy. She always tells me, 'Keep doing what you're doing.' She always gives me good advice."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.