Alex Bregman is grateful that his mother, Jackie, taught him to work hard and pushed him to succeed, but at the same time, was caring and loving about it.
"She was a huge influence. She's a very hard-working person herself and she basically taught me what hard work was all about. She'd kick us out of the house after school and make us go play baseball or basketball or football or whatever was in season, on the cul-de-sac. She'd come out there and play with us and pitch to us. It was a blast growing up in a house where you have motivating parents, and my mom would always challenge me no matter what it was. When we were playing chess in the house, she would never let me win until I was good enough to beat her. It was always a competition. She was also always there for me. She was a very caring, loving mom, and the sacrifices she made to allow me to get to where I am today, I'll be forever in debt.
• Shop for Mom
"She drove me to every single practice, flew me to ... you name it ... Minnesota, Iowa, wherever we were playing a tournament, she was there. She was always very supportive throughout the whole process."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.