For Seager's mom, it's baseball all the time
Mariners third baseman and his brothers have all excelled at the sport
SEATTLE -- As a gym teacher at O'Dell Elementary School in Concord, N.C., Jody Seager has spent a lifetime helping kids stay active and play games. Which, it turns out, was pretty good training for her second gig, being a full-time baseball mom to three outstanding young ballplayers.
Seager is the mother of Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, as well as Corey Seager, last year's first-round Draft pick of the Dodgers, and Justin Seager, a junior outfielder at UNC-Charlotte.
So it's not difficult to know what she'll be doing on Mother's Day on Sunday, given her routine for the past 20 years, while raising the talented trio in rural Kannapolis, about 30 minutes from Charlotte.
"When they were growing up, it was baseball 24/7," Jody Seager said. "And it's still baseball 24/7. The other day, we had Kyle on TV, Justin on the computer and were listening to Corey on the radio. That's what we do all night, every night.
"That's the way we've done it since they were little. Then, when Corey graduated from high school, it was a shock not having them around. But it's still the same thing, just different fields. They've been in ballparks pretty much their whole lives."
Kyle, the oldest of the three, was drafted by the Mariners in the third round in 2009, and now is one of the up-and-coming third basemen in the American League.
One of Jody Seager's favorite memories is when Kyle got called up to the Mariners as a rookie in early July 2011, while she was on vacation at Myrtle Beach, S.C.
"He called and said, 'Mom, you need to go home,'" she recalled. "I said, 'You don't understand, this is my beach week and I don't go home for anything.' But he said I had to get to Anaheim because he'd just been called up, and I just started screaming in the middle of the sand."
"It was a pretty cool moment," Kyle said. "She was out there at the beach and everything, and she was so excited and didn't believe me."
Seager's group packed quickly and returned home, then flew to Anaheim with the two younger brothers in tow to see the debut.
That's how it's always been for the Seagers. They're usually either playing a game, watching a game or getting to a game.
Jody Seager participated in track, volleyball and softball in high school, then played co-ed softball as an adult. Her husband, Jeff, played college baseball briefly at Fairleigh Dickinson in New Jersey, then coached his three sons during their younger seasons.
"When the boys were born, you took 'em outside and got a ball and bat and ran around the yard," Jody Seager said. "That's all we've ever done. Let's put it this way, they have broken a lot of my figurines in the front room with either a baseball or basketball."
How many games has Jody Seager watched over the years?
"I can't even imagine," she said. "Saturdays, there'd be doubleheaders, so there'd be four games in one day. Then when the boys were growing up and playing AAU or more of the upper levels, we'd probably sit through six games a day or more. We'd just go from ballfield to ballfield. If we weren't at a field, we'd be on the phone with other moms seeing what was going on."
At 6-foot, Kyle is the shortest of the brothers, despite being the oldest. Middle son Justin is 6-foot-2, while youngest son Corey checks in at 6-foot-4. But Kyle casts a welcome shadow over his younger siblings as the first of the group to have college success, at North Carolina, and then make the Majors.
This past offseason, Kyle and Corey, who is 6 1/2 years younger, spent much of the winter together working out. Because of the age difference, they never went to the same school or played on the same teams growing up, but Kyle takes great pride in both his brothers and lights up whenever he talks about their careers.
"After Corey was drafted, they showed Kyle on TV in the [Mariners'] dugout watching the Draft on his iPod," Jody Seager said. "It brought tears to my eyes to see Kyle in the middle of warming up for his own game and he's watching to see where his brother got drafted. As a mom, that was a special moment, to see their bond."
So it is for the mother of the Seager boys. A lifetime of games, memories, ballparks and the bonds of baseball. And when Mother's Day arrives on Sunday, like pretty much every other day, she'll find a way to watch them play.