Family reunion: Brusdar Graterol's mom sees her son pitch for first time in the majors

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Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Brusdar Graterol celebrates the last out of the eighth inning in the continuation of a suspended baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, in Cleveland. The game was suspended the night before due to inclement weather. (AP Photo/Nick Cammett)

LOS ANGELES – Brusdar Graterol never gave up hope that his mother would be able to see him pitch in person in the major leagues.

On Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, it finally happened.

Graterol's mother, Ysmalia, was in a suite and saw her son pitch a scoreless eighth inning as Los Angeles rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

“It was so incredible. I’ve always wanted to pitch in front of my mom. Being so successful as I’ve been pitching lately, it was so emotional and nice to have her here," Graterol said through an interpreter after the game. “We never really gave up on any situation and luckily we found a way to get her to the United States.”

Graterol saw his mom for the first time in seven years on Sunday night when she arrived from Venezuela. The 25-year old right-hander said he was paralyzed with emotion the first time they saw each other.

“All I heard my mom say was that I was very big and very beautiful," he said. "And the only thing that I told her when I calmed down, I told her that she smelled like home.”

Graterol said the process of getting his mom to the United States started to gain momentum the last two weeks after getting one important document that sped up the process.

Graterol was signed to a contract by the Minnesota Twins in 2014 after a tryout in Venezuela. He was traded to the Dodgers in 2020.

When Graterol came out for the eighth inning, he said there were plenty of emotions and memories going through his head, but that once his music started playing and he went through his warmups, he was feeling calm.

Graterol retired the Tigers in order on 13 pitches, including nine strikes. After getting Jake Rogers to ground out to end the inning, he pointed to where his mom was sitting and then used his mitt to hide his tears as he was walking to the dugout.

“It was emotional. How can you not appreciate that moment for Brusdar and his family? That was one of the top moments I have been a part of,” manager Dave Roberts said. “The players rallied around it and it was good to see.”

Graterol's mom missed her son getting married and the birth of her granddaughter, but she is making up for lost time. Graterol said his mother will be here through at least the end of the end of the postseason.

“There have been a lot of things that have been very hard. When I made my debut, she wasn't here. When I got married, she wasn't here. When I had my daughter, she wasn't here,” Graterol said. “Those are very difficult times. But to be able to now share that and be there with her is special.”

The Dodgers trailed 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth before tying it on David Peralta's RBI ground-rule double. Max Muncy then drove in Mookie Betts with a base hit with two outs in the ninth to give the NL West champions their sixth walk-off win of the season.

Graterol has tossed 21 consecutive scoreless innings, a Dodger season high. His teammates, though, were happier to see a family reunion.

“He's the nicest guy in the clubhouse. A big teddy bear,” designated hitter J.D. Martinez said. “There's a lot of stuff around the world that guys don't have control of. For that dream to come true, every parent should see their son at this level.”

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