When we met Antonio Senzatela at spring training a few weeks ago, he told us about two items he carries with him when he pitches; his wedding ring, and a gold rosary for his mother who died last year of stomach cancer.
But momma Nidya Senzatela will be looking down on Miller Park today when her son makes his MLB debut at the ripe age of 22-years-old. He faces the Brewers in an attempt to give the Colorado Rockies a 3-1 series win.
Of course, his mind may be on bigger things when he takes the mound this afternoon; he says he was very close with his mother. "We always said I love you," he recalls.
Senzatela is one of many members of the Rockies family who have been affected by cancer. There are others but those that have been in the news include, of course, Chad Bettis and long-time radio broadcaster Jack Corrigan.
The team has been placing Bettis' glove on the dugout during games, and the hashtag #TogetherForBettis should be used with reckless abandon. But it's also important to remember and honor those who lost their fight with this ugly demon. Senzatela will have his rosary with him today, a very special day.
There are baseball implications about what is going to happen this afternoon. With other players in the mix, did the Rockies really need to rush a kid who has only pitched 34.2 innings at the Double-A level and a big fat goose egg at Triple-A? Is this the Eddie Butler situation or the Juan Nicasio fiasco (fiascio?) all over again? (Both of those players were skipped straight from Double-A to MLB to let's say ... mixed ... results.)
On the flip side, can he carry over his confidence which was practically oozing out of his pores at spring training? Can his wicked fastball/curveball combo already play at this level? Will he be ... dare we say it? ... Senzational? Are we all going to have to teach our phones that word?
All those questions are for another day. Today is a celebration. It's a celebration of a young man's triumphant return from a tragic loss to fulfill his dream knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that no matter what happens from here on out, momma is damn proud.