With the weight of the world seemingly on his shoulders, a Colorado high school baseball player turned in one of the most amazing — and clutch — performances imaginable.
Jaydin Goldenstein of Holyoke High School threw a no-hitter in the first game of a double-header on April 28, and then proceeded to hit four home runs in the second game after switching to shortstop.
What made the performance so incredible, though, is that it came two days after his mother had passed away, with his team needing to win both games in order to secure a league title, according to the Denver Post.
The teenager had reportedly been estranged from his mother, who spent time in jail and in a halfway house, for about a year. She had battled drugs since the Holyoke star was young, and the two experienced a turbulent relationship, resulting in mixed emotions. Still, he had always hoped she would one day become clean.
Goldenstein drove in seven runs in the second game, the difference in his team’s 15-8 victory to secure the Lower Platte league title. He struck out 10 in the first game, which was the first no-hitter of his career.
"I was so happy for him," Holyoke coach Kyle Bules told the Post. "I talked to one of their coaches after the game, and he said, 'He had most guys’ careers in one day!'"
With so much of sports being mental, it’s difficult to imagine professional athletes playing, never mind excelling, in the wake of a loved one’s death. But sometimes athletes are able to use it as motivation to succeed and effectively pay tribute.
Goldenstein paid tribute, and then some.