Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli is a bit of a momma’s boy.
Napoli’s mother, Donna Rose Torres, has long been an important figure in the 32-year-old’s life, according to MLB.com’s Ian Browne. Perhaps nothing reflects the strong mother-son bond more than a tattoo located on Napoli’s left arm that features his mom’s hand-written signature with a big rose above it.
“It’s a strong relationship, ever since I was a little boy,” Napoli recently told Browne. “My mom worked two jobs to make sure I had everything — me and my brother. She always made sure I was at practice on time. She made sure I had the right equipment. There’s a real strong bond between me and my mother.”
Torres and her husband, Napoli’s stepfather Rick, traveled around last October as the Red Sox embarked on their incredible World Series run. She also plans to be in the stands in Texas this Sunday, when the Red Sox and Rangers meet on Mother’s Day.
“We’re still really close,” Napoli said. “She’s just a wonderful lady. She’s good to everybody, no matter who you are. She’s amazing. I looked up to her when I was younger and saw how hard she worked to make sure everything was good for us. It’s just a strong bond between me and her that will never go away.”
Napoli is single — something catcher David Ross once joked led to several of the Red Sox’s married players living vicariously through Napoli while the first baseman partied hard after Boston’s World Series victory — so there’s still plenty of room for Torres’ motherly ways and frequent visits from Florida.
“She loves coming here to Boston,” Napoli said. “She set up my whole place. I let her design my whole place here. She loves that kind of stuff. She does anything for her children. It’s not just me, but my brother and sister. Any time we need something, she’ll bend backward and do anything. Even if she has something crazy going on, she’ll drop everything and do anything for us. She’s just a great woman.
“People say, ‘You were raised right,'” Napoli added. “I go straight to, ‘That’s because of my mom.’ My mom was one who showed me the way, showed me how to be the person I am today. She’s special to me.”