Saturday afternoon, as the Boston Red Sox hosted the Baltimore Orioles, the NESN broadcast showed some of Tanner Houck’s family bundled up as they watched him from the stands.
His mother, Jennifer, sat with her own scorebook propped against the railing next to her seat at Fenway Park, as she kept track of her son’s start.
According to the right-hander, she’s been doing that for quite some time. And though the occasion against Baltimore wasn’t Houck’s first Major League Baseball start, it was the first one she actually got to see in person.
“I can’t remember the last time that she didn’t do the scorebook,” the pitcher said about he and his mother’s tradition. “She loves doing the book. That’s kind of her thing, so I love having her here. Even at home, she’ll be sitting on her bed watching the game, she’ll still do the scorebook. And I typically will go through and correct all her mistakes afterwards, whenever she makes them, but to have her here in person was truly amazing. She’s been the biggest part of my life, so to have her here and to spend this moment with her, I’m truly grateful.”
Despite the loss, the line Jennifer recorded was a pretty good one, though it looked better in person as opposed to on paper, for a number of reasons.
Houck tossed five innings, giving up six hits, three runs (two earned) while sitting down eight Orioles batters. The outing only emphasized the promise he showed last season, accumulating a 1.23 ERA for 22 innings pitched in a Red Sox uniform. He already has 29 career strikeouts.
With Boston finally allowing fans at games, Jennifer will continue to get to score his starts from Fenway. She probably thinks it looks much better in person, too.
But his personal fan club extends beyond his mom. His grandmother, sister and fiancée also were in attendance, not to mention a former coach and some childhood friends.
“They’ve been around since the beginning,” Houck said. “It takes a team to get to this point, on and off the field. It’s typically the people behind the scenes that are making things run as smooth as possible so I’m incredibly thankful for them, and to have them on this journey with me to this point and to have them even more in the future.”