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Bolsinger's mom lends support sight-unseen

When D-backs rookie takes the mound, Mary can't bear to watch

Bolsinger's mom lends support sight-unseen

CHICAGO -- For Mary Bolsinger, it was a real thrill to see her son, Mike, wearing a big league uniform for the first time last month.

As for actually seeing him pitch in that uniform, well, Mary tried not to.

"Oh no, no, no," Mary said when asked about watching her son pitch. "I get too nervous."

This is not a new development in the Bolsinger household.

"It started in high school," Mike said. "She won't sit down and watch a game."

Mary wishes she could sit and watch her son, but when things don't go well for Mike, it is just too hard on her.

"I'm a nervous wreck," she said. "I guess it's because if he does something wrong, I can feel it. I feel it worse than him probably."

A 15th-round selection by the D-backs in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Mike worked his way through their Minor League system for four years before getting called up to the big leagues for the first time last month.

"I don't think I slept more than two or three hours a night the first week," Mary said of the excitement in the Bolsinger household.

In his first outing -- a three-inning relief stint against the Mets at Chase Field -- Mike allowed a pair of runs on six hits.

"When he pitched against the Mets, we were at our friend's house and they bought the [MLB] package right away so we could watch the game," Mary said. "I was in the garage."

Mary got to see Mike in uniform at Dodger Stadium when he started against the Dodgers on April 19. She and her husband came down near the D-backs dugout prior to batting practice and spent some time with Mike.

Once the game began, so did Mary's anxiety.

"At Dodger Stadium, I walked [the concourse] six times from one end to the other," she said. "I got my exercise."

His first big league appearance and first big league start were big deals, of course, but nothing could compare to what came next when Mike started against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

The Bolsinger's are from Chicago, Mike's dad grew up near Wrigley and Mike lived the first 10 years of his life not too far from the historic ballpark.

Needless to say, there was a large contingent of family in the friends at Wrigley that day.

"You've never seen 30 or 40 people who are die-hard Cubs fans rooting for the Diamondbacks like that," Mary said.

Mike had his finest outing to date, as he allowed just one unearned run over 6 2/3 innings.

Mary spent the game in the Stadium Club trying to avoid watching, which was a challenge.

"It was nice except for all the TVs," she said. "I said do you have to have all these TVs on the game?"

After the game, Mike hurried to get dressed in order to say goodbye to his family and friends.

"I did have a little bit more nerves being closer to home," Mike said. "Every once in a while I had a tendency to look over and seeing my family and friends over there cheering me on."

And, though he couldn't see Mary, he knew that no one was rooting harder for him. He wishes she was able to relax and watch him pitch, but Mike is just glad she's there.

"I'm definitely blessed to have a mom like her," he said. "A lot of my friends they look to my mom as mom figure to them, because she's just so nice to everyone. She's really compassionate and good hearted and I think that's what I love most about her. She's awesome. All my friends call her 'Momma B.' She's special."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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