Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Melvin Mora, 2002 Topps Heritage #14

Melvin Mora looks worried. He looks slightly troubled, inquisitive even. He looks like this most of the time, it seems. Sometimes when I'm watching him play, it seems as if he's on the verge of tears. I'm sure that he's not, that that's just how his face looks, but he certainly does have plenty to worry about. Melvin Mora has six children.

Six children.

His daughter Tatiana is eleven, and his quintuplets (two boys and three girls) are seven. I reflect on all of the things that my parents have had to worry about as my sister and I came of age - just two kids. There were broken arms, draconian grade school teachers that sent us home in tears, glasses and braces and broken hearts. There were the melodramatic teenage years, with hair dye and tattoos and all-day rock concerts and co-ed sleepovers. Choosing a college was a monster all its own. One false step, one lapse in judgment, and you're talking about a major impact on a child's immediate - and long-term - future.

Melvin has to worry about all of those things times six. He's had even more to worry about, especially at the beginning with the quintuplets. All of them weighed 33 ounces or less at birth, and there was surely a great deal of uncertainty pertaining to their survival. The Orioles' then-utility player spent the second half of the 2001 season running back and forth between the ballpark and the hospital, keeping close watch over his kids. In fact, when the babies were three months old, Melvin himself had to save daughter Jada's life with CPR. I can't imagine the stress and fear involved in being singlehandedly responsible for the survival of your child.

So really, you can't blame Melvin Mora if he looks concerned. Though the children are all now healthy and thriving, he certainly has his hands full, now and for several years to come.

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