Mother's Day a special one for Buehrle

* Prior to Sunday's Mothers Day contest, Pat Buehrle threw out the ceremonial first pitch to her son, Mark Buehrle. That and more in Bob Elliott's notebook. .... 2014 Canadians in the Minors 2014 Canadians in College Letters of Intent 2014 Canadian draft list 2015 Canadian draft list


By Bob Elliott

Drew Hutchison threw the first pitch for the Blue Jays at 1:07 Sunday afternoon.

Nine minutes before that, Pat Buehrle threw out the ceremonial first pitch to her son, Mark Buehrle.

The two have combined for 192 career wins, plus two in post-season play -- all by Mark.

Pat has been to Mark’s basement in St. Charles, Mo. to practice her delivery.

“I did OK the first couple, my husband John paced off the distance to about 40 feet,” said Pat. “After the first few I’d throw one wild over there and the next one was way over there.”

Said John: “I’ve seen Justin Verlander throw a ball high before, Mark too.”

Pat had hoped to get in an indoor session at the Rogers Centre on Saturday. After returning from the Jays' initial home stand, John asked Pat if she’d be willing to throw out the first pitch on Mother’s Day.

“Why pick me out of all the over mothers?” Momma Buehrle asked. John had a camera rolling when he asked the question. Pat didn’t want to say yes, didn’t smile, but finally gave a thumbs up.

Pat, 64 and John, 65, were speaking on the concourse level Friday night. John, a former U.S. Marine, stood ramrod straight during the anthems, shaking his head when noticing youngsters who didn’t remove their caps.

Pat excused herself to watch Captain Elizabeth Thebault, with her father, Major Brian Crosier, at her side, look in for the sign and throw a military strike for the ceremonial first pitch.

You’ve seen thousands of ceremonial first pitches, but have you ever watched one as intently as that? Pat was asked. “No,” Mom Buehrle said. “And I’ll watch Saturday too.”

Joey Palmer from Edmonton and the Alberta’s Rainbow Society performed Saturday’s first-pitch duties.

Pat looked to book her flight from St. Louis, which the Jays were paying for, and John planned on buying a ticket on the same flight. They wanted to be at Pearson coming and going so their son could be there and still make the park on time. Pat looked for two days trying to find the cheapest flight before finding one.

They received an email from Kristy Boone of the Blue Jays which said: those flights wouldn’t work, we’ll fly you first class St. Louis-Chicago-Toronto and have a limo for you at the airport.

“Mark was in Chicago 12 years and we loved it, the people with the White Sox were so nice, then he had a year in Miami, which didn’t have that family feel,” said John Buehrle. “Everyone in Toronto smiles and it's genuine. We’ve been treated like family.”

Mark Buehrle tried out for the Francis Howell North Knights and was cut his first two years of high school by the junior varsity coach. John said Mark didn’t want to try out in his grade 11 year and go through rejection again.

John walked into Mark’s room after dinner and delivered the “your mother and I didn’t raise any quitters,” speech.

“Next day, Mark comes home late with a long face, then he smiled and said he’d made the team.”

It’s Mother’s Day for Jamie Buerhle -- she and Mark have two children, Braden, six and Brooklyn, five.

It’s Mom’s Day for Pat Buehrle, who brought four children into the world and now has eight grandchildren: son Mike’s McKenzi is 11; Jason has Victoria, 10, Mya and Chase, seven-year-old twins and daughter Amy has Dylan, nine and Kannen, six.

After her Sunday outing, Pat will be back working the cash at Francis Howell North.

“My wife takes kids' money at lunch,” said John. “I tell people that Pat is over qualified, she’s been taking my money for 44 1/2 years.”

Happy Mother’s Day.


Looking: The Blue Jays top scouting eyes, Dana Brown and Chuck LaMarr, saw high school shortstop Ti’Quan Forbes of Columbia, Miss. and North Carolina State shortstop Trea Turner ... LaMar saw Pepperdine lefty Aaron Brown for a second time. The Jays select 9th and 11th since they did not sign Phil Bickford, who is 4-3 with a 2.13 ERA as a freshman at Cal-State Fullerton in 16 games, making nine starts. He has walked 12 and struck out 64 in 63 1/3 innings.

Dot dots: Brett Lawrie at second? Didn’t we go through this last year? Juan Francisco has played 19 games with five homers and now he’s ready to play third every day? ... The Jose Reyes we saw on the bases against Philadelphia is the Jose Reyes we saw with the New York Mets. It’s the first time since injuring his ankle 10 games into last season ... Reyes isn’t phoning his mom on Sunday: in the Dominican Republic, Mother’s Day is always the final Sunday in May ... Jose Bautista has reached base in 38 consecutive games (37 this season). The record? Ted Williams at 84 in 1949, while Joe DiMaggio had 74 in 1941 ... William Hambly Stoneman returned to his roots Friday afternoon. The former Montreal Expos right-hander, Angels general manager and current Halos advisor, headed to Georgetown Friday where he used to live to lunch with fishing buddies Glenn Sproule and Jim Hall ... Top fund raisers in the Roberto Alomar and friends charity home run challenge in support of Jays Care Foundation were James Dodds, who raised $11,250, and Steven Junger, $10,207.50.

North Bay nugget: Stats guru Neil Munro points out Colorado Rockies’ Justin Morneau of New Westminster, B.C. passed Fort William’s Jeff Heath for third among Canadians in career RBIs and is nine behind Fredericton’s Matt Stairs. Stairs has 899, Morneau has 890 going into Saturday’s play and Heath had two-run doubles off both Curt Simmons and Schoolboy Rowe for the Boston Braves in a 9-8 loss to the Phillies the final day he knocked in runs in 1949, retiring with 887 ... Earlier, Morneau passed Stairs for second in career doubles. Morneau now has 304, while Stairs had 294. Larry Walker leads in both categories.