Ross' mom dedicated to kids on field and off
Padres pitcher remembers mother coming to games, working in ER
SAN DIEGO -- Jean Ross isn't just a mother to envy, but one to admire. Of course, Padres pitcher Tyson Ross is more than just a little biased when it comes to the topic.
Take Jean Ross' interest in travel.
"She travels a lot. Her sister is a travel agent," said Tyson Ross, noting that his mother recently returned from a long trip to Australia. "In fact, I got a little bit of the travel bug from her. A couple of years ago, we went to Peru and Machu Picchu. She's always telling me about her adventures.
In more ways than one.
Ross' mother has been a longtime nurse in an emergency room at a children's hospital in Oakland, a job that Tyson Ross -- especially when he was much younger -- didn't always realize how difficult it was, on so many different levels.
"I remember when I was younger, I would go over to the hospital to hang out," Ross said. "When I was 13 or 14, I would walk around and see some of the kids who were about my age, just talk to them. It started to hit me that these kids were sick."
That's about the time Ross started to realize the importance of what his mother did each day.
"There are kids in there for broken arms, but also kids in there with diseases, that come in an emergency capacity. That's when it kind of dawned on me what a crazy environment this was. That helped me gain some appreciation for what my mom does," Ross said.
"When she came home, I would ask her about her day, hoping she would say it was slow or we had a few kids with colds."
Jean Ross tailored her schedule around watching her children -- Tyson, sister Francesca (Frankie) and brother Joe, a pitching prospect in the Padres' system -- play sports. That included high school games and when Tyson pitched at Cal, Frankie played soccer at Portland State and now with Joe starting his professional career.
"She worked her schedule so that she could attend our games," Tyson Ross said. "She worked crazy hours, going in at 5 in the morning, so that she could get off by 3 and drive us to our games."
When Tyson Ross was drafted by the A's in the second round of the 2008 Draft, it afforded his mother the chance to watch him pitch parts of the last three seasons with Oakland.
On a few occasions, both in 2010 and '11, Jean Ross pulled double duty -- watching Joe pitch for Bishop O'Dowd in Oakland in the afternoon before driving to the Oakland Coliseum to watch her oldest child pitch for the hometown A's.
Joe Ross is pitching for the Padres' Midwest League affiliate in Fort Wayne, Ind.
"She's always been there to root us on," Tyson Ross said.
Only now, Jean Ross is a little more difficult to hear, as her voice doesn't reverberate as loudly during a Major League game as it did when Tyson was growing up.
"It was basic mom stuff, 'Come on, Ty' ... stuff like that, but on a scale of 10, her voice was an 11. I'm like, 'C'mon, Mom, there's only 20 people here.' She's been doing a scorebook at games for years, following it pitch by pitch. It's great."
Jean Ross missed Tyson's first three starts with the Padres because she was still in Australia. Ross then landed on the disabled list with an impingement of his left shoulder, an injury he sustained when he got his first Major League hit against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw on April 17.
After a Minor League rehab stint, Ross has returned to the big leagues and is certain his mother will end up watching him pitch again before too long.
"It's crazy how it's all worked out," Ross said. "They [father Willie Ross is a pediatrician] have done a great job with all three kids, following them all over the place."