Brusdar Graterol's mother Ysmalia spent nearly a decade trying to get to the United States to see her son.
It took seven whole years for this family to reunite. Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Brusdar Graterol spent the past seven years playing baseball in the United States while his mom Ysmalia lived in Venezuela. Ysmalia had missed her son, now 25 years old, for so long and didn't get to witness many special moments in his life. She missed his games, watching him get married as well as the birth of her grandchild. But now she's finally reunited with him.
The two had an emotional reunion on September 17 when they met at the airport. "I was paralyzed in that moment when I first saw her. I didn't really know what to say. I didn't know what to do," Graterol said, reports Good Morning America. "[I] just embraced her as much as I could. And obviously, she would say how beautiful I am, how big I've gotten. And then I just remember telling her how it felt like home."
On September 19, Graterol saw his dream come true as he pitched at Dodger Stadium in front of a packed crowd which finally included his mom. The athlete played against the Detroit Tigers, which the Dodgers went on to win 3-2. The 25-year-old was in tears after pitching a 1-2-3 scoreless 8th inning. He walked off the mound and pointed up to the skybox where his mother was watching her child. Graterol began to cry as he waved to his mother who blew him a kiss. "Me and my mom grew up together. We went through all of it together," Graterol said. "She was a mom and dad figure for me the whole time, and I've always wanted to be an example for her and for her to be proud of me."
The family reunion was even more special as Ysmalia also got to see her daughter-in-law Allison Landa Graterol and her granddaughter Aria. "It was so incredible,” Graterol told reporters after the game through an interpreter per PEOPLE. “I've always wanted to pitch in front of my mom. Being so successful as I've been pitching lately, it was so emotional and nice to have her here. We never really gave up on any situation, and luckily we found a way to get her to the United States."
Brusdar and his mom reunited at last. 💙 pic.twitter.com/P8XSJA6Y0U— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 20, 2023
According to the outlet, Graterol told ESPN his mother will be staying in the U.S. throughout the remainder of the regular season and into the playoffs. "There have been a lot of things that have been very hard. When I made my debut, she wasn't here. When I got married, she wasn't here. When I had my daughter, she wasn't here," Graterol said. "Those are very difficult times. But to be able to now share that and be there with her is special."
Brusdar's message to his mom. pic.twitter.com/vOgA1fItJL— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 20, 2023
He recalled a time when he was 15 years old when he watched a mother and her young child selling fruits and vegetables in the street back in his hometown. He was waiting for his mother at a local bus stop for tryouts in front of major league scouts.
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Ysmalia told him at the time that if playing baseball didn't work out, the family would have a similar life in the streets as well. "Look, son, if this blessing doesn't come true, we're going to be like that family," Graterol recalled his mom saying, as per MLB.com. "That was tough when my mom showed me that reality. I didn't say anything. Thankfully, here we are. She fought with me through everything. She’s my everything."