It’s baseball season and many of you will be heading out to catch a Red Wings game this year.
You’ll see the players and coaches, but one man who’s a big part of the season will be in the locker room.
Lia Lando introduces us to the so-called “team mom” in this week’s Extraordinary People report.
While the Rochester Red Wings are outside playing ball, their so-called “team parent,” Joe Valenti, is inside the locker room doing everything most parents do. He says many players treat him like mom.
“Austin Adams loves calling me mom… saying ‘thanks, mom.’ He gets a real kick out of it,” Valenti explains. He adds, “My title is Triple A clubhouse manager and baseball operations assistant. Basically, I take care of anything that the players need. Most of the things I do on a day-to-day basis is equipment, laundry, fill ’em with food. These lockers, I try to keep everything organized so guys can find their stuff quickly. I usually, the night before, put out the jersey they’re wearing for the day.”
When their needs aren’t exactly met, Joe Valenti says, “When these guys aren’t getting exactly what they want, the energy in the clubhouse is a little bit different than when these guys have everything. It’s there when they need it. They understand I’m doing a lot and sometimes things aren’t going to happen exactly when they want them.”
But he does his best to keep up and create a positive atmosphere. “Putting out good vibes after a win. We all line-up, make sure to give high fives to everyone. I have music. I have a light show we play.”
Valenti says the players appreciate it. He says, “It’s one of those jobs, not everyone is going to say thank you every single time you do something but you see it in their attitude.” And their attitude can impact their game.