FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — One of the nicest parts of Orioles spring training is watching the interaction between players and their families. In the more relaxed setting of Fort Lauderdale Stadium, players and their girlfriends, wives, kids and relatives interact a lot more openly than at Camden Yards, where they are held in a special waiting area until players are ready and dressed after a game.
Before Sunday’s 11-3 rout of the Washington Nationals was done, third baseman Melvin Mora was already on the lookout for his clan. And when you’re looking for six kids, you don’t have to look too far.
Still in uniform, Mora emerged from the clubhouse while his six kids (including those adorable quintuplets) rounded the corner. One by one the kids spied their daddy. “Papi,” they squealed with delight. “Daddy,” yelled one. Soon, Mora was engulfed in a mass hug, with the proud papa in the middle eating it all up.
Mora’s family is one of the fun things about covering the Orioles. The quints dress alike — Sunday saw the two boys in orange polos with white, black and red stripes; the girls were adorned in pink sun dresses with clear, plastic, purple sandals — making finding them in a crowd a little easier.
I joked with Mora in the clubhouse after the reunion that he’s almost got his own team filled out. “The girls are better than the boys,” he smiled. Obviously, they take after their dad. But based on the spirited game of tag I witnessed — with the Mora kids dominating — the boys cold hold their own.