For Michael Saunders, it’s been one of the most difficult seasons of his professional career and it has nothing to do with baseball.
On Wednesday, Saunders’ mother, Jane, passed away at the age of 50. After battling cancer for the better part of a decade and beating it on four different occasions, it became an unwinnable battle.
Some of you have asked about Saunders’ extended absence earlier in the season, it was to be by his mother’s side. It’s why he left in the middle of the Rainiers’ game on Tuesday.
Saunders was open about his Jane’s battle with cancer. Back in May of 2010, he talked about it and her strength. And on Mother’s Day that season with her in the stands wearing the pink West Tenn jersey, he wore for breast cancer awareness, Saunders hit a home run and had an RBI single.
You would often see her at Mariners or Rainiers game wearing one of her son’s jerseys and faithfully keeping score of the game, something she started doing when Saunders was playing as a kid.
Earlier this season, Justin Smoak lost his father to cancer. My friend and baseball writer Dave Cameron is fighting cancer right now.
So if you have a few moments today, take time to send a few good thoughts or prayers Michael Saunders way.
Also if you are feeling generous, you can send a donation in Jane’s memory to the Victoria Chapter of The Canadian Red Cross, 909 Fairfield Road, Victoria, BC V8V 3A3