When Mitch was first called up to the bigs on July 29, 2010, I heard the name Amory, Mississippi and took note. Amory is a town of about 7,000 in northeast Mississippi, but when my mother was born there, it was a town of about 1000.
I was excited to tell my mom about a new major leaguer from her birthplace.
“What’s his name?” she asked.
“Mitch Moreland,” I said not even thinking of my great-grandmother’s last name.
“Oh, well then you’re related to him. All those Morelands up around Amory are kin to us.” My mom is southern to the core. “Grandma Ozema was a Moreland. Sweet lady, but a strict God-fearing woman. She didn’t tolerate any drinking, cussing, or playing face cards. Neither did her parents.”
Playing face cards?
I made some calls to Amory and talked to our Moreland relatives. Sure enough, Mitch and I share the same Moreland great-great-grandparents. Our great-grandparents were siblings. Our grandparents were first cousins. Therefore, Mitch and I are third cousins. And we’re both left handed and handsome.
We featured Mitch on the Muser Morning show just this past Friday, which was probably the first time most DFW sportsfans heard his gentle drawl and aw-shucks southern charm. There was a Sports Illustrated reporter nearby as I was interviewing Mitch. We were the only ones talking to him. I’m sure the clubhouse was different for Mitch on Saturday night.
We’ll interview Mitch again soon, and I sure hope he stays as the Ranger first baseman for a long time. He seems like a sweet guy and I like to see sweet people succeed. I am still amazed that a rookie from Amory, Mississippi, whose great-great grandparents didn’t allow the playing of face cards, has become the first Ranger to hit a homerun in a World Series. When asked about Amory, Mitch said, “We’ve got a Wal-Mart, and I used to hang out in the Wendy’s parking lot. There’s not a whole lot going on there, but I love it.”
Score one for the Rangers and score one for all small town boys who still say “Yes, ma’am.” I hope all the P1′s jump on Cuzz’s bandwagon. He deserves it.
Rangers selected Cuzz as the 530th pick in the 17th round of the 2007 draft, and thought of making him a relief pitcher. He can throw 90-92 mph and also has a good slider and curve.
He went to Mississippi State, just like fellow Ranger first basemen Will Clark and Rafael Palmeiro.
Mitch has started all three World series games. The last rookie first baseman to start the first three games of a World Series? Jackie Robinson in 1947.
Yes, ladies. He has a girlfriend. I, however, do not.