Frieri thrilled as mom makes first stadium visit

Frieri thrilled as mom makes first stadium visit

Frieri thrilled as mom makes first stadium visit
ANAHEIM -- Ernesto Frieri isn't shy about expressing how much of a dream-like stint he's having in this city, where he's gone from an unknown commodity to an uber-successful closer getting national attention and All-Star recognition.

Now the Angels reliever is able to share it with his mother, who was absent for a big chunk of his childhood.

Frieri's mom, 47-year-old Ena Luz Gutierrez, made her first visit to the United States during the All-Star break, when she began staying at Frieri's house in Orange County. On Friday, she was at a professional baseball stadium for the first time ever and finally got a chance to see her son in a Major League uniform.

"I never even dreamed of any of this," Frieri said in Spanish. "Thing is, I never forget where I came from. I'm talking to you right now, and I have my mind on that family I came from; very humble, hard-working. They persevered. And just to know my mom is here watching me play in the big leagues -- I know how she must be feeling. I know she's very proud of me."

Frieri was born and raised in Colombia and was mainly raised by his grandmother. For most of his childhood, Frieri's mom worked outside of the country, mainly in Venezuela and Spain, to provide for the family.

It wasn't until just recently that Frieri convinced her she didn't need to work anymore because he could take care of her.

"She just wants to keep working," Frieri said, shaking his head. "She doesn't have a boyfriend -- that I know of -- and I tell her, 'Get a boyfriend.' Nothing. She's young, has a good personality. I said, 'Come to the United States, I'm going to get you a boyfriend.'"

Frieri isn't sure about the boyfriend part, but he did take her to Disneyland when she arrived and will be seeing her at the ballpark every day until she leaves next weekend, which marks the end of the Angels' nine-game homestand.

From Colombia, where she's been living permanently for the last few months, Ena kept a close eye on the Angels and knows all about guys like Mark Trumbo, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.

"I just wanted her to come here, to share this with me, to see all the great things that are happening with me here, so she could be proud of me," Frieri said. "Hopefully I can pitch in this series. I'm going to try to do the same job I always do, but hopefully I can make her happy."