Home Sports Local Sports A mother’s love of baseball connects with son

A mother’s love of baseball connects with son

0
One-year-old Tyrell Curtis with his mother Audrey. (Submitted Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

It is hard to imagine Roswell’s baseball coach as a regular kid. Coach Tyrell Curtis used to do BMX bikes, play soccer and according to his mother, soccer was his best sport for a little while.

Tyrell Curtis started playing baseball at five years old. (Submitted Photo)

Young Tyrell was involved in a lot of things. His mother, Audrey Curtis, and father, Cary Curtis, told him that he would have to pick which sports he wanted to do because he couldn’t do everything.

“He was a very good kid,” Audrey Curtis said. “He loved baseball once he started playing it. I missed him playing soccer because he was very good at it.”

Only a mother would put up with his and his friends’ superstitions, of not changing their socks during a series if they were winning. Or of him having to eat pancakes every time he pitched.

“You can’t imagine how bad those kids’ feet smelled,” Audrey Curtis said. “They would not change their socks until they lost a game during a series. We went to a tournament one year and they won it, but my car smelled really bad.”

Support Local Journalism
Subscribe to the Roswell Daily Record today.

10-year-old Tyrell Curtis, right, plays his position during a game. (Submitted Photo)

Curtis started playing baseball in the Pee Wee Reese league in Farmington at 5 years old. He played in the outfield and was too short to play first base. According to his mother, he played shortstop and when he got older, his coaches told him he couldn’t play shortstop or third base as a left-hander.

Curtis was disappointed in eighth grade when a coach told him that he wouldn’t play a lot because he was left-handed. Curtis stuck with it and played more than the coach told him he would play.

In high school, Curtis played varsity as a junior and a lot as a senior. Curtis put up good numbers as a senior and attracted the attention of New Mexico Military Institute coaches. His C-team coach knew the NMMI coach and told him that Curtis was a good athlete and student.

Tyrell Curtis played on the Mud Dogs summer league team in high school. (Submitted Photo)

Audrey Curtis went to every game that he played in. She loved being there to support her son. Audrey laughs about how she bought him his first mitt and it was right-handed and her neighbor had a left-handed glove and gave it to him and he used it for three years.

Tyrell’s favorite team is Louisiana State and Audrey’s is the Houston Astros.

Farmington’s baseball coach Tom Mclamore encouraged him when he was younger. Mclamore would tell Tyrell, being left-handed wasn’t a bad thing.

Audrey was saddened on Parents Day his senior year when they were introduced. She knew everything they had been through together and all of the work her son had put in to be a good pitcher. She reflected back to being Tyrell’s first coach, and how he got his love of baseball from her.

Her favorite memory of Tyrell playing in school was a catch he made playing junior varsity. Tyrell was playing right field and the batter hit a ball that no one thought would be caught. Tyrell sprinted to the ball and made a diving catch. Audrey said her other favorite memory of her son’s playing days was when he threw a no-hitter in ninth grade.

“I played catch with him all of the time,” Audrey said.

Audrey said she was surprised that her son chose NMMI. She knew him to be a hard worker. He was an Academic All-American, and had a good career, ending up as the all-time ERA leader.

“I’m surprised he went into coaching,” Audrey Curtis said. “Growing up he wanted to be a physical therapist. I have always been proud of him. All I ever asked of him was to do his best in whatever he did in life.”

Audrey said that her favorite memory of just the two of them was when the New York Yankees were playing the Arizona Diamondbacks in the World Series. She told him they were going. Mother and son were on the road seeing the sites along the way. She said the seats they had were nose-bleeds, but it was the experience of them being together and making memories.

“It was so exciting,” Audrey Curtis said. “The atmosphere was exciting. It was fun for us. Him and I have been baseball his whole life.”

For Tyrell Curtis, his favorite memory with his mother was taking a trip to Cooperstown, New York, to play in a baseball tournament. They visited the Hall of Fame and had fun.

“The best piece of advice my mother gave me,” Tyrell Curtis said, “was when you make a decision, stick with it and follow through with it. It is yours.”

Tyrell Curtis is in his third year as head coach of the Roswell Coyotes. In his first year, he led them to their most wins (13) in recent years. Last season, Roswell beat Goddard for the first time in a long time. COVID-19 ended their season before it began.

Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or sports@rdrnews.com.