WHAT IT FEELS LIKE . . . . . . to become a father five times in midseason

WHAT IT FEELS LIKE . . . . . . to become a father five times in midseason

(Andrea Bruce Woodall - Twp)
Sunday, September 2, 2007

We are quite certain Baltimore Orioles third baseman Melvin Mora is the only player qualified to address this topic. On July 28, 2001, during Mora's first year as an everyday player, wife Gisel gave birth to girls Genesis, Rebekah and Jada, and boys Christian and Matthew. Mora was hitting .263 on the day they were born; he hit .214 the rest of the season. Last week, the "Mora Quints" began first grade.

I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. You have to have a strong mind. You have babies who are less than two pounds in the hospital, and you don't know if they're going to survive or die. It's hard when you cross the line not to think about it.

I took off two games, and the first game back, I went straight from the hospital to [the stadium]. My wife didn't like hospital food, so I was delivering food to her, then coming to the game. Sometimes I would go home to sleep for a few hours. Sometimes I would spend the night in the hospital. I did that many times. The first kid, Rebekah, didn't come home from the hospital until one month later.

I was tired. My body was feeling weak. I remember late in the season I had to switch to a lighter bat -- from 32 1/2 [ounces] to 30. That's how tired and weak I was.

But it was a good year, even though that was when [the Orioles] started moving me around [from position to position]. But I made it. And the kids helped me in one way, because I thought about them, and it made me play harder.

-- Interview by Dave Sheinin

© 2007 The Washington Post Company