It was a made-for-TV moment that no one could have scripted.
With Minnesota Twins designated hitter Chris Colabello up to bat, FOX Sports North’s Marney Gellner was interviewing Colabello’s parents in the stands. During the live interview, Colabello launched a two-run home run to center field to tie the game at 2.
As Colabello rounded the bases, his parents’ celebration was caught on camera.
Oh, and it also happened to be Colabello’s mother Silvana’s birthday. Quite the birthday gift.
"You knew it!" Silvana Colabello said to Gellner after the home run.
Chris Colabello didn’t know until after the game that his parents were being interviewed during his his fourth-inning home run, but he was glad to deliver such a nice birthday present to his mom.
"It’s funny, April 23rd’s been a weird day in my history, my mom’s birthday," Colabello said. "It seems like every time her birthday comes around, I do something like hit a homer or double, whatever. It was really neat. To have both my parents here was obviously pretty special for me."
The two-run homer wasn’t the last big hit Colabello would have on his mom’s birthday, although it came very close to taking place on April 24 on the East Coast. As Minnesota and Tampa Bay played into the 12th inning, Colabello came up to the plate with two runners on. Colabello lined a base hit up the middle against Rays reliever Josh Lueke to score Trevor Plouffe and Joe Mauer to put the Twins up 6-4. That score held up as Colabello’s two-run single proved to be the game winner.
It’s been an impressive run for Colabello to start the 2014 season after he made his major-league debut last year. Including Wednesday’s four RBI, Colabello has now driven in 26 runs this year — tops in the American League and second-most in all of baseball.
Colabello has become one of the best stories of this young baseball season, but he remained modest when asked about his success during the month of April.
"I’m just trying to go up and have good at-bats, I swear. I’m telling the truth," he said. "I’m trying to help this team however I can. Obviously I’m thankful to the coaches for giving me the opportunity. To hit in the middle of this order is a lot of fun."
Undrafted out of college, Colabello spent seven seasons playing independent ball for the Worcester Tornadoes before the Twins signed him prior to the 2012 season. He eventually debuted in the majors last season and showed glimpses that he could play at this level.
But nothing Colabello did with Minnesota last year would have led anyone to think he would have the sort of month he’s having. His 26 RBI tie him with Minnesota legend and Baseball Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett for the most RBI by a Twins hitter in the month of April, and Colabello has six more games this month to add to his total.
"It’s a special thing for a guy that, as he put it, played in beer leagues a couple years ago," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "You never know what’s going to happen in this game. . . . We’ll see how long he can keep it going, but he’s putting a lot of great swings out there, driving the baseball. What a heck of a month. That’s got to be a pretty special thing for him. It’s pretty special for our ballclub and our organization and our fans. It’s a good story."
After hitting 24 home runs at Triple-A Rochester, Colabello hit seven with the Twins last year and now has three already this season. It’s hard to believe many will be more memorable, though, than the one he delivered Wednesday on his mom’s birthday with his parents in the stands — and on live TV.