Sportress of Blogitude

Rays coach Charlie Montoyo draws inspiration from courageous son

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Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo discussed recently that even though an MLB season can be a grind, it pales in comparison to the ordeals his seven-year-old son Alex has endured throughout his young life due to a heart condition.

Alex, born with only one ventricle in his heart, has undergone four open heart surgeries, the last coming about two years ago, which the Rays coach said was the “toughest one” because his son was aware of what was occurring.

Montoyo, a lifelong baseball man who played seven years professionally including a short stint with the Expos in 1993, has managed in the Rays farm system for several years but was promoted by the team to the big leagues amid the turnover spawned by Joe Maddon’s departure to the Chicago Cubs.

Montoyo says he records footage at every stadium the Rays visit during road trips, because, like his old man, Alex is a huge baseball guy.

“Every ballpark I go to, I’ve got to take a video so he can see it,” he said from his New York hotel on Monday ahead of the Rays’ tilt with the Yankees, via the New York Post.

Montoyo indicated that his son acquires beads as part of the Beads for Courage campaign that helps Alex acknowledge each hurdle he passes in his treatment.

“Every little bead means something,” Charlie Montoyo explained. “A transfusion, any time you take blood out, surgery. Every time, you get a bead.”

Alex, who Montoyo says is “doing OK” at the moment but is “behind physically” yet “doing fine,” now has over 5,000 beads. And the bravery, heart and determination his son demonstrates on nearly a daily basis helps Montoyo put any setback or disappointment in perspective.

“It’s easy for me to deal with stuff,” he said. “It could be worse. That’s the phrase I use. It could be worse.”

(photos courtesy of AP/Montoyo family via New York Post)