It’s unlikely any parent of a Washington Nationals player provided better postgame coverage of the clinching victory in the National League Championship Series than Robin Eaton.
» EARLIER COVERAGE: Eaton ‘scraping and clawing’ all the way to the World Series
Adam Eaton’s mom and his dad, Glenn, drove to Washington, D.C. from Springfield for Games 3 and 4 last week and were in the stands Tuesday when the Nationals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-4 to earn their first World Series appearance.
Katie Eaton, Adam’s wife, told his parents they would get to celebrate with the team on the field after the game if they won. Once there, Robin started shooting video with her phone.
“Mom, are you videoing it?” Adam asked. “Why don’t you do it live?”
Robin wasn’t sure how to go live on Facebook but quickly figured it out and captured a historic scene that, as of Saturday, had been viewed more than 2,000 times.
“I got a huge positive response on that,” Robin said. “That was awesome.”
» PHOTOS: Eaton through the years
The video starts with Adam looking straight into the camera and shouting, “Let’s go!,” as he pumps his fist. Robin and Adam put their arms around each other and hold up their fingers, signifying No. 1.
“We did it!” Robin shouted.
“No, we didn’t do it yet,” Adam said. “We’ve got to keep going.”
Indeed. Game 1 of the World Series will take place Tuesday night. The Nationals will play the Houston Astros, who clinched the ALCS on a walk-off home run by Jose Altuve in Game 6 on Saturday, on the road.
Five Clark County natives have played in the World Series. Adam, a 2007 Kenton Ridge graduate who played three seasons for the Miami RedHawks, will be the sixth. He will play for the first team from Washington to appear in the World Series since the Senators in 1933.
“It was just unbelievable,” Glenn said Thursday from the family home in Northridge. “We were just so thankful and so blessed because he has worked so hard to get where he is. He worked so hard to come back from his injury. We listened to him do some interviews (after the game), and he couldn’t thank everybody enough. He started saying, “Pops, I want to thank you for coaching me when I was little.’ He was thanking Prosser Field. He was thanking the Springfield Pythons and Springfield RedHawks and of course Kenton Ridge and Tom Randall and his staff and Al Fulk and Springfield Armoloy. He played a summer season with them. He was thanking Greenville Technology, where he played for coach Joe Marker.”
» PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Eaton excited to make postseason debut
“He hit them all,” Robin said.
“For us it was tears of joy to see Spanky out there with all he’s been through,” Glenn said. “We’re still playing. They said the little guy wasn’t big enough to do it.”
“It was very emotional,” Robin said.
It was a great moment in what has been a difficult year for the family. Glenn and Robin’s grandson, Eli, the son of Adam’s older brother, Zach, and Amanda Eaton, underwent open-heart surgery earlier this year and eventually will need another surgery to fix a congenital heart defect.
“He is doing a little bit better now,” Robin said, “and we are so thankful for that. His heart is gertting stronger, and they feel come spring, his heart will be strong enough to withstand the upcoming surgery that is a must for him to have.”
Zach plans to travel to Washington for Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday. Robin and Glenn plan to attend every World Series game. They will live and die with every pitch, just as they do when they’re watching at home.
Glenn is the calmer one. When Adam led off the 10th inning of Game 5 of the National League Division Series with a walk and scored when Howie Kendrick hit a go-ahead grand slam against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Robin jumped off the couch and started dancing.
“I was just ecstatic,” Robin said, “and Glenn here is sitting in the recliner. I said, ‘How in the world can you be so calm?’”
Earlier in Adam’s career, they rarely missed a game in Chicago. The Eatons had a 34-foot camper and would stay in it outside Chicago and then drive to the stadium to see Adam play with the White Sox. They drove the camper all the way to Missoula, Mont., when Adam was in the minor leagues.
When the White Sox traded Adam to the Nationals, Glenn and Robin couldn’t find a campground close to the stadium, and by that point, Adam and Katie had a bigger house. This season, the Eatons traveled to Washington about once a month to see Adam play.
“They have two sweet baby boys (Brayden, 3, and Maverick, 1) who lure us there as well,” Robin said. “Adam and Katie are so good to us. We were just thrilled we could be there for that clinching. We do plan on doing a lot of traveling here until we get this done. We’re still in the fight.”
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