Skip to main content
Publish date:

Mother's Day II: A's Derek Norris's Career Best Game Honored Mom

On Mother's Day in 2014, Oakland Athletics catcher Derek Norris turned in what would be the best game of his career, two three-run homers. They came against Gio Gonzalez, the pitcher the Nationals wanted badly enough to trade Norris to the A's in 2011.

Much has been written the last couple of days on the 10-year anniversary of Dallas Braden’s 2010 Mother’s Day perfect game.

That got us to thinking – who else among the A’s has had big Mother’s Day output? For the post-Braden perfect game A’s, the answer is not many. The A’s are 2-7 on Mother’s Day since Braden’s perfecto.

There was one seriously brilliant Mother’s Day performance in the last decade though. On Mother’s Day in 2014, catcher Derek Norris hit a pair of three-run homers off Washington’s Gio Gonzalez in a 9-1 Oakland win in the Coliseum.

Norris, who went by the nickname “D-No” in the Oakland clubhouse, had a new nickname after that game, which was played on May 11 that season. The nickname morphed, however briefly in to “3-0 D-No.” Both the homers came on 3-0 pitches, both fastballs. Normally, Norris would be given the “take” sign from manager Bob Melvin. Playing a hunch, Melvin had his swing away both times.

“It was just one of them special days,” Norris said. “Can’t really explain it other than somewhere Mama’s giving me the power and strength to do something special on her day.”

Norris, who homered in both the first and second innings, would actually get one more 3-0 shot against Gonzalez. This time Gonzalez threw a pitch so far out of the strike zone that Norris had no choice but to take a walk.

Read More

Jackie Norris was back home in Kansas for what would stand as the best single-game performance of Norris’s six-year Major League Baseball career, the first half of which was spent with the A’s. He’d originally been drafted by the Nationals, but Washington traded him to the A’s to get … Gio Gonzalez. The lefty had pitched for the A’s for four seasons and had been an All-Star. This was his first game facing the A’s since being traded.

A little payback?

“It’s not like they didn’t want me, but you still want to stick it to ‘em,” Norris said.

Five weeks later, on Father’s Day, Norris would hit a three-run homer. So, he had three of his 10 homers and nine of his 55 RBI on the days celebrating parents in 2014.

That led Melvin to quip after the game, “I guess he’s got a close relationship with his parents – trying to impress them.”

Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3

Click the "follow" button in the top right corner to join the conversation on Inside the Athletics on SI. Access and comment on featured stories and start your own conversations and post external links on our community page.