A Mother’s Pride: Travinski lived a dream at CWS

She was waiting in the same place she had been positioned every day as the LSU baseball players made their way out of the hotel and on to the team bus. As she stood in that spot in the lobby, a 10-year-old boy with an LSU shirt on was also waiting to get a glimpse of the players as they walked by.

“Who is your favorite player?” she asked the boy, who was a local Midwest kid.

“Hayden Travinski,” he said. “Without a doubt.”

“Hang on a second,” she told him.

And that’s when she left her spot to grab the one LSU special souvenir item she had left – a Hayden Travinski-designer hat – and gave it to the boy.

“I want you to have this,” Dickie Travinski told the boy she had never met until a few minutes earlier.

You want to know what it meant for Hayden Travinski’s mother to be in Omaha at the College World Series for 11 days and see her son be a part of a national championship?

Start with that.

There are a lot of things that will bring tears to Dickie Travinski’s eyes when she recalls what she has just been a part of during the last two weeks. But it’s hard to explain.

“There are just no words,” she says. “You think those kids were excited? You should have seen me.”

Sure, the atmosphere was incredible. The excitement of being there as her child reached the pinnacle in college baseball was amazing.

But it was a lot of more than that.

It hasn’t been an easy road for her son. Though he committed to LSU when he was a freshman at Loyola (he would later play at Airline), it wasn’t as if Travinski walked on the field in Baton Rouge and began dominating.

His mother has watched as he battled injuries, slumps, a coaching change, more injuries, and an uncertain role on the team.

“You just can’t describe how amazing it is to watch your son, who has fought and scrapped and gone through some stuff, to come out as a national champion,” she says.

Given an opportunity a few weeks ago, it all began to click for Hayden Travinski as he went from an afterthought to the cleanup hitter in the potent LSU lineup.

During the SEC tournament, Dickie paused in front of the TV at her job at Cascio’s Market Bistro as the Tigers were playing. You would have never known it was her son at the plate as he delivered a base hit to knock in a run. She gave it a quick fist pump, let out a barely audible “Yes!” and went back to work.

But when the Tigers earned the trip to Omaha to play in the College World Series, she wouldn’t have to watch it on TV. “That was when all the power went out, but we just packed up and went,” she says. “Drove all night to get there and stayed for 11 days.”

She did not get much time with her son – “their schedule was pretty regimented,” Travinski says – but she knew what her main function was going to be: “Show up and cheer.”

Every day, there was a send-off for the team at the hotel with LSU fans crowding the lobby. Dickie Travinski knew there was only one way to see her son. “I stood in the same place every day so I knew he could see me,” she says. “That was everything to me.”

When it was over Monday night, and after a post-game hug across the rail, Dickie Travinski had a moment to reflect on what it all meant.

“It’s not just my son who fought to get there,” she says. “There are so many stories on that team just like that. (Hayden) reached that goal and so did our family. But so did all of those other families.”

Including a 10-year boy who now owns a Hayden Travinski hat.

Contact JJ at johnjamesmarshall@yahoo.com