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For love and the game: How his brave son, baseball family inspire Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo

For love and the game: How his brave son, baseball family inspire Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo

Several months into his tenure as the Toronto Blue Jays’ new manager, Charlie Montoyo sat in his office chair, discussing the series ahead against the San Francisco Giants.

Montoyo’s office inside Rogers Centre is small and tidy, devoid of clutter. An autographed Andrew Katz painting of Herman Oliveras, Montoyo’s favorite salsa music artist, hangs on the wall adjacent to his desk. A set of large conga drums stands along the back wall, a smaller set of bongos atop his desk. They aren’t simply decor; when Montoyo was a coach with the Tampa Bay Rays, center fielder Kevin Kiermaier says, he would often find Montoyo sitting in the equipment room, hammering away on the bongos.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Hanging on the wall behind Montoyo’s desk is the Blue Jays’ full season calendar. Each series, home and away, is highlighted, and he points out the number of days until his family arrives from their home in Arizona — just over a month to go. “People have no idea,” Montoyo says, referring to how much he has to be away from his family. “They think, ‘Oh, wow, [he’s in the] big leagues … but almost as soon as they get to Toronto once their school year ends, we go on the road,” Montoyo says, chuckling, as he shakes his head.2

Instead, he sees his family every day in photos. After spending 21 years managing throughout the minor leagues and then serving, most recently, as Tampa Bay’s bench coach, Montoyo was hired in October to lead the Blue Jays. It’s his first big league managing job. Montoyo has four photo collages on his desk in Toronto of his sons — 11-year-old Alex and Tyson, 16 — and his wife, Sam, whom he met nearly 20 years ago while he was managing the Charleston RiverDogs.

But there is one photo Montoyo keeps hidden from view, a framed 4-by-6-inch image inside of his armoire. He takes the picture out when others aren’t around, he says, as a reminder to himself.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

The photograph shows Alex, just before his fifth birthday, lying in a hospital bed in the intensive care unit, a stream of tubes and IVs protruding from his body and his head. He is sedated, mouth open, eyes closed, a peaceful expression on his face.

“I keep this picture here to remind me how lucky I am,” Montoyo says.

The photo also brings perspective: of what he has lost throughout his journey in baseball — namely, time with his family — but also of what he has gained in an extended family that stretches far beyond the field.