Before he was a father, before he was a formal educator, before he was a physical therapist, before he was a husband, EVEN before he was a runner, Pete has always been a baseball player. Growing up baseball was his thing. There were daily pick-up games in our yard, weekly allowances spent on baseball cards, dinner conversations about batting averages, he even went as far as discussing the game while sleep walking.
In typical Pete fashion, he didn’t just play the game; he put his all into it. I can attest to this because being five years his minor, I was given the ‘gift’ of witnessing hundreds of games and the hours he spent at the batting cage, practicing switch hitting and mastering his knuckleball.
While I had the opportunity to perfect my friendship bracelet making skills on the bleachers, Pete's hard work paid off in a much more notable way. His focus, drive and determination led him to pitch a perfect game. An achievement many pitchers never accomplish let alone at a young age.
Years of pitching resulted in an elbow injury that shifted his focus to cross country and cultivated his interest in sports medicine and then physical therapy. Despite this shift in direction, his passion for the game remained consistent over the years. He continued to listen to Reds games on the radio and instilled his love of baseball in both Adah and Eamon.
I cherish the family vacations we attended minor league baseball games and cheering on the Reds at Great American Ballpark this past summer. While I have so many wonderful memories with Pete, the baseball ones will always be special.
Our left-hander has rounded third and is home.
The great thing about having a brother is they give you your first friend and your first rival.
Pete and I rode bikes and raced matchbox cars as friends. And there was also that time in middle school when fate smiled on me and my ping pong paddle and I somehow beat Pete twelve straight times. Beating him once was usually hard enough, so I would have been content with three or four in a row… but Pete refused to let me go upstairs until he finally won one.
But besides being my first friend and rival, Pete was also my hero.
He taught me how to choke up on a baseball bat, and never to give up walks to the bottom of the batting order.
He coached me in eighth-grade track and told me I would find that I could run harder, even if I was already hurting.
He showed me that high school was more rewarding when you also wrote for the school paper, joined the student diversity club, performed in musicals, and went on a mission trip to Mexico… all past-times that, in true little brother fashion, I eagerly took up right behind him.
As we got older, his example became more challenging to follow.
When he visited Boston University before his senior year, we went running and he lit into me for training only a couple days a week for the coming cross country season. “If you’re going to do something, he said, do it. Don’t sort of do it.”
A couple years later, I was having just an ugly, ugly cry in my bedroom, and he challenged me to describe why I was so heartbroken over this particular girl. You may be shocked to learn that at fifteen years old, I didn’t have much more than, Well, she’s cute. She was nice, too.
Pete put on his big brother pants and told me, wise and direct: No. Look at me and Eileen, he said. Family and faith are important to her. She shares my passion for social justice. We love sports, being active. If I wanted a special kind of happiness, he said, I had to be discerning. He was about to turn 19 as he said all this. Pete was my hero, because at no point in his life did he ever settle for anything less than exceptional.
Recently, as his lungs got weaker and his life got harder, he was able to do less than he wanted. He had to let some things go, as crazy as it surely made him.
But he never complained, at least not publicly. He didn’t pity himself. Or show any fear.
Even as he was forced to do less, he demonstrated resolve, grit. Grace. Only Peter Mosher could take doing less and find a way to somehow do more.
I witnessed his passion to demand more out of oneself… and the best out of life.
I know I’m still a work in progress… how could one not be, when Pete Mosher’s your big brother?
And the best out of life? Well, Pete Mosher’s my big brother.