A successful closer needs to be able to throw strikes, have a fastball in the mid-90s, and a short memory.

Blue Jays Frank Francisco has all of that, but on Mother's Day he had a long memory of his mother Vicenta, her tribulations, work ethic and sacrifices.

Vicenta raised 10 children, eight of her own, plus two more from her husband's family in the Distrito Nacional area of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

Vicenta would tell a 14-year-old Francisco how he had to be home by 9 p.m.

"I'd be hanging out on the street corner with my friends, joking around and she'd come and grab me by the arm and take me home. It would really embarrass me in front of all my friends."

And the next day?

"They'd tease me at school ... and the next night she would have to come and get me again," he said wiping his left eye, sitting at his locker after his Blue Jays fell 5-2 to the Detroit Tigers on Sunday at the Rogers Centre. "It was a good thing she did, she saved me from some bad choices. We'd hangout and smoke cigarettes."

Vicenta struggled raising Alfredo, Eusebio, Foel, Robert, Ingrid, Alexandra, Frank, lucky No. 7, and Arismendy, plus his step-sisters Francia and Jenny.

"It was hard, real hard," Francisco recalls. He said his mother would wake up at 4 a.m. each day and cook. And cook. And cook.