TAMPA (FOX 13) - Former Jesuit standout Lance McCullers is about to make the biggest start of his career to date: pitching in Friday's World Series Game.
His parents sat down with FOX 13 News' Merissa Lynn to talk about how he grew up in the world of baseball.
Sifting through old pictures, Lance and Stacie McCullers remember where it all began for their All-Star son, Lance Jr.
"We were always at the field, on Mother's Day, we were at the field," said Stacie.
To this day, they still are. Friday, they'll be in the stands for Game 3 of the World Series between the Dodgers and Astros. Lance will be the Astros' starter.
"Trying to not let the moment get too big," she said. "We were always trying -- it's just another game. Everybody at the table knows that it's not."
But that's how Lance's parents wanted him to grow up -- to always keep things into perspective. As he started showing signs of wanting to follow in his father's Major League footsteps, it was tough to deny the talent he had. His grandfather was one of the first to notice.
"I remember when he was like, young, two-years-old, I was inside and he was outside with Lance. He came in, he says, 'I can't believe how he can hit and how he can throw! He's going to be a Major Leaguer!'" said Stacie. "I said, 'Don't tell anybody that!' I said, 'Nobody would believe you!' That's just not rational thinking."
Lance's grandfather knew it then, and Lance believed it, too.
"He had written, 'I'm going to be a professional baseball player, I'm going to be the best player ever, and I'm going to play in the World Series.' So I know that in third grade, he had written something in a little hardback book," said Stacie.
Now that Lance has reached the pinnacle of his sport, his parents are still with him every step of the way.
"When I first saw him running in, you were thinking your nerves were just going crazy," said Lance Sr.
Crazy in a good way, because Lance turned that handwritten dream into a reality.
"He's lucky and he's blessed, and so are we," said Stacie. "We have three very wonderful boys and he happens to play baseball and he's a wonderful person with it."