Bo Bichette launched a home run beyond Fenway Park's Green Monster on April 20, 2021. It was seemingly a meaningless (yet long) home run that flew completely out of the stadium.
Except it wasn't all that meaningless. It landed in front of the building where his parents, former MLB slugger Dante Bichette and wife Mariana Bichette, first met 30 years prior.
Bo leaves the BALLPARK ? pic.twitter.com/YqRdrTRuUx
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 20, 2021
Bo Bichette?s homer Tuesday left Fenway Park, and landed in front of the now-closed-down gym on Lansdowne St. - the place #Brewers visiting player, Dante first met Bo?s mother, Mariana in the summer of 1991. Thx to @RGriffinTBJ who retrieved the ball for the Bichettes. #BlueJays pic.twitter.com/zGuiZZSIvq
— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) April 22, 2021
Over the next three decades, the Bichettes raised a young boy named Bo Bichette, who has blossomed into a star shortstop with the Toronto Blue Jays. Everyone knows Bo's dad, the man who clobbered 274 home runs and finished second in National League MVP voting in 1995 with the Colorado Rockies.
But who about Bo Bichette's mother, Mariana Bichette?
How Dante Bichette Met Mariana Bichette
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During the 1991 season, Dante Bichette walked into a Gold's Gym nestled across from Fenway Park on Landsdowne Street. The Milwaukee Brewers outfielder was in town to play the Red Sox.
Mariana Peng was working her first day at Gold's. She was a student at Boston University who also worked at a bar on the same street. She had no idea who Dante was but made him a few protein shakes and showed him around the gym. She left an impression, because Dante asked Mariana and her manager to come to the game that day, which she obliged. After the game, she asked him to meet her and some friends at the bar she worked at.
"I was about 45 minutes late and I was literally minutes away from not meeting him. Dante was walking out as I walked in. The rest is history. We were married 2 years later," she said in an interview with MLB Reports' Jonathan Hacohen.
They had their first son, Dante Bichette Jr. in 1992. Six years later, she gave birth to Bo in Orlando, Florida.
Mariana Bichette Stumbled Into Life as a Baseball Mom
When Mariana met Dante, she didn't even know what Fenway Park was. She had no clue what being a Boston Red Sox fan really meant. The Green Monster. Pesky's Pole. Sweet Caroline. None of it.
"I thought Fenway Park was a garage by my gym," she once wrote on her blog.
That changed quickly.
She took an interest in Dante's profession. She took up massaging, because he was always in need of one during his career. She packed up and moved more times than she could count.
She raised two professional baseball players. Dante Jr. was drafted 51st overall by the New York Yankees in 2011 and had a lengthy minor league career. Now, she's witnessing her youngest son dominate on the diamond or the Blue Jays, as Bo was named an All-Star last season.
A native of Porto Alegre, Brazil, Mariana was born to a lifelong Brazilian in her mom and her dad, who immigrated to Brazil from China, per ESPN.
She was in school at Boston University when she met Dante, and it took her 10 years to finish up school. During Dante's career, she helped with philanthropic efforts and helped run her son's baseball teams.
Bo Bichette was pumped for his brother in the crowd at the Little League World Series pic.twitter.com/n0iUETAkf7
— Talkin? Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 14, 2021
Mariana and Dante's marriage wasn't always smooth, however.
In two separate incidents, Dante was accused of domestic violence with Mariana. In 1992, he admitted to striking her while she was pregnant with Dante Jr. Another incident happened in 1993 at Dante's home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Despite this, the two have remained strong throughout the years. They were both on hand at All-Star Weekend last season after Bo was selected to the American League team.
At 24 years old, Bo Bichette has the world ahead of him in the league. Just remember that Mariana had just as much to do with him becoming a star as his father Dante did.
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