When Andrew Moore started gaining national attention as a standout at Oregon State, reporters and scouts would mob his father with questions, overlooking the petite woman standing before them. Like her son, Estelle Coreris doesn’t cut an imposing figure. Like her son, there’s much more to her than what appears on the surface.
It could be argued that Andrew’s acumen for baseball flows matrilineally; his maternal grandfather, Homer Coreris, was a minor leaguer for the Dodgers. Homer, the son of Greek immigrants from the island of Samos who passed away before Andrew’s first year at OSU, is partly the inspiration for Andrew’s mound ritual: he carves the Greek word for “honor”, τιμή, into the dirt before every start. But it also honors his mother, and the role she has played in helping him achieve his big-league dreams. Beyond the familiar baseball-mom roles of driving to practices, washing uniforms, and trekking to far-flung locales to support her son, Estelle has always taken an active role in Andrew’s baseball career, from using her business degree to help him navigate through the process of signing with the Mariners, to fielding calls from scouts and agents and teams (“I just said, there are 29 other teams and he can always go back to college”), to interviewing coaches during the college selection process. Estelle, a finance manager and analyst, helps Andrew with much of the behind-the-scenes work of being a baseball player—she helped Andrew research slot value prior to his draft, for example—but as a lifelong baseball fan, she also provides support behind the diamond, sitting behind home plate and keeping score. “I’m the baseball person in the family,” she says with a wry smile. “But they always wanted to talk to Andrew’s dad, for some reason.”
Estelle grew up in the Bay Area and remains to this day a passionate Giants fan. “I went to every Opening Day with my dad,” she says. “No matter what, we always had baseball.” She loves basketball too, though, and cheers for the Warriors, as well as the OSU teams. We bonded over a shared affinity for PAC-12 women’s basketball (I had Plum, she had Wiese) through Twitter—she likes to keep up with social media, feeling like it keeps her young at heart. She’s also part of a baseball book club; currently she’s re-reading Ball Four, but she’s eyeing up The Arm as her next text. Her favorite players are “gamers”; coaches she admires are “great baseball minds.” She speaks with the authority of someone who has been in baseball a long, long time. When we met up at the Rainiers game for Andrew’s first AAA start, she gave me a forty-minute discourse on which minor-league announcers are the best (the ones who let the game breathe), reminisced about Juan Marichal (she was delighted to find out he had been a Rainier in the 60s and see the large commemorative plaque honoring him at the ballpark), and chatted up everyone in a ten-foot radius.
In spending time with Estelle, it’s not hard to see where the easygoing Moore, described to me by Jackson Generals announcer Brandon Liebhaber as “the nicest guy in baseball,” gets his personality—nor the fire that sustains him on the mound. Homer Coreris, the man who helped teach Andrew to love baseball and stood behind home plate reminding him not to be “too true” to the plate, passed away the April of his senior year in high school. Moore traveled to the Bay Area for the funeral, then returned the day after the funeral, when he was scheduled to start. His coach, Corey Nicholsen (“a great baseball mind”) told Andrew he didn’t have to make the start, they could skip him or push his turn to a different day. Andrew was determined. He walked out to the mound, bent down, and for the first time, wrote in the dirt there. He pitched a complete game shutout.
Like her son, Estelle’s friendly demeanor can hide the steel beneath. She does not suffer fools, including blog writers with leading questions designed to poke the momma bear. When asked about those who discount Moore as a shorter, lower-velocity pitcher, she said disdainfully: “When will they come up with something new? That’s tired. That’s old stuff,” pointing to my very own article where I referenced the strength of Moore’s mechanics and the fallacy that taller pitchers have more success. How about the charge, then, that Seattle only selected him so high because he was a local product? She looked at me incredulously over the top of her sunglasses, sliding them down, Hepburn-style. “Baseball is a business. In that draft position? There are no hometown discounts, and anyone who thinks so doesn’t know baseball.” Though she be but little, she is fierce.
In an interview this year with Arkansas station KATV, Moore discussed his mother’s influence in his baseball life:
Here's a little video of Andrew Moore talking about his mindset, his mom, and something called the Whole Hog Cafe https://t.co/o31x3vEylV— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) May 11, 2017
Estelle won’t be at Andrew’s start this Sunday, Mother’s Day. Her older son Bradley—Andrew’s college roommate at OSU—and his new fiancée require her presence that day in Bend, plus there’s the matter of her dog Whoopie, a high-needs pitbull mix that Estelle saved from being euthanized as a birthday present to herself (“We saved each other,” she says). But trust that the 22-year-old will be thinking of his mother as he takes the hill for his second AAA start. It’s really impossible not to.