Greg Hansen notes the passing of Linda Bates, the single mother of Amphi stars Marion, Michael and Mario Bates.
I wrote a long feature on Linda for Mothers' Day in 1992, talking to her from her home. At that time, Marion was in camp with the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena League; Michael, after a two-season UA career, was training for the U.S. Olympic track team (he won bronze in the 200 meters in 1992 before beginning an All-Pro career as a kick returner) and Mario was a sophomore-to-be running back at ASU.
She said her home, across from Amphi High School, was always a swirl of activity.
"There would be times when I'd think the whole high school was in my living room," she said. "And everybody said, 'Hi, Momma. Hi, Momma Bates.'"'
Linda Ann Parsons married Marion Bates, a defensive back at Texas Southern University in Houston, in 1968.
He was a seventh-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 1969. He never played in a regular-season game. They were divorced in 1972.
She told me she would have preferred to have three girls -- or at least one.
"After I got pregnant, I said, `OK, let it be a girl.' Then it was a boy. And I got pregnant again. And it was a boy. Then I got pregnant again. It was a boy. "I said I'm not getting pregnant anymore. That was it."
Those boys became Tucson's most talented trio of football brothers, thanks to Momma Bates.
Marion told me: "She did everything for us. Even when she was at work, she'd call to see if everything was OK. She was like a mother and father to us."