A baseball MVP signed the richest contract in sports, yet it wasn’t money but a priceless reaction from his shocked mom.

As a sports star, Major League Baseball player Josh Donaldson has a high-pressure job. However, it’s nothing compared to his mother, Lisa French.

Per The Toronto Star, Donaldson’s father, Levon Donaldson, was abusive to his mother. One night, when estranged from her, Levon broke into their home and viciously assaulted her.

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He would later be sentenced to 15 years in prison for assault and a slew of other charges. That left French to raise her 6-year-old son Josh on her own.

Yet Donaldson recalled that his mother stepped up like an All-Star. From juggling jobs to supporting his baseball dreams, he recalled the special bond they built.

Donaldson says, “The one positive that came out of this situation is my mom and I became inseparable, really. We both kind of lived for one another.”

However, that bond would be threatened like never before, and the third baseman would have to step up to the plate to save his mother.

The Life-Saving Pact That Josh Donaldson Made With His Mother

Despite their strong bond, there was one obstacle that came between Donaldson and his mother: French was a heavy smoker.

It’s a foe far more imposing than any Donaldson’s seen on a pitching mount. According to the U.S Office of The Surgeon General, 480,000 Americans die from smoking each year, accounting for nearly 1 in 5 deaths.

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And so for added motivation, the former AL MVP made his mom an offer: If she successfully quit smoking, he’d make it worth her while with a special gift.

It wouldn’t be easy. Nearly 70% of adults who smoke say they want to quit, and many never do. But Lisa French wasn’t ‘many’. It was tough, but it was a success as she managed to kick the nasty habit.

And, 2 years after knocking her promise out of the park, she’d get the surprise of a lifetime.

The Gift a Baseball Player Got His Mother and Her Priceless Reaction


One day, French’s day would be startled by a loud commotion in front of her home.

Captured on video, there was her son parked in her driveway, honking the horn of a brand-new white Maserati Ghibil.

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You can see where Donaldson got his baserunning skills from, as his giddy mother ran frantically from each end of the driveway and back, screaming. She then lept on into her son’s arms, legs flailing like a kid.

How Josh Donaldson Proved That There’s No Price Too Steep for Your Mother’s Health

MLB player surprises mom with new car.

With this deal sealed, Donaldson and his mom are assured to live for each other for years to come. In an interview, he said that you can put no price tag on his mother’s support.

“She sacrificed so much for me as kid to get to where I’m at today. Being my emotional support along the way as well. I guess, if your mom doesn’t believe in you, that’s kind of the one person you have in your corner.”

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“I came up and I rubbed people wrong. People wanted to tell me I couldn’t do things, and she was always there.”

In an age of self-absorbed athletes, it’s nice to see a grounded and humbled star who takes care of his mother. Like so many others moms, her love and sacrifice go far beyond words and are best shown by the great people they raise, like Donaldson.

You can bet that his $132 million in career earnings and individual success are peanuts compared to securing his loyal, loving mom for years to come.


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