Generals pitch awareness against breast cancer

Marcus Gutierrez By Marcus Gutierrez

June 18, 2017 at 2:24 p.m.
Updated June 18, 2017 at 2:30 p.m.

Monique Mistler, 54, mother of assistant coach Bryant Mistler, throws out the ceremonial first pitch during the Victoria Generals' Strike Out Cancer night at Riverside Stadium. Mistler is a breast cancer survivor and has been cancer-free for 18 years.

Monique Mistler, 54, mother of assistant coach Bryant Mistler, throws out the ceremonial first pitch during the Victoria Generals' Strike Out Cancer night at Riverside Stadium. Mistler is a breast cancer survivor and has been cancer-free for 18 years.   Nicolas Galindo for The Victoria Advocate

Monique Mistler is no stranger to fighting for her life.

Mistler was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998, but she's been determined ever since not to let it slow her down.

Mistler faced yet another challenge Saturday night.

She was chosen to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Strike Out Cancer Night before the Victoria Generals lost 5-2 to the Brazos Valley Bombers on the first night of their two-game series at Riverside Stadium.

It was Mistler's first time throwing out the first pitch at a baseball game, but she didn't need to worry.

Her son, Bryant Mistler, the Generals' assistant coach, was at home plate waiting to catch her pitch.

"I was nervous because I don't I don't want to make myself look like a fool in front him," said the 54-year-old school teacher with Keller ISD. "He's following his dream and this is what he's always wanted to do, and I'm proud of that."

Monique Mistler delivered a strike to her son during the pre-game ceremony.

The Generals wore pink jerseys, which were auctioned off later Saturday with all proceeds going to the fight against breast cancer.

"It's fantastic that they're taking a step to help everyone," Monique Mistler said. "It's not only a female disease. It's also a men's disease as well."

"It's always great to have nights like this," Bryant Mistler said. "It makes me proud to be a part of this organization, and it tells me that this organization is more than just about baseball."

Monique Mistler still recalls the day when she first heard the word cancer.

"I was shocked," Monique Mistler said. "But I knew that I had Bryant so I had to beat it. I knew that I was going to beat it."

Bryant Mistler, who is in his first season with the Generals, is proud of what his mother has contributed to his life.

"She's been through a lot the last three years with losing her mother and grandmother," Bryant said. "She has taught me to be a strong-minded person with all that she has been through."

After several treatments of chemotherapy, Monique Mistler has been in remission for 18 years.

Bryant Mistler recalled a moment where he saw his mother at her weakest during chemotherapy.

"It was tough at times," Bryant Mistler said. "When you see a strong person get weak so fast, it's hard to deal with. You realize this is happening, and it's real. She loved everyone around her and that's who she fought for."

Monique Mistler is determined not to let cancer ruin her life.

"I have had a positive attitude and have paid attention to my doctors," Monique Mistler said. "You always have to have a positive mentality every day of your life."

Bryant Mistler played baseball for two seasons at Lon Morris Junior College in Jacksonville before playing his final two seasons at East Central University where he was a graduate assistant responsible for recruiting, He was also an outfield positions coach and helped maintain the field.

"It was rough being sick and not being a mom that I was supposed to be, but I still went to baseball games and enjoyed watching my son," Monique Mistler said.

"You look at her now and she's healthy as an ox," said Bryant Mistler, 28. "She's enjoying life and is ecstatic."

General gets drafted

Landon Gray was at Chili's Grill & Bar with his girlfriend when he got the call Thursday night.

Gray, who is in his first year with the Generals, received a call from the Philadelphia Phillies telling him that he had been drafted in the 38th round of the Major League Baseball draft.

"To be drafted and have the opportunity to play in the majors has always been my dream," Gray said. "To get the opportunity to do that is special."

The Phillies drafted Gray as a catcher.

"It was surreal to get that call," Gray said. "There are a lot of people that helped me throughout my career. I'm thankful for all the help, but I still feel now that I have work to do."

Gray is coming off a successful freshman year at Weatherford College where he appeared in 49 games, hitting seven home runs with 47 RBIs and a .363 batting average.

Gray is still weighing on whether to make the jump to the major leagues.

"It's up in the air," Gray said. "Until we talk to them a little more and get some numbers, we will know more. Right now, it's great to be in the situation."

NOTES: Patty Feddersen also threw out a ceremonial first pitch. Feddersen has been breast cancer free for three years.

Late Friday night's game

PLANO - The Victoria Generals lost a 4-0 Texas Collegiate League decision to the Texas Marshals on Friday at Graham Field.

Marshals (7-11) starting pitcher Jose Delmar pitched a five-hitter with five strikeouts to help Texas sweep the Generals.

Jordan Wiley went 3-for-3 to lead the Generals (10-8). Kelvin Flores and Jack Kenley each had a hit for the Generals.

Texas Marshals 4, Victoria Generals 0

Generals 000 000 000 - 0 5 1

Marshals 310 000 00x - 4 7 0

W - Jose Delmar. L - Jordan Hackett

Highlights - (Generals) Jordan Wiley 3-for-3, Kelvin Flores 1-for-3, Jack Kenley 1-for-4. (Marshals) Ian Landry 1-for-4, 2 RBI; Brandon Talley 2-for-4, RBI.

Records - Victoria Generals 10-8, Texas Marshals 7-11.


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