On April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit his 715th home run to surpass Babe Ruth’s record of 714 home runs. Aaron took the ceremonial run around the bases as fireworks exploded above the stadium. It was an historic moment. But, behind all of the excitement and celebration were years of hard work. And, behind Hank Aaron, outside of the spotlight, were not one, but two wives.
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Newspaper columnist and author, Dave Barry once humorously noted that, “If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there are men on base.” Barry was being funny but, behind every baseball star has been the patient and supportive wife who took care of raising the family, running the household and paying the bills while her man was off grabbing the glory. Still, there have been a few baseball wives who have managed to grab the glory for themselves. So, with a figurative hat off to all baseball wives, here are 10 baseball wives we’d like to have lunch with.
1. Kim DeJesus: Kim is the wife of Tampa Bay Rays’ outfielder David DeJesus. Kim recently competed, along with fellow baseball wife Nicky Getz, on the CBS reality series, “The Amazing Race.” In addition to being a wife, mother and Amazing Race contestant, Kim somehow finds time to be an actress and model and to work for a charitable foundation that aids disadvantaged families. Lunch Note: Kim likes the exotic; perhaps we should go for Indian or Thai.
2. Nicky Getz: Nicky, Kim DeJesus’ teammate on “The Amazing Race,” is married to Kansas City Royals’ second baseman Chris Getz. Besides being a baseball wife and a co-contestant on the Amazing Race, Nicky is a Certified Public Accountant and is training to be a Pilates Instructor. Lunch Note: Nicky likes margaritas, so we’ll have a pitcher on hand.
3. Anna Benson: Anna is the ex-wife of All-Star Pitcher Kris Benson, now retired (he most recently played for the Arizona Diamondbacks). Anna is a model, sometime stripper and actress, who has appeared on several sports and reality shows. Unfortunately, she and Kris had a rather public divorce, highlighted by Anna pulling a gun on Kris. Lunch Note: Anna likes to party, so we’ll need to go to a fun spot.
4. Breanna Maruszak: Breanna is the wife of New York Yankees shortstop Addison Maruszak. Breanna writes a popular blog about being a baseball wife. Lunch Note: Breanna likes both pizza and vegan dishes. Veggie pizza anyone?
5. Tanya Grace: Tanya is the ex-wife of former (now retired) Arizona Diamondbacks’ First Baseman, Mark Grace. She likes to golf and was the breakout star of VH1’s short-lived “Baseball Wives Show.” Lunch Note: A light lunch at the country club would be fine with Tanya.
6. Marilyn Monroe: People sometimes forget that Yankees’ slugger Joltin’ Joe was briefly married to movie bombshellMarilyn Monroe. In fact, it’s rumored that DiMaggio was the mysterious person who, for decades, placed flowers on Marilyn’s grave-site. If we had a time machine, we could go back and have lunch with Marilyn. Lunch Note: Marilyn reportedly liked a dinner of steak, lamb chops or liver, with a side of carrots, which she fixed herself. Dinner at her place?
7. Mia Hamm: The former American soccer star is married to ex-major league shortstopNomar Garciaparra. Mia holds the record as the greatest scorer in women’s soccer. Although retired from soccer, she currently runs the Mia Hamm Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to research into bone marrow disorders. Lunch Note: Hamm recently became spokesperson for the Grain Foods Foundation. She’d probably like sandwiches for lunch.
8. Heidi Hamels: Heidi is married to Phillies’ pitcher Cole Hamels. Heidi was a contestant on the CBS series, “Survivor Amazon,” where she survived for 36 days. She is a P.E. And dance instructor, in addition to being a baseball wife and Survivor contestant. Lunch Note: Heidi likes chocolate chip cookies. Maybe we’ll go to Mrs. Fields.
9. Amber Sabathia: Amber is married to New York Yankees’ pitcher C.C. Sabathia. She recently debuted her own kids’ fashion line. Lunch Note: Amber is currently pursuing a college degree in history. We’ll meet up at the campus cafeteria.
10. DeLeon Richards Sheffield: DeLeon is the wife of former Mets’ right-fielder, Gary Sheffield. DeLeon is a Grammy nominated gospel singer and jewelry designer in her own right. Lunch Note: We’ll need to go somewhere private to avoid DeLeon’s legions of fans.