The Ultimate Teammate

“It’s a tough life to live. I think people don’t realize how tough it really is—especially on the wives. You have to have a very special wife…” – Andy Pettitte

While a baseball player may have 25 teammates who join him on the field each and every night, the most important member of his team is almost never seen by the fans.  The wives and girlfriends of baseball players come to games to cheer for their partners and melt into the crowd as if they were just regular fans.

The only time a baseball player’s wife or girlfriend can be picked out of the crowd is at the end of the night when she can be found waiting patiently for her husband or boyfriend to get changed and spend time with the fans who are waiting just like she is for an autograph or a picture.  When his job is finished for the night, they can finally say hi to each other and head out to spend some time before it all starts again the next day.

During my two years as an intern, I have seen a number of girlfriends and wives waiting outside of the clubhouse and have even had the opportunity to talk to some of them.  It is incredible to hear how far some of them travel just to be able to spend time with their significant other.  They come from a number of different states, and some of them even come from outside the country.  Some of the wives bring their children with them and it is so cute to see how the players interact with their children; they become a completely different person than who they were on the field just hours before.  The kids are excited that they finally get to spend some time with dad; the same kids who were upset hours before because they could see dad on the field but they couldn’t get to him.

Baseball players spend their summers living in apartments or hotels separated from their families by hundreds or thousands of miles.  If they’re lucky, they can afford to have their family travel to visit them, but even then they spend half of their time at the stadium and have a limited amount of time to spend visiting with family.  Baseball wives spend their time watching their husbands on national television or traveling between cities for the summer just to spend time together.  This commitment to spending time with their significant other has earned every baseball wife the title of “ultimate teammate” in my mind.

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