This past weekend I traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota for a bachelorette party for one of my best friends. She and I met in our college years, so I wasn’t familiar with some of her distant family, and childhood friends that were there. I spent the early parts of the day meeting them all and conversing with them. I never open a new conversation with the abnormal-ness of our baseball life, but typically it tends to come up some how. Which has a tendency to then lead to the question:
So what is it like being married to a professional athlete?
I have to preface this by saving that I worked in professional sports before Casey and I started dating. I spent a summer working for the AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and some time interning in the sports department at WISN 12 in Milwaukee my senior year in college.
I knew the culture of professional sports and I’d already been fielding questions from people asking me about “how cool it was to have such an awesome job”. The truth was I loved my job, and it was super cool, but it was just my job. I wasn’t there to get autographs or ask for pictures. I was there to get a sound byte or an interview, and because I was passionate about my job, any awe I had of being surrounded by these stud athletes really just faded away.
Similarly, Casey is a professional athlete. Often times people he doesn’t know, know him. Sometimes people want his autograph, or want to ask him about “that one home run he hit that one time”. But at the end of the day, he’s just my husband. He’s a very normal person. He just happens to have a job that not a lot of other people have.
I often tell Casey that when spring training rolls around come February it’s hard for me not to giggle when strangers yell out his name for autographs, or tell him what a “big fan of his they are”. In my mind, I’m just standing there thinking to myself, “this guy?! just a few months ago he was planted on the couch for hours a day playing video games and trying to convince me to let him eat queso for breakfast, lunch, and dinner”.
All these people see a big man who can hit a 98 mph fastball over a fence 400 feet away. I see my fun-loving, quirky, Harry Potter & video game obsessed husband. We go through ups and downs like any other couple would. We have disagreements about who’s going to do the dishes and who’s going to take the dogs out to go to the bathroom when they wake us up at 7am. If you subtract his job from the equation, our life is probably pretty similar to yours.
Are there some really cool parts of this baseball life? Absolutely. But it also a lot of sacrifices for both Casey and I. The family birthdays we miss, the summer weddings of friends I have to go solo to, the moving 3 times a year, the eating dinner at 11:30pm because the game went into extra innings, or the living together but still only seeing each other 15 days out of the month.
I don’t say this to complain or ask for pity. I say this because I think it’s important that people see that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side — that everything in life comes with a give and a take. And that no matter how glamorous things look in someone’s life, they are definitely making some kind of sacrifice to live that life.
If there’s one thing I wish people could know about professional athletes it’s that they’re just people. They have feelings, and dreams, and get hurt, and love people, and eat and sleep just like you and I do. Yes, they are incredibly talented in their field, but so are the millions of doctors, and lawyers, and astronauts out there. Their jobs just aren’t broadcasted to millions of people on FOX Sports every day.
It’s our job not to put these people on pedestals for how they preform in their craft, but rather on how they use that craft as a platform to better the world. Now that’s something that deserves attention.
So what’s it’s like being married to a professional athlete? It’s pretty normal.