Growing up in Baseball vs. My Current Reality in Baseball

As another season comes to a close, I thought it may be a good idea to share a little bit of my story as a future baseball wife vs. a baseball coach’s daughter. I’ve had people request I write this and to be honest, I  struggled with if I should or not. The baseball lifestyle is so incredibly personal to not only me but also my family (Brett included). I think people have this misconception that if you’re involved in baseball, then your life must be glamorous. Although it has its perks, I don’t think anyone quite understands the life it entails unless you’ve lived it. With that being said, I have been able to experience some incredible places and meet some remarkable people. I would not trade the life I have lived through baseball for anything.

For starters, my dad has been a coach way before I was born. I never had to worry about where my dad would start the year off or have to worry about trades. about trades like I do with Brett. I did have to keep in mind that wherever he was, we would follow. In 2003, our family packed up and moved to Japan. My dad had accepted a job as the new manager for the Nippon Ham  Fighters. We started out in Tokyo before the team moved up north to Sapporo. My brother and I would spend a little less than half the school year in Japan attending an international school. The other half we would be back in Texas. We all learned the language quickly and established a solid foundation in Japan. I spent 1st Grade through 4th Grade making these transitions from Japan and back. My mom would go for four months at a time without seeing my dad, so she could be at home with my brother & I as we went through school. After Japan, my dad took a job as the manager of the Kansas City Royals. This was such an exciting time considering this was my dad’s very first managerial job in the MLB. My mom, brother, and I packed up and moved to Kansas City for a couple of summers before our time in KC came to an end in May of 2010. In November of 2010, my dad signed as the new bench coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers which ended in 2013. He finished as the bench coach for the Houston Astros in 2016 before taking a managerial job in South Korea (where he currently is now). I’ve seen my dad for about 2-3 weeks during the summertime for the past two years in between taking classes. The summer is really the only opportunity I have to fly out to Korea because of school. The past two years, I have gone 5 months at a time without seeing my dad during the season. It’s a ton of traveling (which I enjoyed/still do) but it’s also many months of him being away. My mom is such an incredible woman and handles this lifestyle like a champ. She will make numerous trips back and forth so she can be present in both places often. She is gracious, patient, and does not waver. She is THE BEST role model for me…especially with this lifestyle.

With Brett, it’s a little different. I truly never enjoyed watching baseball…ever. My dad would be in the dugout the entire game and I didn’t really have a favorite player to watch. Now that I’ve dated/am engaged to a baseball player, I have a whole new appreciation for the game since I get to watch my man! It always helps more if you have a favorite player to watch! During the season, I try to go see Brett once a month for a weekend trip. Currently, I am still a full-time student and will graduate from Texas A&M University in May of 2019. Sometimes it’ll be longer because we are trying to coordinate schedules and flights. My schedule consists of mostly class, tests, work, family, and friends which do take up a big chunk of my time. This is why FaceTime is such a lifesaver! I wanted to give an overview of this last season to kind of explain how it worked for us. After spring training, Brett got sent to Colorado Springs where the Brewers Triple-A team was located (Colorado Sky Sox). He started the season out there and was up and down between the Triple-A and the Major Leagues. He was optioned 4 times with the Brewers this last season. Every time I coordinated a flight while he was in Triple-A, I ended up changing it because he would get either called up or sent down…which was super exciting or heartbreaking depending on the news! If you don’t know, Southwest Airlines is THE ONLY airlines you can change your flight and they do not charge you a fee for it. The time before Brett got traded to The Kansas City Royals, I had just gotten back from visiting my dad in South Korea which was a 14 hour long flight. I flew out the next day to Milwaukee from Austin to see Brett play. We were in Milwaukee for about 3 days before getting sent back down to Colorado Springs. We spent 3 days in Colorado Springs before we got traded to Kansas City! At the time, KC was playing their last game of the series against the Yankees in New York. I flew up to New York with Brett from Colorado Springs (that day turned out to be about a 10 hour travel day due to delays) for less than 24 hours and flew home to Austin the next morning! The traveling aspect is SO fun and exciting! But I sure do applaud every player no matter the type of travel. It wears on your body!

Like I had mentioned with my dad, I always knew where he would start a season and typically end one as well. In general, it is very difficult to plan in this lifestyle BUT it’s even more difficult when you don’t necessarily have a secure spot in Triple-A or the Big Leagues. I remember constantly holding my breathe after every game Brett played in the Big Leagues just hoping we would get one more day. With the Brewers, there just wasn’t a set spot for him. And that’s okay! We made some life-long friendships in the Brewers organization and couldn’t have been more grateful for the gratitude and the opportunities they gave us. We wouldn’t trade our experience with the people in Milwaukee, the families, or the friends we made. Brett getting traded was just a better situation for everyone. Once we were with the Royals, it ended up being so refreshing and encouraging that Brett got to play almost everyday. He was getting his opportunity that we always longed for! Does that mean there is still some uncertainty with where he will be next season, 100%. Although these times bring their own challenges, I’m honestly so thankful to experience them along side him. These circumstances really force us to work together & lean on each other. I wouldn’t trade the uncertainty for anything even though I am a ridiculous over-planner 😉

It’s such a rarity to grow up in this lifestyle and to now re-live it through an entirely different time in my life. I had been exposed to learning so many lessons + “do(s)/do not(s)” while also having real exposure to not only the game but the business side as well. Experiencing this life at such a young age has really contributed + helped Brett & I’s relationship. Don’t get me wrong, there have been things I’ve still had to learn but I do think growing up with baseball has been nothing short of a blessing. My dad + mom have been incredible role modes for the both of us. They understand the excitement and hardships of this game. They both have copious amounts of wisdom to offer.

These are just some differences between growing up as a coaches daughter vs. being a future wife to a baseball player!

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