Baseball and bikinis


Living the minor league lifestyle is not your ordinary venture, though to many of us who have lived it, it’s as normal as peanuts and crackerjacks at the ballpark.

Wade was a solid third basemen and power hitter in the Detroit Tigers organization. His seven years in professional ball are now chronicled by a few newspaper articles, a touch of arthritis, and a bunch of statistics. Some may think it’d be easy to close the book on this part of our lives, but as one of his beloved hitting coaches once told him, “Statistics are like bikinis. They tell a lot, but not the whole story.” (Insert young wife’s shocked face here.)

I love a good story.

There are 142 baseball games per season. That’s 142 strategically planned outfits for the gals, almost as many late-night greasy suppers for the couples, and countless miles traveled by everyone. Seven seasons: for us, it was 1 organization, 5 teams, and every level of the Minor League system. At various points in Wade’s career, I worked as a surgical nurse, a Chili’s waitress, an ER nurse, or a clinical nursing instructor. We purchased two homes, planted half a dozen trees, changed our address almost 30 times, adopted one cat, and slept in the car only a handful of nights. We endured more below-freezing baseball games and postgame fireworks than I care to recall. I’m thankful we were able to create lasting friendships with people from at least five countries, have a teammate from almost every state, and a community that loves us long past the glory days.

Only after Wade and I had been married for five years had we spent more time living together than apart. Before our sixth season, we welcomed our first child. JW’s favorite song was(is) The National Anthem, and his bedtime lullaby was the seventh inning stretch’s “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” During spring training of Wade’s final season, we discovered we were pregnant with our second blessing.

Considering all those hotdogs and how many slices of pizza we probably consumed, I’m glad there’s more to the story than statistics and bikinis.

But (apparently) it’s a good start.

Neena Gaynor is a Kentucky wife, mother, daughter and beekeeper who does life in Owensboro. She also writes on her blog at and can be reached via email at


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