Written by Nicole Johnson, Wife to Elliot Johnson

I am a baseball wife.

I log long hours of driving and flying to be with the man I love, cheer for, and support.

I take care of my child by myself a lot of the time.   I try my best to give him enough love for both myself and his daddy.

I've watched my child run at the door screaming for his Daddy when my husband had to leave for another road trip.  I've wiped away his tears, and cried with him over his heartbreak.

I comfort my child when he asks (again) where Daddy is.  I know he is at winter ball for a whole month, and I simply respond with "Daddy's working," and continue to draw his attention away from him missing Daddy.

I pack up my home before spring training, before the season, and at the end of the season (and more some years).

I make each place we live in with as many of the comforts of home as possible.  This includes baking for my family, cooking meals for my son, finding preschools, swim coaches, and anything else I can to make my family as comfortable as I can.

I run the house during the season.  My husband doesn't even have time to do the laundry, let alone try to manage anything in the house like the groceries and bills.

I cheer for my husband whether he's doing well or doing terrible.  I know he's amazing, and he doesn't have to have the best day on the field for me to feel that way.

I didn't marry for money.  When I married my husband, he was in the minor leagues and in debt.  I knew this, and I didn't care.  I married him because of the way he made my heart feel, and I know that having that and having God is always going to be enough for us.

I try to travel with my husband on the road as much as I can.  It's costly, but when we can afford it, I do my best to make sure my son can be around his Daddy as much as possible.

I've stayed home from road trips because we didn't have the money to go.

I've packed up while pregnant to go with my husband to rehab and injury a few states away.

I've held several part time and temporary jobs because this lifestyle didn't allow me the opportunity to be with my husband and have a career.  I have a Masters Degree in Accounting.  I do what's best for my family.
I have seen my life go from bringing the food from our pantry with us because we couldn't afford to buy all our groceries again, to borrowing money from my mom because we got called up and were on the road and I couldn't afford to eat within a 6 week period.

I've borrowed money from my parents to pay my mortgage because we had a baby and I couldn't go back to work to buying my parents dinner when they came to visit us in the Big Leagues a year later.  

I am helping my husband chase his dream.  I believe in him, and I do everything I can to make my family happy even with our sometimes uncertain situation.  I make sacrifices, and while I am lucky to live a comfortable life, I don't live a life of luxury.

I am a baseball wife.

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39 Comments

  1. I love it, every bit of it. Wonderfully written!

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  2. This is awesome! This needs to be send to VH1 for others to see! Great job!

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  3. Very well put :)
    This is your best post yet!

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  4. Eloquent and honest! I love it. Great job! AS a photographer to the Minor Leagues and Major Leagues, I meet many players and many families. I have NEVER seen anything remotely close to what VH1 is trying to portray.

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  5. Thank you for writing this. I respect you even though I've never met you, and what you wrote about is what they should be showing to represent Baseball wives. Real women, being strong and loving their husbands and children.

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  6. This is so true - between playing days and coaching I have been doing this for over 35 years. Still grinding away to allow my husband to do what he loves. It's just a shame that in this day and age they are willing to put such garbage on TV when there are so many wonderful stories and people in this world they could feature. To my fellow wives who know the truth I salute you in every way!

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  7. So few regular people know what 'the life' is all about. The families make significant sacrifices so that their player can concentrate on being successful!

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  8. LOVE LOVE love what you said here! Thank you!

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  9. Well said!!! I also blame those women who have signed up to make us "baseball wives" look bad. They should be ashamed of themselves.

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  10. Awesome! Thank you for posting!!!

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  11. I haven't watched the Baseball wives' series, but I can imaging its all about glamour and being fake and that is sad.
    This was my first year as a baseball wife and I had to go through a lot of things that you mention. And surprises me how people still think that our life is easy because of our husbands paycheck. Everyday in this lifestyle is like a adventure...

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  12. Kim Rundles (Rich Rundles)December 8, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Oh my goodness! You rock chica! So well said! Blessings on you and your family!

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  13. I say to all of you, "Keep On Keepin On!"

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  14. Beautifully said!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  15. I AM A BASEBALL WIFE OF 40 PLUS YEARS...THIS ARTICLE BEST DESCRIBES OUR LIFE...MY HUSBAND PITCHED FOR 4 YRS IN THE MINOR LEAGUES & 11 YRS IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES...HE HAS BEEN A PITCHING COACH IN THE MINOR LEAGUES FOR 28 YRS...THIS ARTICLE IS RIGHT ON...THE SHOW IS A BUST...SO FAR OFF...NOTHING LIKE THE LIFE OF A BASEBALL PLAYERS WIFE...WE ARE REAL PEOPLE WITH REAL FAMILIES AND WE LIVE IN NORMAL HOMES...WE SHOP AT WALMART & KROGER...I KNOW LOTS OF BASEBALL WIVES & THEY ARE NOTHING EVEN CLOSE TO THE TV SHOW...

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  16. Looks like we have a lot in common. Thank you for being real <3

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  17. Wow, someone said it like it really is...THANK YOU!!

    I've been a baseball wife for 30+ years now, from minor leagues, to major leagues, to coaching in the minor leagues again...and its NEVER been a life that others could understand. The sacrifice is endless, the separations get lonely & difficult, and the grind is exhausting, but when you love your husband & share his passion for the greatest game in the world, its a journey we take joyfully, albeit alone much of the time!

    Thank you, Nicole, for restoring some sanity to the narrative of the Baseball Wife's life...

    For years I've been answering questions & comments from friends, neighbors, even family members who didn't understand the baseball life and how it really works...and now with the latest production of reality tv, they wonder if the VH1 show is what its really like (even though they know the way my family lives for the most part). I tell them, "First of all, on the tv show, if it was factual, they'd need to be ACTUAL BASEBALL wives, not Ex-wives & Ex-girlfriends, as that fact tends to discolor the truth and creates a completely different 'animal' then a REAL Baseball Wife. (Just as one would expect with a divorce or break-up in ANY walk in life, ehh?)".

    But obviously VH1 couldn't (or wouldn't) get real baseball wives because no one would stoop so low as to display the kind of lives the production company is interested in portraying.

    Though I've only seen the trailers of the show so far, they certainly didn't represent the "family" and "sisterhood" that I have found to be the REALITY of Baseball Wives.

    I am grateful for my Baseball Wife friends... they've helped me get through some of the most difficult times in my life, taken me to the emergency room & watched my infant son for 3 days while I recovered (when my husband was on a road trip and I was extremely ill)...We have spent some of the most wonderful times in our lives together, traveling, watching baseball games & Father/Son/Daughter games on the big league fields...we even have enjoyed Easter Egg Hunts with the kids at my home during Spring Training...so you see, (to all of you who don't know) the VH1 depiction of the life of Baseball Wives is a polar-opposite experience of the TRUE REALITY, at least so far as my life & my Baseball Wife Friends' lives has shown.

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  18. Thank you for writing this and representing us baseball wives well! I felt like I was reading my own life story!

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  19. I am not a Baseball Wife, however, I am blessed to have a relative that did play and now coaches. His wife is amazing and a true blessing to him and our family. When I read about VH1's show, I said out loud, I would never watch because I KNOW THE TRUTH. You all keep it up! You are a blessing to women and wives everywhere!

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  20. Beautifully said.....I am not a baseball wife or girlfriend but in the baseball business. The families I am blessed to associate with are just like you described. Thank you for sharing the amazing human side to 'true ' baseball wives.

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  21. I couldn't have said it any better! Thanks so much for sharing this, I wish we could post this on VHI!

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  22. I am an ex-baseball wife. I have was in Pittsburgh wuth a few if these 'ladies'. To be honest with you, I am Also appalled at what VH1 is portraying. I tell everyone that I know that the real wives of baseball are nothing like this, they are wonderful women for the most part. What is in VH1 dies exist, but in my experience was the clear minority. My ex-husband an I (who still plays) get along great and have never had any drama....both of us can't believe that VH1 put this on the air. I loved most of my time I spent in MLB and was lucky enough to meet and work with some very wonderful women when I was there and keep in contact with many of them. There were a few times and people that were unpleasant but, that Is not genuine to baseball wives, that's life. I also am embarrassed and I thank you for responding to what the show is portraying. It is much worse than I thought, I didn't realize they would jot capture one positive aspect of that life to present to the world.

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  23. I have a friend who is a baseball wife. I have nothing but the utmost respect and awe for you all!!

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  24. I wish more teams had booster clubs to help support the wives and families. To give them help & information and most of all support in the next new town they find themselves in. God bless you strong and faithful women.

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  25. I am not a baseball wife, but I have been blessed to be a baseball wives babysitter for almost 10 years. I babysit at the family room and in the homes. I have NEVER seen anything or anyone like the VH1 show!! I think is is obvious why those women are ex-wives!!!

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  26. This right here is the type of thing I am so grateful and proud to be a part of. Our strong community of faithful baseball wives and moms that support their families, husbands, and one another. I feel sorry that it seems those women on the show didn't take much of that with them. It doesn't tarnish what we have it only motivates me to continue sharing all the wonderful things that go along with this life. I wish much health happiness and many more blessings to all of us out there!

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  27. I agree with whoever posted about there being more booster clubs from the minor league cities. I have a friend who is a baseball wife, and saw first hand all you described. I wish our own city had a way to help those even in small ways of finding a pediatrician, dentist, having a storage of cleaning supplies and such, to help those that have just been called up or sent down. It's crazy how quickly one needs to pack up and head out... and my friend's packing ability was a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

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  28. Tatiana SwiatkowskiDecember 9, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    I am not a baseball wife but a baseball wife's friend and a baseball player's cousin and some baseball players's friend....I am dominican, so baseball runs through my veins as my blood does....
    I absolutely adored your words... that is a real, true baseball wife...!

    Standing Ovation for you!

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  29. I know what a baseball wife is. And I have not seen the show on tv nor do I care to or need to. My wife and I housed various players, their wives, children and pets for 7 seasons; both AA and AAA ball. We loved, laughed and cried with each of them. shared their successes and failures. We have only the utmost respect for the women who have dedicated their lives to their husbands and their careers. God Bless Y'all.

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  30. Touching and VERY well written! Thanks for taking the time to share!

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  31. How many true things together, that not everybody seems to understand.....congrats for your courage in describing your life, as well as of so many "truly baseball wives"! Keep up the good work in educating the rest of the world in what your real world is, not the six figure salary that some of the wives sometime didn't get to see...but all the sacrifices that you have to go through to help your spouse!!!

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  32. To all, I'm the father of a coach, so Ive been around the block more than once. I've had the "great " opportunity to meet, have dinner, and have seen in action many MLB wives. VH1 should be ashamed of itself for putting such garbage on TV. Most MLB wives are the neatest , best, God fearing people on the face of the planet. Your husbands are truly blessed to have you as wives. All the media wants are bad stories--if anyone knows R.A. Dickey go to his blog and see what he is doing for young girls in India right now--you won't ever see this on any TV program.

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  33. Well said... I hope our paths cross some day! My best to you and your family.

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  34. This post can't be any perfect. I have been through a lot of things similar to you and it really upsets me knowing that there's a show portraying us like that.

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  35. This is well said! You did an amazing job on this Nicole, and all of us can relate through this crazy lifestyle!!! Thank you for taking the time for all of us, and writing the truth!

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  36. Please email me! I have a question about your blog :)
    HeatherVonsj@gmail.com

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  37. Beautifully said... I just read thus to my husband Chris and had to hold back tears.

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  38. Things are getting very serious between my boyfriend and I while he is off playing independent ball. He is fixin' to sign with the Baltimore Orioles. I am finishing up college. I have some questions for you, can you email me? jannenpero@gmail.com

    Thanks so much, you are an inspiration!

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