Written by Jen Furmaniak
Wife to JJ Furmaniak

Women wear many hats in their lives, they may be someone's sister, aunt, friend, daughter, mother and wife.

During the season we tend to lose all those titles and become consumed by one identity “so and so's wife.” Our name is no longer used, yet replaced by our husband's name followed by wife at the end.


This is a very prestigious title to have in baseball world. You are treated with a little more respect then when you are “just a girlfriend.” When you are “just a girlfriend” there are many speculations about your character. “She must be a gold digger” or “her boyfriend has to be cheating on her” just to name a few, however when you become a wife it shows you are worthy of him, so you must be good enough for others to acknowledge. The sad part is, these stereotypes aren't just amongst fans, they also happen within some of the ladies of baseball.

My husband has been playing professional ball for 12 years now and this will be my 6th season with him. Even though we got together end of 2005 , I officially made the move to make his career my entire life in '07 when I quit my job and moved across country to California for the season. There is where I got to have my first real taste of baseball life.

I was very na├»ve at how I would be perceived. I thought people would get to know me, Jen and instantly like me as I was used to in “normal” life. For the most part, the other girls I met did, however when my boyfriend got called up I felt discriminated not just by the other big league girlfriends or wives, but from some of the staff, which was pretty surprising to me. Since my boyfriend was a “no-namer” that made me a “no-namer.” While other girlfriends and wives were being assisted, I was ignored. It definitely hurt my feelings but made me realize I needed a tougher skin if I was going to make it in this new life of mine.

So now 8 months of the year I am just known as “JJ's Wife.” That is how you get introduced and when someone wants to meet you they usually say “who are you with” instead of “nice to meet you, whats YOUR name.” I am definitely proud of all of my husband's accomplishments and 12 months out of the year I wear my title very proudly. During the season, it is kind of fun living a different kind of life then when we are at home. At home, I am just plain ol' Jen and nobody points me out and says “Oh I think that's JJ's wife!” Did I mention, I actually signed a few autographs in my baseball day, yep fans wanted plain ol' Jen's autograph, and why you ask (as I did).... just cause a boy fell in love with a girl and made me his wife! Now I hold a different title, a title that surpasses them all..I am mommy!

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4 Comments

  1. Jen what a great statement.......Thank You for making a difference in JJ's life.....I am proud of you and happy to have you in the family....I am proud to have you as a Daughter........................in-Law....And you're gonna be a great Mom

    Papa

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  2. GREAT STORY JEN! We love you and we are so proud to have you in our family!

    Love ~ JJ's Sister
    Christy

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  3. Wow, a great perspective on your life. Sad that "fans" don't appreciate the sacrifices that you have made along the way. I, as a fan understand the lonliness, travel, packing & unpacking, plus the unknowns all of the time. Thank you for staying strong & letting JJ fulfill a dream with the Rays.

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  4. Jen that was a beautiful story and I related to every part of it! You sometimes forget how similar we all are and how we are all going through the same things! I love you and I am Blessed to have met you last year! Christy Downs

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