Story & Photos by Kathleen Kaiser
As an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, you can only imagine how excited I was when Jenny Wainwright, wife of ace pitcher Adam Wainwright, agreed to sit down and chat with me. From our first conversation in setting up this interview, I knew that the woman I was about to meet and interview was someone extra special! Why you ask? First, she was surprised when I reached out to her for an interview and not her world-famous husband. She then asked if we could hold off meeting until Adam returned from being on the road to do this interview, because she didnt want us to leave him out ( I know, all you ladies are heartbroken about that - that is just how gracious she is!). Then the night before the interview, she called me to ask if I wouldnt mind interviewing them in their home, as their girls had been under the weather for a few days, and she didnt want to leave them with a baby-sitter, but she didnt want to mess up the deadline for my story either. How gracious and kind can one woman be? Well apparently, very, as you will soon come to find out, and dont worry ladies, with Jennys blessing, we let Adam give us his take on a few of the questions too:
Q: I know our readers are dying to know how you and Adam met. Would you mind sharing a few details with me?
Jenny: Absolutely, I love sharing this story. We first met at the lunch table during my senior year in high school at Glynn Academy in Brunnswick, Georgia. Adam was only a junior, but I thought he was really cute. Our first date didnt happen though until two of our mutual friends fixed us up for our homecoming dance that year. We continued to date when I left for college at Georgia Southern and I even went to Adams Senior Prom that next year, which was a little uncomfortable, going back to high school with my boyfriend. Adam was then drafted by the Atlanta Braves right out of high school, so we continued to date while I was in college, since he was playing on their farm team just a few hours away.
Adam: We first met having lunch one day in high school. She played hard to get, until a few of our friends set us up on our first date, which happened to be the Homecoming dance that year. For me, it was love at first site. That evening, when she walked down the stairs in that red dress, I knew the only girl in the world for me would be Jenny Curry!
Q: Sounds like True Love you two, so what happens next?
Jenny: Adam, being the southern gentleman that he is, decided in 2003 to ask my father for my hand. He had been playing in the minor leagues for a few years, and he was ready for us to get married. While he was asking my dad for my hand, his phone kept ringing non-stop. He kept cancelling the call, as this was an important conversation he was having with my Dad. Finally, our home phone rang, and my father, anxious about the conversation Adam was having with him anyway, jumped up to answer it. It was Adams Mom on the phone, calling to tell him that he needed to answer his phone. The Cardinals needed to speak with him, and that is who was calling. He was literally getting the call to become a part of the Cardinals organization. So, as I began making wedding plans, he started his career with the Cardinals. We were married in 2004.
Q: Okay, so you are married and Adams made the BIG LEAGUES, what next?
Jenny: 2006 was a very big year in the Wainwright family. Right out of spring training, Adam made the team and was headed to St. Louis. I also became pregnant with our first child that year. I went into labor when the team was playing in Arizona, so I decided to watch the game awaiting Adams arrival as I knew he wouldnt be pitching that day. Imagine my surprise when all of a sudden he was on the mound pitching. He cant be pitching, our babys coming!!! Luckily, he did manage to finish pitching and catch an airplane in time to see our first daughter, Baylie Grace born. 2006 was also the year that the Cardinals won the World Series. Adam and I joke, that it is really going to be hard to ever top 2006 in our lives. We were also blessed with another beautiful little girl, Morgan Addison, in 2008, and our youngest little princess, Macy James, was born in 2011.
Adam: Like Jenny said, 2006 was an incredible year for our family. The greatest moment for me was holding Baylie, my new tiny tater tot on my shoulder after the parade celebrating our winning the World Series. Being a new dad, I didnt quite have everything mastered just yet, and Baylie spit up. Jumping to the rescue was SUPERMAN Scott Rolen! He snagged her from my arms and starting showing me the ropes, as we both stood there in the middle of Busch Stadium with the fans cheering. Scott was the same way in the club house, taking care of me and our other brothers every day. That was a great feeling that I will never forget from that time in our lives.
Q: Jenny, Do you mind sharing what being a baseball players wife is like with our readers?
Jenny: I feel so truly blessed in so many ways, being able to live this life with Adam and our three little girls. I have to admit that sometimes it gets difficult managing everything with three little ones when he is gone for 10 and 11 days at a time. But the other wives and I have a great support system in place to assist one another along the way. My girls miss Adam as much, if not more than I do when he is gone, so we try very hard to go with him as much as we can. I laugh at how much of a world traveler all three of our girls are. I think our youngest Macy, has flown 20-30 times so far. We have managed to make this dream life of ours a family affair as much as we can, since we spend 2 months at Spring Training, 6 months in St. Louis and 4 months back home in Georgia each year. I know that many people think that baseball wives live these glamorous lives, but just like other wives that have husbands that travel quite often, we are plunging toilets and cleaning up after sick children, just like your readers. Our lives are not that much different really.
Adam: Well, Im not a baseball players wife, but as a professional baseball player, even though I love my job, I hate being away from Jenny and the girls for any length of time. Sometimes it seems with our little one Macy, that she has changed so much by the time I get back from those long road trips. I hate missing anything that my girls do for the first time, and Im not here to see it!
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Jenny: Yes. The one thing we didnt touch on is how truly grateful and blessed our family feels with being a part of the Cardinals organization. Adams career has given us the opportunity to make a difference for people in our country, and around the world that truly are in need. We have worked for the last few years with the Water Missions International Organization, through funding that has been raised by the WAINOs WORLD Fantasy Football League and other fundraising efforts that we do, to bring fresh water to underdeveloped countries and their people. The WMI installs water filtration systems, and then teaches the people of the area how to use them, so that they can have sustainable and drinkable water for years through one filtration system. WMI also shares the Gospel in their mission, teaching that through the work of Jesus, anything is possible. It is through our work with this organization that we have decided to start the Adam and Jenny Wainwright Family Foundation, as a means to help supply funding so that people can receive basic needs throughout the world. Matthew 25:35 is the message and basis of our mission; For I was hungry, and you gave me food: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in. Our family believes that when you help those in need, you are truly helping Christ in his work and ministry. Being able to help others is the best part of what Adam does for a living. Knowing that we can truly help people, whether it is in Haiti or here in the U.S., providing basic needs of things that many of us take for granted, like uncontaminated drinking water, is why we are here on this earth. Making change through our good fortune of Adam throwing 95 mile an hour fastballs, and living the gospel, is what the Wainwright familys mission is.
Adam: I couldnt have said it any better myself!
For more information about WAINOS WORLD Fantasy Football League and the Adam and Jenny Wainwright Family Foundation, please visit Cardinals.com.