Royals fans might know the stats of their favorite players, but how much do they know about Royals spouses?
For instance, which Royals wife is almost as superstitious as Susan Sarandon in “Bull Durham”?
If you don’t know, that’s OK. This season’s wives are a low-key bunch that tends to stay out of the public eye.
The “girls,” as they call themselves, are busy during the season with fundraising and volunteer work and everyday life when they’re not flying from stadium to stadium with the kids to watch the players.
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Through interviews and follow-up emails when they weren’t on the road, three of the wives shared just enough to show that their lives are nothing like the dramatic, hot-mess experiences depicted on the new E! reality show, “WAGS.” (That’s Wives and Girlfriends in the sports world.)
Here’s what they don’t mind you knowing about themselves, their families — and that magical run last year.
Married to: Third baseman Mike Moustakas
Hometown: Northridge, Calif.
Stephanie: We went to rival high schools. I had a girlfriend who went to Mike’s high school and was friends with him. We met casually at lunch one day, and he said, “I think I am going to marry her” to my friend and she said, “Good luck!”
We were together our whole senior year of high school and then he got drafted (second overall in the 2007 MLB draft by the Royals) and I went away to college. And then? Here we are!
He’s quite the romantic: He proposed on Nov. 19, 2012, our six-year anniversary, in Florence, Italy, on top of the Duomo cathedral. I did not see it coming but all of my girlfriends did.
He told his parents and his sisters and asked my dad, and my two older brothers, for their permission. He’s very good at making gestures really special.
Still newlyweds: Our first year of marriage (they married on Jan. 4, 2014) was pretty crazy. Obviously the ups and downs of the season, making it to the playoffs and the World Series. It was quite the year to say the least.
Moving to KC: Mike got called up in 2011 and he debuted in Anaheim against the Angels, which was perfect for us because all of our family and friends could be there. And then his first day in Kansas City in the big leagues I got to fly out here and be there for that. I will never forget the first time I heard the MOOOSE call.
Far from home: It’s tough being away from your family and friends. We’ve only been with the Royals and we’ve had the best support system and community here with other players and wives and their families, coaching staff and the front office. I think that helps a lot.
We hate missing out on family functions and having the luxury of seeing everyone whenever we want, but I try my best to go home for birthday parties and weddings and things like that.
Hanging with “the girls”: Obviously, baseball is an everyday sport so you see people at the games mostly every day. A lot of times when the guys go on the road and we don’t go, we’ll get together. Just what you’d expect girls to do together. I have made some of my best friends in baseball. It’s nice to know you have a little community who understands your lifestyle.
When he gets home from the road: I try to have a home-cooked meal for him. Sometimes they go on the road for three or four days and sometimes it’s 10 days at a time and he doesn’t get one home-cooked meal. He’s eating out or at the field every single meal. He’s Greek so he loves Greek food. He loves lamb or chicken kabobs and rice, beef stew, stir frys. I love to cook.
Just your average couple: At the end of the day our lifestyle, as crazy as it is, is also very normal to us. So we’ll go home after a game and eat dinner, watch a movie and unfortunately clean up our dog’s mess, which are getting fewer and fewer, but he’s still a puppy.
Married to: pitcher Wade Davis
Mom to: daughter Sully, 2.
Hometown: Marlboro, N.Y.
Katelyn: I met Wade when he was 18 and I was 17. He was playing for the Hudson Valley Renegades — short-season, single A, rookie ball — across the river from my hometown.
Her first impression: I was like, “Listen, guy. I’m 17, and why are you walking around New York with that (thick, Southern) accent!” … He called for a few weeks after my friend offered my number and I finally answered.
Survival of the fittest: The minor leagues are definitely tough. A lot of them are in very small towns you would never know existed. It’s definitely a mental grind year after year. I have a lot of respect for guys that tough out the minors for so long. But it’s their dream, so they work hard for it.
We have been together 10 years now and those were some of the greatest times of our life. It truly makes us grateful for the opportunity Wade has now. You can never take anything for granted. It truly is a humbling lifestyle.
First “big league” moment: We were very fortunate in Triple A because Durham, North Carolina, is a beautiful place and he played for the Bulls there for a year.
I have always loved baseball, my family loves baseball, I grew up playing it, so Durham was a big thing for me. It was amazing compared to the places we had been.
When Wade got called up to the big leagues during the September roster expansion that year I spoke to the team realtor there in Tampa. She said, “Do you guys know where you want to live” and I said, “We’ll take anything, believe us.”
So we walk into this beachfront condo ... and when we opened that door we were floored. It was a one-bedroom condo but it might as well have been the White House.
Wade’s first start on Sept. 6, 2009: I’ll never forget it. Our families were there. His brother was screaming behind me, his dad was talking to a reporter, my dad was just holding my shoulders. I was so happy for him. It’s a great memory.
First splurge with baseball money: Actually came last year … after seven years in the big leagues. Wade bought 160 acres of farm property in Hudson Valley, New York (where they live in the off-season).
If all the man wants to do is hunt, farm and play baseball, bless his heart. If that’s the only thing the man wants in life, then he deserves every bit of it.
It’s killing him to be away from it, but my dad is there farming it.
Hard to hear the boos: He didn’t have a great year in 2013. It was just hard for him because we were in a new place, new team, new baby … a lot going on.
He got booed off the field one night and that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through at a stadium. Fans in Kansas City are just so passionate, they just want them to do great on the field too. They love hard here in Kansas City and we love them back in such a big way. So it’s something you have to go through for sure. It’s just a little more difficult when you have a 1-week-old baby in your arms.
Heartache: A week later his brother — his best friend, Sully’s godfather and best man at our wedding — passed away suddenly at 25, playing softball. So that changed our lives dramatically.
(Wade changed his number to 17 because) it was his (Dustin’s) baseball number. And the farm that we bought, he just named it DC Farms because they called his brother DC.
So I think he strapped that 17 on his back and ever since then, I think he plays for somebody, with somebody. I think he brings him to the mound every time he pitches.
Married to: Closing pitcher Greg Holland
Mom to: Nash, 10 months
Hometown: Chapin, S.C.
Lacey: He grew up in North Carolina and is definitely an outdoors guy. I grew up in South Carolina. Then I went out of state for school. He got drafted after his junior year and I spent the next three years in school, visiting him when I could. (They attended Western Carolina University, where she graduated with a bachelor of science in communications degree.)
No. 1 lesson of the big-league life: Packing. Constantly packing. Always packing. Bringing everything you need for the season, then packing it up all back up.
At first you think, “Oh, I want our apartment to feel homey.” So you bring pictures and blankets. Then you think, “I don’t have room for all this stuff.” Now it’s bare minimum, what we need, and that’s it.
We are also very good at maneuvering through airports. Flying every other week really teaches you the most efficient way of traveling, especially with kids.
Life out of a suitcase: The first year he got called up and that whole second year we lived in a hotel because you just never know what tomorrow brings. We lived in a hotel in Independence for two years and after that we started doing six-month leases on apartments. We rent all of our furniture, and I bring bedding, towels and pots and pans.
Their post-season bundle of joy last year: I found out I was pregnant the first day of spring training. From day one — and you can ask any of the girls — I said, “This is going to be the year that we go to the post.” I just knew from the beginning.
My due date was Oct. 4. So I had to make the decision either to stay here in KC or go home. And the whole time I said, “If I stay here and have the baby we aren’t going to go to the post.” I felt like it would be jinxing it. I guess from being with a baseball player for so long you get a little superstitious. So I went home a month before my due date.
The game plan: Greg talked to the coaches and together they figured out a day that would work best for everyone. We scheduled to be induced on Oct. 1, the day after the wild card game and the day before the Anaheim series started.
The night the Royals won the ALCS: It was just me and Nash at my house (in Asheville, N.C.) watching that game, and I’ll always remember thinking, “Oh my gosh is this really happening?”
So I jumped on a plane, brought Nash out to KC and he was in the stands for every World Series game. We took him to every game in San Francisco as well.
Biggest challenge of living in KC: Being so far from your family. This year … being a first-time mom and being 14 hours away from my parents is hard. We FaceTime and they come visit as much as possible.
In their own words: Giving back
Many of the Royals players and their wives are involved with local charities, from Safehome to the Bishop Sullivan Center. Here, in their own words, three Royals wives talk about their efforts.
Charitable organization: Toys of Summer program at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Former Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur and his wife, Catie, ran the program during his tenure with the team.
Lacey: When they left, Catie asked if I would fill in since I was a volunteer at Children’s Mercy. After that summer Greg and I have kept the event going.
This year was like Christmas. I got Nike involved and they donated drawstring bags for all the kids. New Era donated Royals hats and through Royals Charities we got Shadow Buddies for the kids as well.
The Shadow Buddies are dolls made to look just like the boys and girls in the hospital. There are dolls made for kids with cancer, heart conditions and other illnesses. It helps the kids cope with being in the hospital when they have a doll with bandages, stitches and gowns that looks just like them.
The ones we gave away came with a special Royals shirt, so they were really cute and the kids loved them.
The event wouldn’t be nearly a success without the players and their wives coming out to help deliver the toys and spend their morning with the kids. A bunch of us do have our own charities. The second someone mentions they have an event coming up we are all there to support them and help in any way possible.
Charitable organization: Save A Warrior (saveawarrior.org), a “war detox” program for active-duty military, veterans, law enforcement officers and first responders with post-traumatic stress.
Katelyn: Wade and I are extremely committed to military veterans. It is so important for American civilians to realize that when these veterans come home, their fight isn’t over. The things we have learned from them about what they have gone through are devastating.
It is our civic responsibility to realize we have to take care of veterans and their families not only while they are abroad but when they come home. When they leave for these tours of duty, they leave their families, their lives, their everything and go to another world that a lot of us can’t even imagine. We need to go to bat for those who gave all.
Seeing the pain: Organizations like SAW are so underfunded it was important to us to be able to donate not only money but our time and thanks.
We recently sponsored a Cohort for SAW Kansas City where veterans came from all over the world and spent a week together. They lived together, shared their stories, learned the art of meditation and began to heal their broken hearts and spirits.
They each wrote us a thank-you note and I cried reading every single one. They thanked us for our support and said that Save A Warrior has saved their life. Sometimes you can’t see wounds but they are there and they are real and it is our responsibility to help. America is such an amazing country because of our freedom, and it sounds corny but … freedom isn’t free.
Charitable organization: She volunteers at the Children’s SPOT at Saint Luke’s Hospital.
Stephanie: The Children’s SPOT has a special place in my heart, and I’ve been volunteering there since I moved to Kansas City. It is a facility where families can bring their children with disabilities and developmental delays.
I typically volunteer in the afternoon and get to work alongside Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists in a classroom setting with kiddos from ages 3 to 5.
They offer all of these types of therapies to children in the group/classroom setting, as well as individual therapy as needed.
The Children’s SPOT is one of the most professional, positive, goal-oriented, friendly environments I’ve ever been able to be a part of and I value their mission and approach to getting these kids the services they need which in a lot of cases, their family can’t afford.
To be able to be a part of such a place and impact any of these children’s lives through speech therapy and being in the classroom is beyond rewarding for me and what I have such a passion for. I believe that any child with any disability or developmental delays deserves early intervention and therapy in a safe and thriving environment and that is exactly what the Children’s SPOT sets out to do each and every day.
Mike also tries to make time to come visit the kids. He shows up in his uniform and we incorporate a little lesson or interaction with him to teach them about baseball and how to throw or hit the ball. It is the most adorable thing and the kids always love it so much!
In addition to my volunteer work at the Children’s SPOT we have worked with the Royals and KCP&L to host foster kids out to the ballpark with a program called the Moose Lodge.
These children go through so much and we are grateful to be able to give them an opportunity to have a fun night out at the ballpark with their foster families.