MLB Wives and Girlfriends (WAGS)

07/23/14
 

Barry Bonds' girlfriend Mari Holden

 

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Barry Bond’s girlfriend Mari Holden is a force on a bicycle. She’s an Olympic cycling medalist, a former world time trial champion and a fixture at the major US tours.

The couple connected because the former MLB player took up a new sport, cycling. When the couple met, Mari Holden could crush Barry Bonds on an incline, and apparently he loved that. “He’s very animated about it, and very funny,” Specialized Bicycle Components founder and CEO Mike Sinyard, Bonds’ friend, told sportsonearth.com. “He couldn’t believe it: ‘How is this little, beautiful woman passing me going up this hill?’”

But Barry Bonds isn’t cycling to win; he’s doing it to stay in shape without pounding on his body. He turned to cycling after a string of knee, back and hip surgeries. Mari Holden, on the other hand, is cycling to win, and she’s done a good job of it. In 2000, the Ventura California native won the world time trial championship as well as a silver medal in the Olympic Games time trial in Sydney, Australia. She’s also won six US championships. Not to mention the fact that she became the first American woman to win three consecutive U.S. time trial championships (1998–2000) and scored a double by winning the US time trial and road championships in 1999.

The 42-year-old Mari Holden began cycling with her high school fitness club. It wasn’t until 1992, when she moved to Colorado Springs, that she began training with the US cycling team. These days, Mari Holden is being called one of the "greatest ambassadors in the sport of cycling" by Ride Magazine (March, 2008). She coaches and holds cycling clinics and camps as well as serves as a consultant on women's cycling issues and products. She also served on the board of directors of USA Cycling. And most interestingly, Mari Holden also formerly served on the athletic advisory committee to the U.S. Olympic Committee and was athlete ambassador to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. It’s too bad the couple wasn’t dating in 2011, when Barry Bonds was convicted of obstruction of justice. Perhaps she could’ve given him some pointers.

07/20/14
 

Tom Glavine's Wife Christine Glavine

 

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Tom Glavine's wife Christine Glavine is bummed that he never pursued his professional hockey career. Allow me to explain: Tom was actually drafted by the Los Angeles Kings back in 1984. If you don't believe me, check here. If you go on Christine's Twitter site, you'll notice that she's an absolutely rabid Bruins fan. In particular, she's an obsessive Patrice Bergeron fan. So basically all this baseball stuff is fine, but I'm thinking Christine would have much preferred Tom play for the Bruins. He probably would've been okay. They still would have had a son named Peyton, who probably isn't named after any hockey player or baseball player.

Tom's from the same place my mom is from-- historic Concord Massachusetts. He grew up in Billerica, which is a few towns over. He was Merrimack Valley's MVP in hockey, and he was also pretty solid in baseball, winning the Division 1 North Title. Must be pretty awesome to be that talented in two sports. The chicks must've been all over the kid. So he got drafted into the NHL (Wikipedia points out he was drafted ahead of Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille) and also drafted into the Majors by the Braves. Like Maddux, he played on a few minor league clubs, and he was honestly not that great. His last season before getting called up to the Majors, he was 6-12. He then had two pretty poor years for the Braves, going 2-4 with 9 starts and then 7-17 with 34 starts. One can only imagine he and Maddux were working together trying to figure out how to survive in the big leagues. He finally turned it around his third year and went 14-8. A few years later, the guy is going 20-11, 20-8, 22-6 and winning Cy Young awards. Tom spent 17 seasons on the Braves, so of course he's going to wear a Braves cap on his hall of fame plaque.

Christine made a joke on her Twitter page about how stoic Glavine was when he received the call about his induction into the hall of fame. She said "the call, stoic, but you know that about him." It's exactly the same face he'd have on the mound. That is to say Glavine was a cool customer, never getting emotional and staying calm. That's how you get 305 wins, I guess.

07/19/14
 

Greg Maddux's Wife Kathy Maddux

 

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Greg Maddux's wife Kathy Maddux may have turned the tide for his hall of fame logo selection. The legendary pitcher will go without a logo on his cap for his plaque when he's inducted into the Hall. In his explanation, he states that Kathy and himself "grew up in baseball in Chicago," which at first I thought meant that his wife was from Chicago, but it turns out his wife is from Fabulous Las Vegas.

Greg himself moved to Las Vegas in 1978. He met Kathy there in high school, and the two started dating. They got married in 1989, following his drafting in the second round in 1984. So this kind of explains "grew up in baseball in Chicago." It's not that they're from Chicago, but it's more like they dug their heels in there. After all, it wasn't until 1986 that he got his first start on the Cubs, after proving himself in the minors on teams like Pikefield, Peoria, Pittsfield, and Iowa. Things didn't go well. He was the youngest player in the National Leage, and went 2-4 with 5 starts that season. His second season he went 6-14 with 27 starts. Ouch. Then, in 1988 he was getting paid $82,500 dollars and managed to break out with an 18-8 record, making the all-star team. Then began his very long and massively successful era of dominance.

I mean, Maddux is one of the top 5 greatest pitchers who ever lived. It's very hard to say he's not a top 5 pitcher. Look at his stats. He won 4 consecutive Cy Young Awards, and in that stretch of play was 75-29 with a 1.98 ERA. One year, he posted an ERA of 1.63 and went an astonishing 19-2. Yes, that's 19 wins and 2 losses, guys. That is absolutely nuts. You can go on and on about his accomplishments. The weird thing is the Atlanta Braves only won a single championship in all the time they had their monstrously talented squad assembled. The 1995 Braves: David Justice, Fred McGriff, Marquis Grissom, Chipper Jones, Ryan Klesko, Javy Lopez. Pitching lineup included John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Greg Maddux. Everyone was in their prime. How does that team not win every single year?