Detroit Tigers Wives and Girlfriends (WAGS)

10/14/13
 

Doug Fister's girlfriend Ashley Phelps

 

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You always like seeing the stories of couples developing from a young age, and staying together through the stresses and rigors of minor and major league baseball. In the case of Tigers pitcher, Doug Fister, the Merced, CA native appears to be staying true to his high school crush. Doug Fister's girlfriend Ashley Phelps was a classmate at Golden Valley High School in Merced. While Fister came up through the Mariners organization before getting dealt to Detroit, Phelps began work as a high school science teacher. She also serves as the girls water polo coach for Merced High School - located across the city from the school where she and Fister first met.

Phelps is charitably minded, being a frequent participant in Tigers Wives Association events. In 2012, she competed in a half marathon helping to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in memory of two grandparents she lost to cancer. Fister's teammates even recognize her giving spirit, as catcher Bryan Pena told Fox Sports Detroit, “Doug takes a lot of time to work with kids, problem kids and all kinds, with his girlfriend."

Fortunately, Ashley gave the world one more gift as well. She's the reason that Fister decided to join Twitter - Thanks, Ash!

10/24/12
 

Jim Leyland's wife Katie Leyland

 

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I'll start this by saying I'm a huge Jim Leyland fan. I wish there were more managers and coaches like him; total no nonsense take no crap style. His style has worked with three out of the four teams he has coached (I totally forgot he was manager of Colorado, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who forgot that).

Even considering all my respect for Leyland for his baseball resume, I was even more impressed when I realized Jim Leyland's wife Katie Leyland is a much, much younger woman, and that the couple has extremely young kids for a man his age, Patrick and Kellie. Katie met Jim when she took a job with the Pittsburgh Pirates right before finishing college. Jim, coming off a divorce, knew right away that he wanted to pursue Katie. Of course Katie says she played it off that she didn't want to date him, but when a major league manager comes knocking on your door, you can't turn that down.

After a year of dating, Jim and Katie married. Katie was 26 when she married Jim, who was 42. After an unfortunate miscarriage Patrick and Kellie were born. The family for the most part was raised in Pittsburgh even though Jim was managing in different cities. Now that Patrick and Kellie are older (Kellie in college, and Patrick having previously worked with the Tigers) the family situation is a little easier on Jim and Katie. With Detroit making a run it wouldn't shock us if he wins the World Series he calls it quits. I mean he is after all 67 years old and at that age going out on top has to be something he is thinking about.

10/18/12
 

Max Scherzer's girlfriend Erica May

 

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Outside of Detroit (and fantasy baseball leagues with K/9 as a category) Max Scherzer still isn't a household name. That's all about to chance with the Tigers making a run in the 2012 playoffs, and the rest of the country will quickly learn what type of pitcher Max Scherzer has become. After being drafted late Max decided to attend Missouri to pitch instead. Probably a good choice as while he was at Missouri Max Scherzer's girlfriend Erica May entered his life.

Erica was a pitcher on the Missouri softball team and the two have been dating for over 8 years. Our prediction: if Max and the Tigers win the World Series this year with he'll be proposing to Erica in the offseason. I mean 8 years is a long time for a girl to be dating a guy and not get a ring. Hell I'm shocked she is still around after 8 years. Not only was Erica a big softball fan she is also of all things a huge Oakland Raiders fan. Seriously check out her Twitter page @emaysway and she has constant updates on the page anytime the Raiders play. The headline on her Twitter page says "Coloradan by birth, Raiders fan by choice." Not sure why someone would choose to be a Raiders fan but so be it.

This season hasn't been all good for Max and Erica. In June, Max's brother Alex committed suicide after battling depression. Born only three years apart Max and Alex were extremely close. Max pitched three days after Alex's death as a way for the family to rally. He held Pittsburgh to 3 runs in 6 innings of work.

Photo Credit Rabbi Jason Miller - www.rabbijason.com