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In July 2011, the Cardinals traded their once rising star/now bust Colby Rasmus. With the trade complete, John Jay assumed the role of starting Centerfielder and hasn't looked back since. With one title already in the books and gunning for a two in a row, the St. Louis offense is spearheaded with Jay leading off.
Jay has played baseball most of his life. He attended the University of Miami, where he played outfield while the Canes made the College World Series in three out of his four seasons. Miami is also where Jon Jay's fiancée Nikki Stecich came into play.
Stecich also attended the University of Miami. She played on the women's soccer team, appearing on defense in 2005. We know that Jay and Stecich met during their college years, but when they started dating remains a mystery. Jay proposed to her during the 2011 offseason.
Stecich appears to be very active with charities. She is listed as a teacher on the Young Professionals Board for the Children Miracle Network Hospital. She has also worked with Amor En Accion -Proyecto Esperanza, which provides education and nutrition for children in the Dominican Republic. Jay also has a charitable side, hosting the "Jon Jay Celebrity Bowling Challenge" and attending such events as Nelly's annual Black & White Ball.
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Adam Wainwright is no stranger to postseason success. Being a member of the St. Louis Cardinals since 2006, he's found himself in many clutch playoff scenarios both in the rotation and in the bullpen. Wainwright was unfortunate to lose the 2011 season to Tommy John surgery, and also missed out playing in the Cardinals World Series victory.
For most that would have been a crushing defeat; a player missing may be the team apex of his professional career due to injury. However, Adam Wainwright's relentless positivity and team first attitude has helped buoy his spirits and keep him focused on his return. Wainwright attributes part of his positivity to his faith, and his wife; two items directly connected.
Adam Wainwright's wife Jenny Wainwright has helped Adam find his faith and his relationship with religion. Adam and Jenny were married in 2004, shortly after he was dealt from Atlanta to St. Louis, and about a year after Jenny graduated from college. While both grew up attending church, it wasn't until Adam married Jenny that both focused on their religion. On the Christian blog Athletes in Action, Jenny explains:
"It was during the first year I was married that I really understood the true meaning of being a Christian. It was not just believing but more of a relationship. It was about the same time Adam committed his life to Christ; and it was a time we grew together in our faith which was awesome. It has been cool how Adam has grown into the spiritual leader of our family, especially for our two little girls, Baylie Grace and Morgan.”
Jenny also knows how to have some fun. Prior to the 2011 season, which Wainwright would spend cheering on his team from the bench while recovering from Tommy John, Jenny came up with the idea for Adam to dress up in full cheerleader attire on Opening Day. The couple went so far as to have a cheerleaders skirt custom made for the lanky Adam, and outfitted him with a headband, ribbons, knee socks, pom poms and a cut off Yadier Molina. Teammate Matt Holliday sums up the visual for all of us, saying Wainwright looked like “a 6-7 cheerleader with a big old butt.”