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We recently caught up with Stephanie McCarthy, better half of Mike Foltynewicz, pitcher in the Houston Astros organization. Below, Stephanie shares a little about herself, her love story with Mike, their baseball life together, and what it was like on Draft Day in 2010.
So, first things first. How did you and Mike meet?
Mike and I first met at a Halloween party in 2007. I was a freshman and he was a sophomore. Two days later he asked me to be his girlfriend.
When did you know you were cut out for the pro sports life? Was it something that certainly took some adjusting? What role did your fellow wives & girlfriends play in easing this newfound life?
Since Mike got drafted and left so sudden, I sort of had to just dive into the life and had no adjusting period. I can’t pinpoint a moment and say “that’s when I knew I was cut out for this life.”
Going from high school straight to the minor leagues must be exciting, but nerve wracking at the same time. Explain what it’s like being the girlfriend of a top MLB prospect in that transition (high school to college) period of life?
It has definitely been a thrilling ride! It was never really nerve racking as much as it was exciting! Being 17 years old, I knew taking “vacations” alone with my boyfriend meant a lot of independence and freedom; flying alone also seemed so exciting at the time.
Mike was a 1st Round Draft Pick, tell us about the exciting MLB Draft experience from your perspective.
The day of the MLB draft in 2010 was such a crazy, emotional day for both Mike and me! The high school baseball team qualified for sectionals and Mike was scheduled to pitch in that game. The boys ended up losing the game, ending their season. On the long bus ride home, Mike got the call that he was being drafted 19th overall by the Houston Astros! After he got home we had a big party at his house with our friends and family. It was amazing to share that moment with him and our friends and family.
Where is your favorite place to visit? Favorite place to travel with Mike to watch his games?
So far for baseball we have been to Greeneville TN, Lexington KY, Lancaster CA, Corpus Christi TX, and Oklahoma City OK. I traveled a lot last season while he was in AA and got to visit some awesome stadiums, but my favorite city that he has played in was Lexington KY. The people were so sweet and the town was SO fun. We don’t do much traveling in the off season because I am still in school, but our favorite place to be is back home in Chicago with our families!
Tell us a little more about yourself. Where did you grow up? Are you currently studying in school? What are some of your passions/goals?
I was born and raised in Chicago. My family later moved to the suburbs when I was in 3rd grade. I am currently earning my bachelors degree in political science at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. I am graduating a semester early this December 2014! I am very passionate about American politics. I am currently interning on Bruce Rauner’s campaign for governor in my home state of Illinois! It has been such an amazing experience so far; I’m looking forward to the election this November! Mike and I also both share the passion of animal rescue by volunteering our time at local humane societies in whatever city we are in. We adopted our dog from a humane society by my school this past October! Right now we show our love to an awesome pit-bull rescue, Players for Pits. Eventually, our goal would be to start our own animal rescue!
You just turned 21 this year. How do you juggle your day-to-day life, while still traveling and caring for your adorable dog-baby Nala?
We are currently all together (Mike, Nala, & myself) in Oklahoma City, which is nice for a change, but during my school year we are all in different cities. We get by with A LOT of help from our parents. Unfortunately, I can’t have Nala live with me at my apartment at school and Mike can’t have her stay with him while he’s gone all the time, so our parents love having her stay at their houses. We are so grateful for them and all they do to help us both out with Nala!
Do you feel you were prepared to live this life? What is the MiLB life like? How have resources like SiS helped?
I never imagined that I would live this type of life, but I feel like I am as prepared as I’ll ever be. I’m thankful for all the major league wives and veteran wives and girlfriends for always offering me a helping hand and useful words of advice.
What is the most important piece of advice would you give to upcoming MiLB/MLB girlfriends?
The most important piece of advice that I would give to a new MiLB girlfriend/wife is to just go with the flow and don’t try to plan too far ahead! You will drive yourself (& bf/hubby) crazy if you are always trying to figure out “what’s next.” Enjoy the ride!