While the Kansas City Royals seek their first World Series championship since 1985 on the field, one of the team’s key contributors is awaiting even bigger news off the field.
Ben Zobrist, the Royals’ No. 2 hitter in the lineup and jack-of-all-trades in the field, and his wife, Julianna, are expecting their third child.
That’s obviously great news for the Zobrist family, but it has led to some questions about Zobrist’s availability during the series. Julianna is not due until Nov. 10, a date that falls almost one full week after the final scheduled World Series game, but there’s always a degree of uncertainty surrounding when the baby will decide to arrive.
The Royals took that into consideration when they added 20-year-old Raul Mondesi Jr., to the World Series roster, knowing he could at least attempt to handle all of the roles Zobrist fills for the team. But it turns out that might not be a concern after all. According to Zobrist, his wife has given him the all clear to remain with his teammates and complete his job with the Royals should she go into labor.
“It’s just a matter of — I can only focus on one thing at a time anyway, she knows that. I’m one track-minded. So it works pretty well, I think, knowing that she can handle herself. And she’s a strong woman, so she’s already kind of let me know that if we’re in the middle of a game, she’s probably not going to tell me anything that’s going on. And that’s fine, because I trust her and I trust the people that are around her, our family members that are with her and stuff right now.”
“When I’m here at the field I’m focused on what I have to do on my job. As soon as my game is over and I get my postgame work in, I focus on my family and take care of them. I just separate it as best I can.”
Those were Zobrist’s comments on Wednesday afternoon prior to Game 2. One night earlier, Julianna had already taken to Twitter to reassure fans her husband would stay with the team. She injected a little humor as well.
As a baseball wife, she’s probably heard it all from fans. Considering the circumstances and the timing, we’re sure it hasn’t all been pleasant as fans worry about Zobrist’s availability. With that said, she’s obviously handling it very well.
Ben Zobrist did add that an emergency would change the circumstances, but the only condition from his wife right now is to make a difference for the Royals.
“If something happens while we’re in New York? Like she has the baby here? Well, if she has the baby, then there’s nothing I can do, I’m that far away, certainly, yeah. Obviously if it’s a family matter and it’s an emergency and there’s something that I need to be there for, I’ll be there. But barring that, if I’m gone, she just said, “You better hit a home run if I have the baby without you.’ “
A home run might be a lot to ask, epsecially against New York’s pitching. Perhaps she’d settle for another two double game like Zobrist had in Game 1. We know the Royals would, as the first led to a key sixth-inning rally.
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