She was a glamorous Ford Agency model with international assignments that she sandwiched between her studies at Arizona State University. He was a professional baseball player for the San Francisco Giants on spring training in Phoenix. Their worlds were light years apart.
Yet, they had mutual friends that just knew these two would hit it off. Ursaline Steinke and Darryl Hamilton first met in Scottsdale at the birthday party of one of those friends. Nice, she thought. Very nice, he thought.
They didn't have to consider "dating" because they kept bumping into each other at restaurants, at parties, and with groups of friends. Little did they know that their friends had been working for some time to get the two together. Although their interest increased and they saw more of each other with friends, they never had a date alone. When they finally did move into "dating," it was always with Darryl's manager or his father or brother, or with one of Ursaline's modeling friends.
It took until the end of spring training for them finally to have a night alone. It began as cocktails, moved on to dinner and then went on as an all-nighter — over the telephone. "And from there, the rest is history," Ursaline says.
She gave up her summer modeling contract in Milan and moved to San Francisco to be with Darryl. It turned out to be a good career move as the modeling field was booming there. But that was the only "field" that she knew anything about. Ursaline was as clueless about baseball as Darryl was about designer fashion.
"Why do you wear your slacks so short?" he asked.
"Why do your games last for three hours?" she would counter.
And so it was a happy learning curve with the high-style model and the center fielder.
"He taught me everything I know about baseball," Ursaline says.
They were married in January of 2000 in a garden wedding at the Arizona Biltmore.
After retiring from the game, Darryl moved his family to Houston where he had made his off-season home. Today, he is involved in various areas of the National Baseball League and she has formed her own production company. Through Ursaline LLC., she produces and styles fashion shows. They have two young sons and are living happily ever-after.
Saturday: This Aggie fell in love with a blonde knock-out.