WORLD SERIES WIVES
Houston Astros wives dish on their favorite game day foods, styles, and superstitions
The Houston Astros paved the way to their fourth World Series appearance in six years by sweeping the Mariners and Yankees with a final win in New York. Astros fans now have their eyes trained on Minute Maid Park as the team prepares for game one of the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Fans eagerly wait for the biggest game in baseball to start, but Astros players and their families have been gearing up for this day since February, when spring training began. They have gone through 162 baseball games this season (81 away from home), and now have their game day prep down to a science.
Aside from the game itself, food, fashion and superstitions make watching nine innings more fun, so we sat down with three Astros wives, Kara McCullers, Kat Pressly, and Janelise Maldonado, to talk about their favorite game day routines. After all, even the most casual Astros fan knows that a good game day routine is just as important as the game itself.
CultureMap: Baseball is known as one of the most superstitious sports. Do you have any superstitions on game day?
Kat Pressly: I am really careful not to say anything if we’re winning big or someone is having a good game — I don’t want to jinx anybody!
Kara McCullers: I’m typically not a very superstitious person. However, if I wear a particular outfit and he loses a game while I’m wearing it, you won’t see me in it again.
Janelise Maldonado: I think I’m superstitious by nature. I always drive my husband to the field for home games and never cross my legs or arms when our team is at bat.
CM: What are your favorite game day meals?
KP: When I’m at a game and want to splurge, my number one favorite is the loaded baked potato, and I also love a Shake Shack burger.
JM: Elotes, loaded nachos, or La Michoacana tacos.
CM: What are your go-to game day outfits?
KP: During the regular season, my go-to “uniform” is a plain white tee or tank and jeans with cute sneakers. Things are definitely different for the postseason. It is such a unique opportunity and something I never want to take for granted, so I like to have a lot of fun with it.
KM: A top and denim shorts with some boots/booties or a cool pair of pants with a bodysuit and sneakers – many times paired with an Astros hat. During the postseason, a little more planning goes into our outfits, and I usually special order game day gear.
JM: Before kids, everything was about style, high heels or platform sandals. Now I lean towards sneakers. Cargo pants and leggings are essentials – because I can dress them up or down.
CM: If you are at home, how do you cozy up to watch?
KP: To be honest, being pregnant these past couple of years (especially during west coast games), I watched many of the games in bed.
KM: The Astros games usually overlap my daughter’s bedtime routine, so I often try to get her ready for bed while simultaneously watching the games. Sometimes, she and I watch on the sofa together before heading to bed. She loves to watch the games, and we always try to attend if Lance is pitching at home.
JM: It’s always a party in our living room.
CM: Do you prefer silence and watching alone, or do you like having a watch party with other people?
KP: I don’t mind watching the game alone because I love listening to the commentary. Probably once a week, I have my parents over or watch with a few friends, and I love that also.
KM: During the regular season, I prefer watching alone, but during the postseason, I love watching with other people and being at the stadium with family and friends.
JM: I’m so used to watching games with a crowd around me that now silence feels awkward.
CM: There is so much excitement around the World Series. How do you keep everything calm and in control for your family?
KP: When we first got traded here in 2018, I got overly excited for the postseason and was beyond exhausted by the time it was over. This is our fifth postseason with the Astros, and I’ve learned to just take it one day at a time and enjoy the ride.
KM: It’s a super chaotic time, so I try to do my best to balance everything and handle the smaller stressful things like tickets and packing. Let’s just say baseball wives wear a lot of hats during this time of year.
JM: I’m always anticipating an event (part of being a catcher’s wife). Three of us in the family don’t think about anything related to baseball until game day. We try to rest as much as we can during off days.
CM: Do you get nervous on game day?
KP: Not so much during the regular season, but a close game in the postseason can be a little nerve-wracking. However, I have all the confidence in the world in Ryan and everyone on this team.
KM: Yes! I’m not sure that will ever change. This being our seventh postseason experience, I do think watching him pitch in bigger games has gotten a bit easier each time. I always want the best for him and want him to play well because I know that’s what he wants and what he works so hard for.
JM: I definitely do – I feel sick, I shake and I want to scream to let it out. Being calm and relaxed for an important day is not a good sign for me.
CM: Do you do anything special with your husband before a game?
KP: It depends on the day. Lately, we’ve been taking our bikes out to eat with all the nice weather we’ve been having.
KM: Nothing too special. I try to let him sleep in as much as possible, then we grab coffee or lunch and spend time with our daughter before he leaves for the field.
JM: If we have time, we will squeeze brunch at Tiny’s No. 5.
CM: How do you prepare your kids for all the cameras and excitement after postseason games?
KP: They’re so little they don’t know what’s going on, but it’s been much more exciting to share these special moments with our babies.
KM: I’m not sure Ava understands all of that just yet. She gets a little overwhelmed with the excitement and cheering at the games sometimes, but I think she’s starting to get used to it. She loves watching her Daddy play and going on the field.
JM: Being so young, Aiden and Anaiah don’t understand much about cameras. Right now, they only care about getting to hug their Papito, and for my youngest, just being able to run on the field.
CM: What is your prediction for the series?
KP: Astros in 4!
KM: Astros in 6. I hope we get to win at home this time around!
JM: We have a team that’s on a mission. We sacrificed dinners, sleep and family time to give my husband the space he needed to prepare for each series. The team has gotten to the part of the season they have worked so hard for since spring training.
Now, it’s all or nothing!