20 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT JULIA
Houston Astros' Julia Morales reports on life with the team, work-family balance, her new fashion line, and more
For serious Houston Astros fans, Julia Morales Clark needs no introduction. As the Astros sideline reporter, her job is to tell the on-and-off-the-field stories and relay the big moments that keep sports fans connected to the team.
Starting in West Palm Beach at Spring Training in February and grinding to the postseason, Morales is a constant fixture next to the Astros dugout. She spends all day, every day during away games traveling with the World Series Champion team, asking the hard questions and enjoying front-row seats to the antics of Alex Bregman, José Altuve, and the rest of the ball club.
This season, Morales reported on the longest game in World Series history and interviewed everyone who had anything to do with the famed no-hitters against the Yankees and Phillies.
Morales grew up outside of Dallas in the small town of Crandall where sports were a constant in her life. With both parents being college athletes, she and her brother were always playing various sports with her dad often as coach, it was what her family did together.
Going into her 11th season with the Houston Astros, Morales is grateful to talk about sports daily and admits she wanted to be a news reporter from a young age. “By the time I was ten, I had already decided it was what I wanted to do. At the time, there were not a lot of females in sports reporting, especially at the national level, so I didn’t know it was a possibility,” she tells CultureMap.
“When I got into college, I started noticing that more women were covering sports, so I decided I wanted to go the sports route instead of the news route.”
These days Morales spends more time “wheels up” accompanying the Astros on every road game and reporting on 140-150 of the total 162 regular season baseball games. Balancing her career, marriage, and being a mom to 2-year-old Valerie is a constant struggle.
She is buoyed by the offseason when she gets to spend every day with her husband and daughter and bonding over family activities, but admits managing motherhood and the longest season in sports is hard.
“It gets tough with ten-day road trips on the west coast when you are away from the people you love, but I am not alone. Every player has a family, and every coach has a family. We talk about it amongst each other and help each other through it — there is a lot of FaceTime and phone calls. It is part of the job and the sacrifices I have to make, but I also know that she will be proud of me and everything I am doing one day.”
Style and baseball
Although being away from her family is hard, Morales has adapted to life on the road. She has developed a great wardrobe with staples for every climate she visits and says she now owns more Astros orange than ever before. She incorporates her pieces with rented items to keep up with the trends and has a lot of fun with jewelry, naming jewelry juggernaut Kendra Scott as one of her biggest supporters.
Over the past year, Morales has quietly worked on a line of baseball-themed shirts and sweatshirts. She debuted her line right before the Astros clinched the ALCS and has been surprised at the positive reaction to her “Baseball Y’all” brand.
“It did really, really well. It almost overwhelmed me at a point in the season when I was already busy, but it was so worth it. Seeing people wearing my shirts and sweatshirts at the games is amazing. I have so many more ideas and things I want to do — I just need a minute to catch my breath.”
Behind the Scenes
Busy professionals know there are instances when spending more time with work colleagues than family is par for the course, but Morales’ work-family relationships are at a whole other level. Travel plus a three-hour game and a pre and post-game workload – Morales has logged many hours with every Houston Astros team member.
The sideline reporter laughs and says she knows the team exceptionally well, noting that they spend almost too much time together. Working alongside the ball club for over a decade, she has seen most players come and go, except Altuve. She has seen him grow his family with his wife Nina, become a World Series Champion twice, become an MVP, and talked with him on camera through tough losses and intense moments like Hurricane Harvey.
“I wouldn’t call him my best friend or anything, but I have been around him for a decade. It’s almost a cooler relationship than what people would call a friend — it is on its own level, and I am so grateful for those relationships.”
According to Morales, affectionately nicknamed “Mrs. Astros”, the best thing about a baseball season is that no one has any idea what will happen in any given year. This season, in particular, she’s been able to watch the rise of shortstop phenom Jeremy Peña.
“I got to know Jeremy Peña as a rookie ready for his first year in the majors. From having that first interview with him to watching his first home run and then watching him at the end of the season become a World Series MVP and a household name across the country — it has been an incredibly unique experience.”
Diehard Astros fans may know more about their favorite ball team because of the redhead sideline reporter, but now, she's opening the door to let fans get to know her, too. Here are 20 fun facts about Clark.
Go-to outfit:Baseball Y’all cropped hoodie and leggings
Favorite ballpark food: Breakfast Burger at PNC Park, Crab Fried in Baltimore and everything at Minute Maid Park
Favorite non-Houston ballpark: T-Mobile Park or Target Field
Type A or B: A
Dream dinner guest (sports related): Earl Campbell
Dream dinner guest (non-sports related):Beyonce
Smartest person in the room or richest person in the room: Smartest person in the room
Drink of choice: Glass of cabernet
Guacamole or queso: Guacamole
TikTok or Instagram: Instagram
Happy Place: Round Top
Top three essential gameday items: Reporters notebook & pen, clear mascara for hair flyaways and a scorebook
Strangest thing about your job: My schedule
Best thing about your job: Storytelling
Cowboy boots or cowboy hat: Boots
Lose sleep or skip a meal: Lose sleep
Show or tell: Tell
Who are you inspired by: My parents
What three traits got you to where you are today: Hard work, my people skills, and my love for sports.