Eleven-year-old Addison Kingston of St. Charles recently introduced Wiffle ball to her sisters’ usual lineup of backyard fare.
She also has monopolized her summer reading, embarking on a quest to read any bit of baseball copy she can find.
That’s what happens when there’s a minor leaguer living in your basement.
In past years, Eric and Rachel Kingston took their four daughters to a few Cougars games, but the interest and acumen heightened considerably once outfielder Jake Hannemann and his wife, Shayli, moved in. It hardly waned during the Cougars’ road trips.
“Now the kids want to know every single night what the stats are, what the scores are,” Rachel Kingston said. “They want to listen when they can.”
Back home in Orem, Utah, Shayli Hannemann receives constant reminders of her parents’ interest in their son-in-law, the leadoff man.
“It’s funny because every night, they’re sitting back home either watching or listening, so we’ll get texts during the game, like, ‘Oh, awesome hit,’ or, ‘Oh, strikeout,’ you know,” she said. “But either way, they’re just always supportive. There’s, like, constant feedback throughout the game, so that’s been awesome.”
Rachel Bote, the wife of infielder and fellow Coloradoan David Bote, gets similar feedback from her family. Both spouses hope the trend continues in the coming seasons, as their husbands ideally progress through the parent Cubs’ farm system.
Advanced-A Daytona – where Jake Hannemann was assigned Wednesday – marks the next rung above the Class-A Cougars, followed by Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa.
But Rachel Bote and Shayli Hannemann could have recited the list as easily as their beaus.
“I feel like it’s hard not to become familiar with all that, just because it’s kind of the talk of everything,” Shayli Hannemann said. “So, I mean, we’re familiar with it, but we kind of just focus on where he’s at, what he’s doing here.”
The fantasies can wait for the backyard, and often do. Jake Hannemann is happy to show Addison Kingston and her siblings the ins-and-outs of throwing and hitting.