Posted on: 2013-06-19
As Detroit Tigers pitcher Eric Wentworth pitched the deciding game of the 2013 World Series, two tattoos could be seen on his right wrist. At the beginning of each at-bat that Wentworth pitches, he touches the two tattoos to his lips. It's an odd superstition, and it's a recent one. Wentworth only started doing this in the early part of the 2012 season, and then it was only with one tattoo.
So after the final game of the season, I sat down with Wentworth and asked him about the tattoos. He showed them to me with a smile. The first tattoo reads "Anne" and the second reads "Josie."
"Anne for my wife and Josie for my daughter," he explained quickly. "They're my everything. They're the secret to my success."
Anne is the former Anne Eliot, the daughter of the wealthy Eliot family known as the owners of the successful Eliot Paper Company that has struggled in recent years. Anne and Eric went to high school together. "We were high school sweethearts," Wentworth told me with a hesitant smile. "But we broke up after I was drafted. It was probably for the best."
What Wentworth didn't tell me is what his wife admitted to me in an earlier interview. Her family didn't think that it was a good idea to date when he was traveling all over the place while in the minor leagues and she was tied down by college. So the two separated in 2003 only to reconnect during the 2010 season when Wentworth started dating Anne's cousin.
"Yeah, that was awkward," Wentworth admitted when prodded on that point. "I had no clue that I was dating her cousin at first. And then, I found out. And it was awkward. I wasn't sure how I felt about her. I mean, I hadn't seen her in seven years. But then a few things were made very clear to me, and I figured a few things out. "
He seems to have figured that one out fairly quickly. The pair reunited in the fall of 2010 and were married in November of 2011. "If you know something's right, you just know," Wentworth explained. "There was no point in wasting any more time, so we just went ahead with things and got married."
He got the first tattoo that November on their honeymoon.
And then came the baby. Josephine Sophia Wentworth was born on February 2, 2013. He got his second tattoo a mere three days later. And a week after that, the family was headed to Florida for spring training.
"Josie came just in time for spring training," her father joked. "And my girls have been my good luck charm all season."
They must have worked since Wentworth is now a World Series Champion pitcher-and the best husband and father on earth, at least according to his wife.