Behind the Seams: Maggie Hedges

Maggie Hedges and her dog, Mr. Beau

Maggie Hedges is an esthetician from Orange County, CA. She is the wife of Austin Hedges, catcher for the San Diego Padres. 

Keep up with Maggie on Instagram!

5 Fun Facts about Maggie Hedges:

  • I was born in Orange County, CA.
  • My fur baby, Mr. Beau, was my birthday present from Austin on my 19th birthday!
  • I am an esthetician and have been a lash artist for about 2 years. Skin care is my first love and why I went to school to get my license.
  • I moved to San Diego 7 years ago and started my life there without knowing if Austin would ever play in San Diego. We’re very lucky those stars aligned because we love San Diego SO much!
  • I’ve perfected the spicy margarita during quarantine. I’m very proud of this. 

How did you and Austin meet?

Austin’s Senior Prom (2011)

Austin & I met my junior year of high school (his senior year in 2011). His high school baseball coach introduced us in our cafeteria area during lunch. Sometimes this story sounds like a bad episode of One Tree Hill but it’s true LOL. Coach Kay was always on lunch duty to listen to my sad high school boy drama and decided to introduce me to Austin as someone he would approve of me dating (I was beet red during this introduction and I had no idea who Austin was). Austin was being punished for something baseball related & had trash duty during lunch the rest of the week. He found a way to retrieve my trash every day so we could keep talking. I guess you could say the rest is history? 

One more fun fact: Coach Kay and his wife asked Austin to be the Godfather to their first born son, Brody. Coach Kay was also a groomsmen in our wedding! 

Were you a baseball fan before you met Austin?

 I was not a baseball fan before I met Austin. I grew up going to a few Angels games with my Girl Scout troop in my early years, but that was about all the baseball that was in my life growing up. We were a football family. For Austin it was like teaching a new language. I never expected to know as much as I do about this sport, nor did I ever imagine baseball would have the impact on my life like it has!

Debut day is one of the biggest days in a player’s career. I’d love to hear about the day from your perspective.

Post game kisses!

When Austin got the call in 2015 that he had made it to the big league, it was one of those moments where time felt like it stood still. It was something that was fantasized for so long and now it was becoming a reality! After 4 grinding seasons of long distance in the minor leagues, he was actually going to be playing in San Diego for the Padres. His debut was at AT&T Park in San Francisco against the Giants. I remember getting the first flight I could find out there. I sat with Austin’s parents at the ballpark and it’s a day I will NEVER forget. As if that day couldn’t get any crazier, he crushed his first major league hit as an RBI single. We were BEYOND and absolutely losing it in the stands.

You and Austin got married this past offseason. Congratulations!! How were you able to balance wedding planning and Austin’s practice/game schedule?

Austin proposed to Maggie atop the Hotel Del Coronado in Coronado, CA.

Ah thank you so much! Oh man, I joked all season that he planned the timing of his proposal strategically to the baseball season! He proposed a week before heading out spring training and my head was spinning.

Austin and Maggie’s engagement photos

Some girls may have had their dream weddings planned for years, I certainly had ideas, but I’m not exactly the organized and a pull off a wedding in less than a year easily sort of gal. Well, just like everything else in Survival 101 of baseball, it takes a village. We are so blessed to have some incredible friends and family that are so aware of our lifestyle and they were so willing to do anything to help. It was tough separating baseball from wedding planning at times, but once I realized our entire wedding was essentially going to be a surprise for him, I started to have some fun with it! 🙂 Also, the real MVP is my wedding planner Christine with Lavish & Co.! For anyone deciding if they need a wedding planner, trust me, don’t try to be a hero, get the wedding planner! (Your fiancé /future husband will thank you later!) 

What’s one of the best and one of the hardest things about being a baseball wife?

There are so many things I feel so blessed by that baseball has brought into my life. Growing up, traveling wasn’t something I had experienced very much of and I really hadn’t been to many places outside of California. Baseball has allowed me to travel to places I never dreamed I would go. From Fort Wayne, Indiana while Austin was in Low-A (certainly never envisioned having a reason to go there) to my first trip to NYC last season for their series against the Mets. It’s created a love affair with traveling that I’m so grateful for. We both have the bug to visit and and explore as many places as possible and take advantage of every opportunity we are given in this life. 

Just like in all careers, there certainly comes struggles that are relative to one’s life. The baseball schedule is very unique and there’s no “requesting off” or scheduling around a life event here and there. Your life is scheduled completely around the baseball season. A hard part about being a baseball wife is to accept living in a state of unknown. A tough lesson we learned many years ago is to basically “expect the unexpected”. We have a “unicorn situation” where we actually live where we play. It’s extremely rare that a player lives full time in the city that he plays in. I thank God every day that Austin’s career has kept us close to our home, friends and family, but I also accept that it could change at any time. That will be our next adventure in life.

This life throws you a lot of curve balls (baseball puns are unavoidable anymore) and you have to learn to adapt very easily and accept change as a good thing even when it’s difficult. It’s also given me a HUGE appreciation for all the mamas on the team. They are truly some of the strongest women I have ever met. I am constantly taking notes for when we do decide to have kiddos of our own. It takes a seriously badass woman to raise babies around a baseball season and they are all my heroes! 

Do you have a game day routine? If so, what is it?

A game day routine certainly has many variables depending on whether it’s a day or a night game and if it’s home or away. Last season, I was working two jobs and planning a wedding so it was always a balancing act between that and baseball. I feel like is important for our own sanity as a baseball wife to have other outlets because so many things are out of our control and it’s very easy to get sucked into baseball EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 162 games makes for a long season.

This season, I was looking forward to traveling with my husband and having a more flexible schedule allowing me to get more involved with the Padres organization. We are very lucky here in San Diego to have an organization that makes giving back such a huge priority. Philanthropy is so important to Austin and me. The Padres do such a great job helping us get involved with so many incredible organizations. With this season being put on hold, I sure am missing events like “Make A Wish Mondays.”

Padres wives and girlfriends showing the kids around on Make A Wish Monday

What’s your favorite baseball city and why?

Maggie and Austin at Wrigley Field

So far, my favorite baseball city is Chicago! For years, Austin would tell me about how magical Wrigley Field was and the history that stadium held. Two seasons ago, I was able to experience Chicago and Wrigley Field for the first time in all of its glory and it certainly did not disappoint. The energy at that stadium is hard to beat. Also the Chicago dogs are delicious, I had at least 5. Whoops! The games in Chicago just so happened to be while Lollapalooza was taking place. Austin and I live for going to concerts in the off-season, so when there’s day games in Chicago and an amazing music festival with some of our favorite artists playing at Grant Park, it was a dream come true of an unexpected experience! I’ve never been much of a city girl, but Chicago has a special place in my heart now and I look forward to returning someday! 

How are you and Austin keeping busy while the season is in limbo?

Well, just like everyone we’re just trying to normalize a very abnormal situation. We miss baseball and we miss our families a whole lot. But when we look at this time together as a gift and sort of a reset and recharge period, it takes some of the negativity and confusion away. We are staying home and beyond grateful for the essential workers risking their lives every day. Our hearts & prayers go out to those who have been suffering in any way.

Austin and Mr. Beau wearing funny shirts

I don’t know what we would do without our fur baby Mr. Beau. Our 7-year-old black lab is the light of our lives right now and let me tell you, you’ve never seen anyone thriving during quarantine more than this dog. You can’t be unhappy with Mr. Beau Jackson in the room. We have actually been looking into getting him a little brother… so stay tuned!

Our days consist of getting some sort of workout in the beginning of the day (gotta start this way or it doesn’t happen). Those endorphins are so important right now! We’ve found a nice balance of kind of doing our own things during the “work week” day and coming together at night for dinner and binge watching shows. Currently watching: Ozark, West World, and our newest movie challenge is to watch all the best picture winners for the last decade. So far we’ve scratched off Parasite, The Shape of Water, and The Revenant. If you haven’t seen Parasite, do yourself a favor and go watch! That one was a fun surprise that we weren’t expecting to love so much. I’ve learned that we’re not puzzle people and that there’s nothing more satisfying than beating my husband at Super Mario Party!

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