The Braves and Phillies kicked off the 2009 Major League Baseball season tonight, and Opening Day for quite a few more teams takes place tomorrow. To mark the occasion we thought we’d take a look at some of the arm candy on display around MLB. Baseball players live the high life in every way imaginable. It’s arguably the best professional sport to make a living in, with a huge salary pool and an environment that lends itself towards a player being able to enjoy that cash post retirement. Unlike, say, the NFL where injury is a fact of life and your brain can turn to jello after concussions become a regular part of life. MLB groupies are outstanding too, with only the NBA giving them a run for their money. The crème de la crème become wives, and we’ve got 25 great ones here for your enjoyment. We did our best to rank them, but when they are all this hot you could easily rearrange and mix and match and still have a pretty defensible list. Enjoy!
25. Alejandra Tejada
Miguel Tejada has been embroiled in steroid controversy of late (he’s also had to answer questions as to whether he’s actually a couple of years older than he claims – a somewhat common problem for Dominican players), but it’s not all bad. He’s got his huge bank account and ridiculously hot wife to go home to at night.
24. Alicia Rickter
Mike Piazza had some questions following him around questioning his sexuality for a number of years (the New York Post put the rumor in print at one point), which made it somewhat comical when he married former playmate Alicia Rickter. Piazza was so concerned with the rumors that he actually made a public statement asserting his hetero-ness, and I like to imagine that he felt that didn’t do the trick so he went and married what he figured the most red blooded hetero man would be attracted to: a Playmate. She’s hot though, and they’ve had a kid, so yeah, maybe not gay after all. The world may never know for sure.
23. Kelli Pedroia
Dustin Pedroia has had a couple of great years, despite being one of the smaller guys in MLB. He’s managed to be a little larger than life when it comes to his social life, snagging Kelli here.
22. Ashley Eckstein
David Eckstein has had a mighty charmed life. You can’t help but be impressed with a guy who stands 5’6 and weighs 170 who manages an eight season (and counting) MLB career, a World Series MVP, and a woman like Ashley Eckstein. Also, he’s a worse baseball player than Dustrin Pedroia, but he’s done a little better in at least one facet of life.
21. Erica Ellyson
Erica is dating Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz. Buchholz threw a no hitter in his second major league start, but he’s struggled since, and will actually be starting the ’09 season in AAA. Erica is hot enough that we’ll overlook that for now, and Buchholz will almost certainly be up later this year.
20. Emily Kuchar
Emily Kuchar is engaged to Zach Greinke, an interesting Royals pitcher who’s struggled with depression at times, despite having dated Kuchar since high school. He seems to have realized his good fortune of late however, turning in a much improved 2008.
19. Heidi DeRosa
Fantasy Baseball Dugout named Heidi baseball’s hottest wife last year, and she certainly makes a convincing case. Heidi works as a model professionally under the name Heidi Miller.
18. Heidi Hamels
Cole Hamels just won a World Series and he’s married to Heidi here. He’s gotta be loving life.
17. Jennie Finch
Jennie Finch is, of course, one of the most famous female athletes in America, and one of the hottest as well. We had her number five on our list of hottest female athletes of all time. She’s married to Casey Daigle, a journeyman pitcher who’s spent time at the major league level with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
16. Jennifer Lopez
No, not that one. This J-Lo is married to Felipe Lopez, a shortstop who’s played for the Blue Jays, Reds, Nationals, and Cardinals.
15. Michelle Damon
Michelle Damon pretty much shows the power of a major league paycheck. Johnny looks like a caveman and he still managed to do this well for himself. Very impressive!
14. Juliana Ramirez
Manny Ramirez is kind of an idiot savant when it comes to baseball, so I’d love to see what the guy’s home life is like. He’s got a naturally very beautiful wife though, so he’s managed to do at least two things well in his life.
13. Tomoyo Matsuzaka
Dice-K wasn’t the only import Boston fans were glad to see. They’ve also warmed pretty quickly to his extremely cute wife Tomoyo.
12. Lisa Kapler
I can’t find evidence of this anywhere online, but I remember once reading that Gabe Kapler had a freakishly huge head. That was just about the only thing I knew about the guy for a long time. Now I also know he has a pretty hot wife.
11. Julia Schultz
Julia is married to Brett Tomko, a slightly below league average pitcher who has still managed to put together a 12 season career. Wikipedia tells me Brett’s dad named the Cleveland Cavaliers. Which is almost as cool as marrying a Playboy Playmate. Take that old man!
10. Kelly Bartlett
Kelly married Jason Bartlett this past November. Don’t hate the guy though, he won America free tacos during last year’s World Series.
9. Laura Posada
What I said about Johnny Damon applies again. Jorge Posada is kind of an odd looking guy, but put him in a Yankees uniform and he’s scoring 10s.
8. Misty May-Treanor
Misty May-Treanor is probably the only person on our list who is more famous than her husband. Matt Treanor is a catcher for the Tigers, and previously played for the Marlins. His athletic career is probably going to finish up as slightly less impressive than his wife’s.
7. Diana Roberts
Brian Roberts managed to snag Ms. FHM 2006 Diana Chiafair only recently. She’s of Swedish/Italian descent, two nationalities that seem to go together like peanut butter and chocolate.
6. Lisa Dergan Podsednik
Baseball players love their Playmates, and Scott Podsednik is no exception. Lisa isn’t just a Playboy model though, she also works for Fox Sports Net.
5. Laura Cover
The Boone family goes back three generations, and they’ve always been known as a working class kind of family. Grinders, never legendary players, just guys who worked hard. That’s why it was a little strange to find out Aaron Boone is married to someone as flashy as Laura Cover. More power to him though, but it seemed like an odd fit.
4. Jamie Kotsay
This picture was a mini baseball blogging sensation when it was released. Her front’s not bad either.
3. Minka Kelly
Ok, so Minka is only dating Derek Jeter, but we’ve been coveting her for awhile now so she definitely is going to be ranked pretty highly on our list. You could actually put together a pretty respectable list consisting only of women Derek Jeter has dated.
2. Stephanie McGwire
Ok so Mark turned out to be a bit of an ass and a recluse, but I’m not sure I can blame him for not wanting to leave the house when all anyone wants to talk about is steroids. He’s got Stephanie to keep him entertained so I’m sure things really aren’t that bad for McGwire these days.
1. Anna Benson
She is batshit crazy, but sometimes those are the hottest ones, there’s no denying it. Her husband Kris, who must be one of the most pussy whipped guys on earth, just recently won a spot in Rangers rotation after not pitching in the majors the past two seasons. Hopefully he’ll stick, because I wouldn’t mind getting Anna back in the public eye as well. She’s so cute when she tries to talk about grown up things.