The list of famous wives of Detroit Tigers players isn’t very long, I will grant you that. It’s also not something that normally springs to mind when thinking about the team.

But the Tigers have added, by one, to that tiny list with the signing of backup catcher Matt Treanor yesterday. Treanor is the considerably less famous spouse of Olympic Gold Medalist and pro beach volleyball player Misty May-Treanor.

Misty now joins Nancy Lopez as famous Tigers wives. After those two ladies, the pickings are pretty slim as far as spouses go. And this isn’t to belittle the community and charitable efforts of Tigers wives throughout the years; I only mean famous in terms of name recognition.

Lopez, the retired pro golfer, is still married to Ray Knight, who played for the Tigers in 1988. And it’s another example of the better half nudging out the man for media attention. Knight even served, for a time, as his wife’s caddie on the LPGA Tour.

Knight, these days, works as a TV analyst for Washington Nationals games. Not sure what transgression he committed to get that gig, but there you have it.

Knight came to the Tigers a couple years after his biggest moment in baseball: the ’86 New York Mets’ improbable comeback in Game 6 of the World Series against Boston. It was Knight, who had singled in the ninth inning, who can be seen giddily racing home with the game-winning run after Mookie Wilson’s dribbler somehow eluded first baseman Bill Buckner. It’s easy to read Knight’s feelings as he’s being mobbed at home plate: namely, “I can’t believe we just pulled this off!”

Knight then went to the Orioles in 1987, and was signed by the Tigers as a free agent in time for the ’88 season. Tigers manager Sparky Anderson knew Knight from managing him in Cincinnati. Knight’s swan song in Detroit wasn’t anything to write home about, but for a year the Tigers had a player who was arguably less famous than his wife.


Now, just imagine this photo with Misty in a Tigers jersey

Treanor comes to the Tigers from Florida with a good attitude and some knowledge of the current roster. Treanor played with Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson while with the Marlins. He says he’s excited to be with a team that he feels is capable of winning. And for the record, Treanor says he is very proud of his wife and her volleyball partner Kerri Walsh.

“I get emotional talking about it, because I know how hard she (Misty) worked for it,” Treanor told the Free Press. “Those women are very inspirational to me.”

Nicely said. And what’s also nice is that the Tigers have settled their catching situation in the past week, inking Treanor after trading for starter Gerald Laird. So at least that’s under control.

Oh, and if you’re a Red Sox fan, don’t look, but here’s the Buckner/Wilson/Knight play from 1986:

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