Terry Kennedy makes choices every day as manager of the Tucson Padres, but he considers his off-field decisions just as carefully as he does as the ones on it.
Kennedy spent 14 years in the majors, playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants. He was elected four times to the All-Star Game in the 1980s.
After retiring as a player, Kennedy began his coaching career. When he was a coordinator for the Chicago Cubs in 2000, the team offered Kennedy a position as a major league coach.
“I turned it down, because my family comes first,” he said. “You know, my dad (Bob) was in baseball for 58 years, and the first game he ever saw me play was a big league game. So I just decided that family was more important. I think I missed my window as a manager in the majors, but that’s OK.”
Kennedy has been married for 33 years and now has three granddaughters.
In addition to Kennedy, many Padres players have families and make them a priority.
Second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir had his first child this past off-season. His son Jiles is now 8 months old.
“(Having a child) changes your perspective,” Hoffpauir said. “You realize that this game is not everything in the world. My son doesn’t care whether I do good or bad when I come home to see him.”
The Mississippi native married his wife Molly on November 7, 2009.
Left fielder Steve Tolleson got married at the same age that Kennedy did: 22. The 27-year-old is expecting his first child in January 2012.
“I actually found out that my wife was pregnant on the same day that I was traded to the Padres, so it was a life-changing day,” Tolleson said.
“I think the toughest thing about this game is being away from your family. Everyone thinks (being a baseball player) is this lavish lifestyle, but it’s really tough when you travel half the year and are away from your loved ones.”
Tolleson is looking forward to finding out the sex of his baby when the season ends. He and his wife have not chosen names yet.
“It’s hard being on the road so much, but I think all the guys know that it is part of it,” Hoffpauir said. “It’s part of this lifestyle, and you have to deal with that. It’s tough being away, but it’s good to be here too.”
Kennedy said he really enjoys winning on Family Night, which takes place every Friday at Kino Stadium.
“Family Night is always really special to me and the team, because we see a lot of kids with their families in the stands,” Kennedy said. “It’s great that the kids are being exposed to baseball, and the players always sign for them. We love seeing families out there together.”
The Tucson Padres finished their season tonight in Reno, with a final record of 65-79.