Emma Cain is the fiancée of Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks, who’s going to the mound to try to save the Cubs’ season against the Washington Nationals in Game 5 of the National League Division Series. Hendricks was lights out in the series opener, tossing seven shutout innings and allowing the Cubs to steal the first game of the series in the nation’s capital.
Here’s what you need to know about the 27-year-old hurler’s fiancee, Emma Cain.
1. The Couple Have Been Dating Since Hendricks Was in the Minor Leagues
Cain was posting on social media about her relationship with Hendricks as far back as 2014, when he was one of the Cubs’ top pitching prospects.
She also tweeted that year that she had been together with Hendricks for three years, dating back to when Hendricks first pitched in her hometown of Spokane, Wash. in 2011.
In fact, Hendricks won the Cubs’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year award in 2013, his first full season in the Chicago organization after he was dealt at the 2012 non-waiver trade deadline from the Texas Rangers in exchange for big-league pitcher Ryan Dempster. The Southern California native made his Major League debut on July 10, 2014.
2. She’s an Athlete Herself
Cain isn’t the type of significant other who only watches baseball because the man in her life plays the sport. She’s a talented athlete in her own right, having competed for Eastern Washington’s cross country team during her college days. At the same time, Hendricks was pitching in Spokane, Wash. in short-season A baseball, just a few miles from Eastern’s campus in Cheney, Wash., leading to them beginning the relationship that they’ve kept going ever since.
Cain has continued her athletic endeavors while following her soon-to-be husband’s career. Earlier this year, she competed in the Chicago Triathlon and placed in the top 25 percent of all females, completing the event with a time of 1:48.27.
She’s also an avid follower of sports that neither she nor Hendricks participate in. Besides her support for Eastern Washington’s athletics, she’s also been known to offer support on her social media pages for other schools in the Evergreen State, such as the University of Washington and Gonzaga. She also counts herself as a fan of the Seattle Seahawks.
3. She’s a Nursing School Graduate
Reportedly, Cain is now a certified nurse and was able to earn her degree despite living the life of a minor league baseball significant other and moving around with Hendricks as he moved up the minor-league ladder of first the Rangers and then the Cubs. When Hendricks joined the Cubs organization, Cain was right there with him. According to her Twitter feed, she lived with him at least through stints with Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa.
Cain’s advanced degree makes her a good match for Hendricks, who at least on paper would be one of baseball’s smartest players. One of the few former Ivy Leaguers in the Major Leagues, Hendricks graduated from Dartmouth College with an economics degree in December of 2013, after balancing his studies and his pro baseball career since 2011 when he was drafted out of Dartmouth in the eighth round by the Rangers.
4. She Loves Animals
If there’s anything that can compete with Cain’s love for Hendricks, it’s her love for animals. In 2016, Cain posted the above picture to her Instagram account. According to her own description, that cat is Max, who belongs to Hendricks himself. But Cain didn’t just intend to post a cute picture of herself with her boyfriend’s cat — she had a message to convey.
“I’ve always had a love for all animals (Yes EVEN cats for all you dog people!) but this kitty in particular has held a special place in Kyle’s and my heart since the day we met him in the shelter,” she wrote.
“I still ask myself who saved who! Please, please, please, do NOT ‘shop’ for your pets. Go to your local #nokillshelter and adopt pets who need and want loving homes! Thank you @pawschicago for the blessing of this little cuddle bug. We are forever grateful!!!!”
That post wasn’t a one-off example. Cain has been known to retweet posts from PAWS Chicago, the largest no-kill shelter in the Windy City. When she sees a picture of an animal waiting for someone to adopt it, she’s happy to repost the picture to her own page and do her part to help a deserving pet find their forever home.
5. Hendricks and Cain Will be Married Next Month
Cain and Hendricks have been planning their wedding since February of 2016, when Hendricks proposed to her while the two were in Mesa, Ariz., for Hendricks’ spring training. The two of them had a long relationship, having dated for five years before officially deciding on marriage, and they opted for a lengthy amount of time to plan the wedding.
They also made sure to choose a date that wouldn’t conflict with Hendricks’ ability to play in the World Series. The final game of the World Series is scheduled for Nov. 1 if the Fall Classic goes the full seven games, while Cain and Hendricks will have their wedding on Nov. 11.
With a wedding so close to the end of the World Series, a strong performance and another Cubs championship could mean that Hendricks and Cain find themselves in a similar situation to that of Cleveland pitcher Ryan Merritt, who pitched the Indians into the World Series in 2016 by shutting down the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 5 of the ALCS. When he returned home, Merritt found he and his then-fiancee needed a new wedding registry for friends and family because grateful Indians fans had already bought everything the couple had asked for.
Cain and Hendricks won’t run into that situation, because their registry has already been fulfilled. However, the couple still has a space for gift cards on their Crate and Barrel registry, which could lead to Cubs fans offering gifts of their own.