Wives of DeJesus, Getz make surprise move on 'Race'
Friends from KC days use knowledge of airport travel to gain ground in recent episode
KANSAS CITY -- There are certain advantages to being the wife of a big league baseball player.
For example, after years of traveling to your husband's road games, you learn the tricks of airport travel. And, if you happen to be a contestant in "The Amazing Race" on CBS, that can come in handy.
It sure did for Kim DeJesus and Nicky Getz, the "baseball wives" team on the current season of the popular reality TV show. Their knowledge got them a jump in flying from Brazil to Portugal on last week's episode.
"Very savvy. That was a great move, hopefully it doesn't burn 'em in the future," said Chris Getz, Kansas City second baseman and Nicky's husband. "They've got a good feel for most airports and how to go about traveling, that's for sure."
Kim, wife of Tampa Bay outfielder David DeJesus, and Nicky were scrambling with other teams to book an oversold flight to Lisbon. While other teams waited for the airline desk to open at the Sao Paulo airport, the wives coolly sauntered into the airline's executive lounge and asked to be placed first on the standby list. They were and got on the flight, much to the chagrin of their outsmarted rivals, who archly referred to them as "the bunnies."
"That was funny, because I think they just thought we were kind of an innocent team," Nicky Getz said. "And then we pulled that stunt, and I think we were pretty much dead to them. It was pretty funny."
It helped, as they jumped from ninth and last place to third by the end of last Sunday's episode.
"The other teams were mad at us, but it's kind of funny that we just used our baseball knowledge," Kim DeJesus said. "When you travel so much, you just know not to take 'No' for an answer."
"The Amazing Race" started with 11 teams vying for a $1 million prize in an around-the-world race that was filmed over a month last summer. The girls became friends when their husbands were both with the Royals in 2010.
When Kim DeJesus was touring the world, David was with the Cubs, but she returned in time to see him move to Washington, then quickly to Tampa Bay, winding up in the playoffs for the first time this season.
"It was just so cool because it's something he's always dreamed of, so getting to see him experience the playoffs was just an incredible thing," Kim said. "I wish they could've gone farther, but they made a good run for it. Boston is a really good team."
Kim and Nicky are making a pretty good run for it, too. While they flew high in last Sunday's segment, two hulking former NFL teammates, Chester Pitts and Ephraim Salaam, became the third team eliminated. They booked some bad flights and got stranded at an airport -- called the wrong audible.
Chris Getz and David DeJesus could execute a hit-and-run with no problem, but the things their wives have pulled off in this race might be more challenging.
They've gone paragliding off a cliff, dressed like a knight and shot arrows, packed up a shoeshine stand and moved it, and of course, floated in a vat of salt water while reading a newspaper. What?
That was in the second episode, at the Irlanda Salt Mines in Chile. Nicky and Kim had to tote heavy bags of salt and pour enough into this huge vat so they could both float on their backs long enough to peruse the news. They had to do that to obtain the next clue.
"That was interesting," Nicky said. "We were a little bit embarrassed that we were in our bikinis on national television, but other than that, the salt bags were 50 pounds, so we struggled to carry those. We had 25 or 30 of those."
Clue in hand, the girls next had to make a 30-hour bus ride to Santiago, Chile.
"It was like impossible. It was so hot," Nicky said. "All they fed us were like chocolate wafer cookies and carrot juice. So we were starving. This was a tiny bus and I wouldn't want to do it again."
They were also still covered in salty brine.
"Nicky at least washed her hair in the sink at the bus stop, but I didn't even do that," Kim said. "I just looked like a wet dog."
That was not a look that Kim enjoyed. She's a model and actress who has made commercials and several independent films, and is in upcoming movies "Dhoom 3" and "Kathryn Upside Down."
While traveling the world, there was an "It's-a-small-world" discovery. Kim learned that one of the other contestants, Tim Sweeney, played baseball with David DeJesus at Rutgers University.
"David was older than him, but they hung out and were friends," Kim said. "Tim told me that Dave was his mentor in college -- he was like a role model for him because he said Dave was such a hard worker. I thought that was sweet."
Sweeney was an infielder drafted by Montreal in 2002 and he spent a couple years in Class A ball.
"Even after we pulled the airport stunt, he still liked us," Nicky said.
This Sunday's episode takes the teams to Norway, where among other things, they'll plunge into the Arctic.
Kim credits the example of David's hard work and drive for inspiring her on the show and in her own career. His reaction to the TV race?
"He just laughs the whole time and he shakes his head, but he knows I'm like totally insane," she said. "He just thinks it's hilarious to see me out there."
Chris Getz has been watching the Sunday-night episodes, too, and he's been amazed at the girls' grit.
"I didn't know they had that in 'em," he said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.