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Nationals' new star Stephen Strasburg and his low-key life as newlywed with wife Rachel


The Strasburgs at Nationals Park last year. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Washington has Stephen Strasburg mania, poised to reach fever pitch Tuesday night when the rookie pitcher makes his debut at Nationals Park. But fans hoping to glimpse the $15 million man out on the town -- flashing a black Amex card, hanging with his posse at the latest hip bar -- are out of luck. Not gonna happen.

Off the field, Strasburg is a shy, low-key homebody devoted to his bride of five months, Rachel. The newlyweds, both just 21, have deliberately kept out of the public eye by staying at hotels under assumed names and steering clear of reporters and photographers. But she has been at his side every step of his rise from college phenom to major league sensation.

"She's my best friend," Strasburg told our colleague Dave Sheinin. "I can't imagine her not being here."

The former Rachel Lackey, a high school water polo player, was Strasburg's college sweetheart at San Diego State and accompanied him when he was introduced at Nationals Park last August. The couple had dated 18 months before he proposed last fall. The engagement seemed sudden to some insiders -- but not Rachel's mom. "I wasn't surprised at all," Jenny Lackey told us. "They're great together."


Stephen and Rachel at Nationals Park last year. (Rich Lipski/The Washington Post)

The couple wed Jan. 9 at a small outdoor ceremony at South Coast Winery near San Diego, the warmest spot in the United States that day. She wore a strapless white lace gown; her bridesmaids wore fuchsia. Then the newlyweds headed to Hawaii for their honeymoon. The groom was allowed to skip all the Nationals offseason publicity programs but spent every other day working on his arm.

Since then, Strasburg has been pitching in the minor leagues while Rachel adjusts to life as a player's wife: living in temporary housing, attending almost every game, following the team bus on road trips with the other wives. "She's handling it great," said her mom. "She's doing really well."

"Normal couple, down to earth," Syracuse Chiefs third baseman Chase Lambin told the city's Post-Standard newspaper.

That normalcy will be tested next week when every camera in sports focuses on Stephen Strasburg. The Lackeys, who live outside San Diego, are making their first trip to D.C. for their son-in-law's debut, and will see where the couple has decided to live -- a carefully guarded secret for security reasons.

After the game, they'll probably skip the fancy restaurants and head home for playtime with Bentley, the Strasburgs' new Yorkie. "They love their little dog," said Jenny Lackey. "He's hilarious."

By The Reliable Source  |  June 4, 2010; 1:05 AM ET
 
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Comments

flashing a black Amex card, hanging with his posse at the latest hip bar -- are out of luck. Not gonna happen.
-----------------------------
Wow, now was the Post trying to make a racist statement with this little line? Please, tell me the last "white guy" who was out with his "posse"?

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | June 4, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

PublicEnemy you are seriously reaching. not everything is a racial issue. Have you not heard the multitude of stories about Alex Ovechkin out at clubs with hangers on on many WaPo blogs? The same can be said about Ryan Zimmerman his first few years in the majors.

Relax a little man.

Posted by: jpfterps | June 4, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to Washington, Stephen and Rachel! We are glad to have you here and look forward to your tenure with probably greater anticipation than the Obamas.

Remember to keep your wits about you and maintain your positive attitudes. This is a tough town, especially for the young and uninitiated. But I think you'll find the crowds at Nationals Park to be warm, inviting, and ecstatic that you're here.

Go Nats!

Posted by: luv2bikva | June 4, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Greetings:

Here's hoping that the Strasburg family stays low key, relaxed and "normal" at least as far as that is possible in the Washington, D. C. Metro area.

Please know that I'm sure MOST FANS would LOVE for Stephen, his wife Rachel and their Yorkie to have a smooth transition from coddled college star status life, through Minor League "bus and Burger" living into big league star in waiting... HERE IT COMES Major League Baseball lifestyle.

Good luck, stay grounded and keep your wits about you when ALL MANOR of TEMPTATION awaits your every move!!! Remember to take care of yourself off the field. ALWAYS READ the sign hanging over the doorway of EVERY CLUBHOUSE at every level of organized baseball... Take it seriously and never forget your thumping or two along the Class AA and AAA trail.

Best of luck on a wonderful career,

Bob Schnebly
www.bobschnebly.com

Posted by: StarLyrara | June 6, 2010 6:42 AM | Report abuse

For the record: South Coast Winery is not even in San Diego County. It's in the Temecula Valley Wine Country in Riverside County, near the city of Temecula. The area is also in what is called the Inland Empire.

Good luck to Stephen Strasburg in his major league career. A lot of people in the know say he's a once-in-lifetime-type player, which is a lot of weight to put on a young man's shoulders.

Posted by: theduke89 | June 6, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Best of luck to the Lackeys and Welcome to DC!!!

Posted by: Oxygen1 | June 6, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

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