Monday is Hot Baseball Wife Day here at UmpBump, and this week’s honoree is Rie Park, the wife of Phillies hurler Chan Ho Park.
Rie grew up in Japan, as a third generation Korean-Japanese (“Rie” is the Japanese spelling of her name. Her Korean name is “Ri-Hye”). Her father, businessman Park Choong-Seo, is the 76th richest man in Japan.
After graduating from prestigious Sophia University in Tokyo, Rie moved to America to study French Cuisine at the Culinary Institute of America, and actually worked for a time as a French chef before meeting Chan Ho.
The couple was introduced to each other by a mutual friend, and spoke several times on the phone before finally meeting in person. “He was really odd,” Rie recalled. “He kept calling me early in the morning for three straight days.” But when she finally met him, “it felt as though I had known him for a long time.”
After less than a year of dating the couple was married in 2005, in a wedding in Seoul that was attended by Chan Ho’s MLB buddies Hee Seop Choi and Jae Weong Seo.
The couple now has two children – a three year old daughter Elynne, born in 2006, and a 9-month-old daughter born last year, whose name does not appear to be known by the internets.
The two seem to be very much in love, with Chan Ho claiming that his wife’s cooking is even better than his mother’s and Rie saying that Chan Ho scores 100 out of 100 on the good husband scale, particularly praising him because he “willingly changes diapers and bathes the babies.”
Rie’s latest project is a Korean cookbook, entitled Rie’s Kitchen, in which she outlines over 160 different recipes she has cooked for Chan Ho during their marriage. All proceeds are being donated to charity.
More pictures after the jump…