Nats' Valentines - JD and Erin

Posted by Cheryl Nichols | 2/14/2011 12:48:00 PM | , , | 0 comments »

A Special Valentine's Day Edition of Nats News Network: Off the Field --

Featuring Washington Nationals RHP John Dale ("J.D.") Martin and his longtime girlfriend (now fianc√©), Erin Smith. JD proposed during the offseason and she said, "Yes!"  Congratulations to the happy couple!

Photo Courtesy of Erin Smith: Erin & JD, 2010
I asked JD and Erin if I could feature them as my Valentine's Day piece and they happily agreed and were gracious to answer a few questions. 

JD and Erin were first introduced in late 2007 by a mutal friend that thought they would hit it off.  I guess that friend had pretty good insincts.  The two met and have been together ever since.

As most people know, baseball has a very long grueling season which can take a toll on relationships.  JD and Erin only got to see each other once a month for the first year and a half, but they were so in love with each other that it became easy.  Erin explained that, "We have so much in common, so much fun together and we were head over heels for one another. I think we both knew we were meant to be together when all we wanted to do was be around each other.  We became best friends that were/are completely in love."

Erin added, "I think any time apart from the person you love is hard, I give all respect to the military men and women that do it for the long period that they have to. I think we handle being on the road very well. JD and I talk, text, and skype a lot during the days and nights. I think it is easier for us since we were long distance for the first year and a half. "

Erin and JD were also kind enough to share their engagement story. 

"JD and I went on a date to celebrate our three year anniversary. We went out for a romantic dinner at 'Paris' in Las Vegas and then stayed downtown for a couple of hours before heading to our house. When we got home, I opened the door and the entire house was lit in candles with a bottle of champagne in the middle of the table. I was so surprised and immediately started crying. He then got on one knee and asked me to marry him. AND I SAID YES!!!"

Photo Courtesy of Erin Smith:
Erin & JD on Engagement Night!

JD and Erin are planning a November wedding in Erin's home state of Louisiana on a plantation.  They are currently working with venues regarding scheduling because they have to plan around their families schedules, venue availability and most importantly (for Erin), around the LSU football schedule.  Erin is a huge LSU Tigers fan.

Erin grew up playing softball (she was also a pitcher!) and basketball and her brother played in the minor leagues.  She describes herself as a sports fan in general.  She grew up as an Atlanta Braves fan and watched them on TBS.

Photo Courtesy of Erin Smith: Erin & JD, Fall 2008

In the off-season JD and Erin live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Going to the movies are probably their favorite offseason activity, however, they also travel to each others' home towns to hunt and fish.  "It is fun for both of us because we love being outdoors and getting to learn something new each time we visit." Erin elaborates, "In Louisiana, I am used to deer hunting and bass fishing and he is from California where he is used to bird hunting and trout fishing, so it is an adventure every time we go to our home towns". When they are not traveling, they enjoy trying different restaurants in the Las Vegas area. "We are hardly ever bored living in Las Vegas!"

Valentine's Day falls on the day before JD will report for spring training so I aked if they had any special plans.  "We will be celebrating Valentine's Day here in Melbourne. We will probably just go on a dinner date and exchange valentine cards and goodies. We usually have a goody bag for each other with some of our favorite things inside."

Erin and JD's final comments. "We are so blessed to get to spend the rest of our lives together!"

JD Martin had his MLB debut with the Washington Nationals on July 20, 2009 and was a member of the starting rotation for rest of 2009 and part of the 2010 season. Unfortunately a bulging disc in his back led to season ending surgery in August 2010. JD has recovered and is now in Viera, Florida ready to report for spring training. We wish him the best!

**On a personal note, JD and Erin are two of the nicest people I've met in baseball.  Thank you both for doing this story. We wish you all the best.