Gina Grimm—Someone You Should Know

June 2017 View more

Gina Grimm spent many a summer day hanging out at Wrigley Field cheering on the Chicago Cubs. Now the Naperville native attends every Cubs home game, and she doesn’t have to sit in the cheap seats.

Grimm, 27, married Cubs relief pitcher Justin Grimm on January 30, 2016. Her husband, who compiled a 2-1 record and 4.10 earned-run average in sixty-eight appearances for the World Series champions last year, recently signed a one-year, $1.825 million contract. “My parents grew up on Addison Street and have been Cubs fans forever,” Grimm says. “I would go to games with my friends. Now I’m in the stands for another reason.”

Before getting married, Grimm was an elite athlete in her own right. She met Justin when both were students at the University of Georgia, where she was an All-American gymnast, helping the Gymdogs win the NCAA title in 2009. Growing up in Naperville, Grimm tried a number of sports but soon focused on gymnastics, training at Arena Gymnastics in Joliet. “By the time I was eight or nine, that was the only sport I was doing,” Grimm says. “It was five-to-six hours a day, five-to-six days a week. I got to learn time management.”

Despite her busy schedule, Grimm fondly remembers a fun childhood. She attended Springbrook Elementary School and Gregory Middle School before graduating in 2008 from Neuqua Valley High School, where her sister, Lisa, was a soccer player. “I always liked to go to the Neuqua Valley football and soccer games,” Grimm says. “I hung out with friends at the McDonald’s on 95th Street.”

Summers featured trips to Centennial Beach, Ribfest and the Last Fling. In fact, Ribfest plays a prominent role in Gina and Justin’s relationship. “The first time Justin came to Naperville we took him to Ribfest, and two years ago, Justin came after a game,” Grimm says. “It’s funny—a lot more people recognized him in Naperville than in Chicago. One time we were getting ice cream and kids were looking at him, then looking him up on their phones.”

Grimm graduated from Georgia in 2013 with degrees in communications and sociology. She worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative until getting married. Ironically, Chicago was what brought them together after a separation. “We dated all of college but we were only in school together for a year because he left after his junior year when he got drafted,” Grimm says. “We actually broke up for a while when he was with the Rangers
because we never saw each other, but we said if we ever got closer we would get back together.”

The two reconnected when Gina’s job brought her to Chicago and Justin was traded to the Cubs. The 2016 season was just part of an incredible year for the Grimms, who honeymooned in Bora Bora soon after the World Series. “[During the playoffs] I felt like I was on a two-month bender,” Grimm says. “I got more nervous for him than when I competed. Now I know what my parents felt when I was competing.”

The Grimms recently bought a house in Nashville and stay in Chicago during the season. Gina has had to furnish both places. “I’m actually busier now than when I was working,” Grimm says, “but Justin won’t see the house until November.”

Grimm’s parents, Joe and Kathy Nuccio, still live in Naperville and can expect regular visits from Justin and Gina, who are living a dream life. “I’ve been with him since the beginning [of his career],” Grimm says. “I’m really proud of him. He has such a great work ethic and to see him achieve his dream is so amazing.”

Major-League WAGS
In addition to supporting their husbands, WAGs (Wives And Girlfriends) of pro athletes support their communities with fundraising efforts. Cubs Charities events are held throughout the year, including Players’ Favorite Things baskets that will be auctioned at Wrigley Field on July 8, 2017. WAGs baskets include one-of-a-kind autographed memorabilia and hand-picked items, such as players’ favorite movies, team gear and more.