Ashley grew up traveling from state to state with her parents Derek and Danielle Parks. Derek played Major League Baseball for the Minnesota Twins, so Ashley spent a lot of time in the stands of the Metrodome socializing with others and entertaining anyone who would watch her. When baseball winded down, her family found their way back to southern California and eventually settled in the city of Rancho Cucamonga. Ashley grew up heavily invoved in sports and found her love for the game of soccer (unlike her two younger sisters, Chelsea and Delaney, who play water polo). She played both varsity soccer at Los Osos High School and club soccer for Arsenal FC, and she also was captain for her high school cheerleading team.
The countless practices and games paid off when Ashley was rewarded with a scholarship to play Division 1 soccer for the University of California, Riverside. There she played 4 years in the program and was Captain for her final two years playing. Ashley received her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Primary in Media & Cultural Studies and a Secondary in Sociology. She also walked away with the "love of her life," Joe Kelly!
In 2011, Ashley started her career in the sports industry with the Los Angeles Clippers in their Sales department. After exceeding in group sales, she made her way into Major League Soccer and became an Account Executive in Youth Soccer Programs for Chivas USA. Although the numerous encounters with David Beckham (Ashley's other boyfriend) and other notable soccer players were amazing, Ashley left Chivas USA and is currently planning for the wedding, taking care of their two furry sons, and preparing for the move to wherever baseball leads Joseph and her.
Joseph grew up in Anaheim, California with his parents, Joe and Andrea, and his three siblings, Lennae, Chris, and Nolan. There was never a dull moment on the Clementine cul-de-sac since four of the homes on the street were taken by the Valencia clan. All of Joseph's siblings and cousins would get together and play street hockey, kick-the-can, basketball, and, of course, baseball. At the age of 11, Joseph's family moved to Corona, California where he continued to excel in baseball. He made a name for himself at Corona High School where he played varsity baseball as an outfielder.
Hard work paid off for Joseph when he was recruited by the highly talented UC Riverside baseball program. He received a scholarship to play for the Division 1 Highlanders; the amazing move that started his pitching career. There he was converted to a closer after a quick toss off the mound one day in Vans...the rest is history. Joseph broke records and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals on June 9, 2009.
Almost three years later to the day, Joseph achieved his dream of "making it" to the big leagues after getting the call to pack his bags and head to St. Lou! He left quite an impression with the organization after having a successful and solid rookie season-rocking the glasses, Joe-hawk, and inheriting quite the giraffe-loving fanbase. Currently, Joseph is focused on rocking out spring training, watching his younger brother Nolan play high school basketball as his other brother Mikey leads the "Red Sea" of Corona fans, and spending time with family and Ash before the busy season is underway.
How We Met
Joseph and Ashley both met while attending UCR. Joseph played on the baseball team and Ashley played on the soccer team. From the athletic training room (where Joseph and Ashley both spent a lot of time with trainers working on their weak ankles) to classes that all of the athletes would try to take together, they both found themselves at the same places around the same times.
The first time that Joseph and Ashley met was in their first year of college in 2006. Joseph went to Ashley's dorm room around Halloween with a teammate of his and both were dressed in small firemen outfits. After that wonderful first impression, they would see one another here and there on campus, but never enough to hang out one on one. At the beginning of their second year, Joseph made his way over to Ashley's apartment where a ton of athletes from different teams were hanging out for the night. Ashley had her eye on Joseph, but never thought that she was his type. Little did she know...
The two started hanging out with one another and eventually Joseph asked Ashley out on a date to the movies where they watched PS I Love You (clearly Joseph's pick). You can definitely say that he fell for her, literally, when he found himself face planted to the floor after falling over the ropes in the ticket line. From there on out, Joseph and Ashley became inseparable. Joseph made it to almost every one of Ashley's soccer games and Ashley to almost every 7th-9th inning of Joseph's baseball games (oh the easy schedule that she had as his girlfriend when he was a closer). They took every quarter of Spanish class together as "companeros," rode to and from class on one bike (Joseph would ride Ashley's pink and white beach cruiser with her on the handle bars), and explored everything that college at Riverside had to offer (they both even spent the night on the school's baseball mound and woke up soaked by the sprinklers--shh!).
Attending UCR was a blessing in disguise for the two lovebirds! They both received a UC education, competed in the sports that they love, and found their best friend all at one time. GO HIGHLANDERS!