Ashley and David Eckstein value teamwork in baseball, business

There was a time when Ashley Eckstein put her acting career on hold for her husband, David Eckstein — a two-time World Series-winning shortstop for the Angels and the St. Louis Cardinals.

That was in 2008, when the couple moved to Toronto because David signed with the Blue Jays. She was unable to get a work visa in Canada and decided not to stay in Los Angeles, so all of her agents and managers dropped her.

“Of course it was devastating, but at the same time I didn’t second guess that decision because David needed me,” Ashley said. At that point, David had a significant injury history and Ashley wanted to attend all his medical appointments and help take care of him.

“I knew 100% that I needed to be there for him, so I didn’t have any regrets,” she said. “We just have the philosophy to put each other first no matter what.”

The two started dating at the end of the 2003 season, eventually getting married in November 2005. Ashley was in the middle of a successful career and continued acting, earning roles on shows including “Blue Collar TV” and “That’s So Raven” and movies including “Sydney White,” among other projects.

Fast-forward through the 10-plus years since David retired from Major League Baseball and now the couple’s focus is on Ashley’s career as an actress and entrepreneur.

“I was with David for eight seasons when he played and I was able to go to close to 1,000 baseball games in that time,” Ashley said. “And now he’s been able to travel with me and go with me to all of my events.”

Some of those events have included taking David to Skywalker Ranch, where he met George Lucas, and attending the premier of “The Rise of Skywalker,” in which Ashley reprised her role as the voice of Ahsoka Tano.

Ashley Eckstein stands on stage with Robert Iger, George Lucas and Anthony Daniels.

Ashley Eckstein, right, stands on stage with, from left, then-Disney CEO Robert Iger, Star Wars creator George Lucas and actor Anthony Daniels at the Disney Hollywood Studios theme park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., in May 2011.

(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press)

David told Ashley of his plan to retire from baseball before the start of his 10th and final season in 2010.

“She knew fully when I stepped away that I was gonna now be with her to help her because that’s what she did in 2008 when she stepped away from everything to come be with me,” David said.

Some of Ashley’s most recent work includes playing the voice of Ahsoka in a few Star Wars animated TV shows and video games, writing and starring in a series of mental health-geared shorts called “Star Wars Mindful Matters” and running a business. She’s the founder of Her Universe, a fashion and lifestyle brand for women and girls who are sci-fi fans. It hosts an annual fashion show at San Diego Comic Con. David helps Ashley run the show, serving as a vote counter.

David also supported Ashley in the early days of Her Universe, helping her close deals with studio executives because many of them were baseball fans.

“He went from an infielder to a closer,” Ashley said.

Added David: “In 2011, I had three contract offers to come back [to play]. When I said I was done playing baseball, I was done. And I was dedicated to helping her run this business.

He recalled walking into boardrooms and convincing baseball fans who could help fund the company “that Ash was going to hit this and she was going to be 100% all grit, and we’re going to find a way to get things done.”

Ashley also credited David for trying to support her as best he could while he was still in the big leagues. She recalled one spring training when David acknowledged he was too tied up with baseball obligations and encouraged her to build her own team to help her get the license to launch Her Universe.

“Kind of like the Angels, we were scrappy,” Ashley said.

“Hard working,” David added with a laugh.

“I mean, we were just like the 2002 [World Series winning] team. We were the underdogs,” Ashley continued.

Ashley Eckstein poses for a portrait in a purple dress in 2018.

When she isn’t voice acting, Ashley Eckstein runs a company she founded, Her Universe, a fashion and lifestyle brand for women and girls who are sci-fi fans.

(Rebecca Cabage / Invision / Associated Press)

Ashley founded Her Universe in 2010. The brand now has clothing and accessories available at various stores around the country as well as online. Its merchandise themes cater to a wide variety of interests from Marvel, Disney and Studio Ghibli to Harry Potter, Stranger Things and Hamilton.

This summer, the couple visited Angel Stadium for the Angels’ 20th anniversary celebration of its World Series championship. They were also at Dodger Stadium for the USA Baseball High School All-American Game, which David helped coach. And they went to San Diego for the 2022 edition of the Her Universe fashion show.

David said the recurring fashion show, Ashley’s business and the Star Wars events are some of the moments he was especially proud of Ashley.

She said getting to watch David win a second World Series with St. Louis was one of her favorite moments since she didn’t know him when he became a world champion with the Angels. David was the MVP of the 2006 World Series.

“I think it’s also the fact that we get to experience all of this together,” Ashley said.

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