Set your heart aflutter with our series “Love Stories,” which features unique couples whose tales will inspire you to celebrate and #ShareYourLoveStory this Valentine’s Day. This love story features all-star third baseman Justin Turner and his wife, Kourtney.
Baseball star Justin Turner took a swing during a chance meeting with Kourtney Pogue nearly a decade ago. And the result was far from a strikeout.
The flame-haired third baseman was still a struggling young player with New York when he met Kourtney at a 2012 event in Los Angeles and immediately charmed the UCLA student.
“It wasn’t really my scene, and I was ready to go home when he approached me and said, ‘Come have a drink with me and relax,'” Kourtney remembers of their first encounter. They spent the rest of the night deep in conversation and went their own ways not knowing whether they’d ever meet again. She lived in LA and he was anchored in the Big Apple.
“But I got a call a couple of days later, and he invited me to hang out at his parents’ house in LA — which I thought was a big step,” Kourtney recalls.
“It was totally crazy and unscripted,” Justin agrees.
And they’ve been a team ever since.
Beating the odds
Still, the travel demands of the superstar’s baseball career would be tough on any new couple, but Justin knew what he had with Kourtney and made it a point to go out of his way to convince her how special she was to him.
“I was still in New York and Kourt was here in LA, so we spent a lot of time on Facetime…and I used flowers to let her know I was excited to see her.”
Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to send a reminder to people you care about to let them know you’re thinking about them and you love them. I think everyone needs that reminder. It’s a better time than ever.
All-Star Third Baseman
The small, but thoughtful gesture scored big with Kourtney.
“Something that seemed as simple as a flower delivery went a long way with me,” she admits. “Going through that long-distance separation early made us so much stronger.”
Luckily, Justin would sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2014 season, where he would blossom into an All-Star, leading the team to the World Series three times and becoming a champion in 2020.
Justin and Kourtney also celebrated their own triumph with a romantic, storybook wedding, officiated by legendary Los Angeles pitcher Orel Hershiser, in beautiful San Jose del Cabo in Mexico in 2017.
Meanwhile, Kourtney had become a successful actress and businesswoman in her own right and the demands of their schedules would continue to keep them apart for weeks at a time — making their romantic moments too few and far between.
Finding their sweet spot
As a result, they have made Valentine’s a special day for each other. Both say they spend the holiday to show how much they mean to each other.
“It kind of signifies the end of the offseason before he goes back into his crazy schedule,” Kourtney says. “So, Valentine’s Day is a benchmark date for us where we celebrate the offseason, the start of the new season — and our marriage.
“It’s become one of my favorite days of the year.”
And though he spends half the year chasing another championship with his team, Justin shares his wife’s sentimental affection for the landmark lovers’ holiday.
“Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to send a reminder to people you care about to let them know you’re thinking about them and you love them,” he says. “I think everyone needs that reminder. It’s a better time than ever.”
Says Kourtney: “I think a lot of people maybe shy away from it, but we like to lean into it. It’s just the little gestures, getting flowers, going to dinner. We can always use another reason to get out and celebrate each other.”
This year, the guy who mans the hot corner for the Dodgers made sure to reaffirm his commitment to Kourtney by surprising her with flowers to commemorate their courtship and marriage.