Laura Rutledge of ESPN and Baseball Player Josh Rutledge attend the Party At The Playoff at The GlassHouse
Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for ESPN

Laura Rutledge Met Her MLB Husband at an Alabama Tailgate

Laura Rutledge is a staple on the sidelines during college football season in the Southeastern Conference over the last several years. The sideline reporter and sports journalist has even once been tackled herself and asked out on a date on social media by the player who decked her. While that athlete may have been looking for a spark, Laura Rutledge's husband didn't bump into her on the field.

The 32-year-old Rutledge works for ESPN, SEC Network and CNN International and earned a promotion in June 2020 to replace Wendi Nix as the host of ESPN's NFL Live after signing an extension with ESPN in 2019. Rutledge has pretty much done it all in her broadcasting career thus far.

She's worked on Get Up, SportsCenter, SEC Nation, CNN's New Day and Early Start and HLN's Morning Express with Robin Meade. Prior to landing roles at ESPN, she spent time working San Diego Padres games and Fox broadcasts of Tampa Bay Rays games, covering the San Diego Chargers and hosting "Chargers Insider" and "SD Live" for Fox Sports San Diego in 2013. She used to host the Coors Light PostGame show on Fox College Football and hosted halftime programming for FSN college football games. She even provided Fox College Sports coverage of the NCPA's 2012 National Paintball Championship in Lakeland, Florida, after college.

The talented and beautiful Rutledge was born Laura McKeeman to Deborah McKeeman and Robert McKeeman in St. Petersburg, Florida. She spent her early life on the west coast of Florida and attended Celebration High School in Celebration, Florida.

Rutledge bleeds orange and blue, as she earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Florida. She also used to be a beauty pageant queen who won Miss Florida 2012 and competed in Miss America 2013.

So, who's the lucky man who gets to call Laura his wife? That would be Mr. Josh Rutledge.

Who Is Laura Rutledge's Husband Josh Rutledge?

Josh Rutledge #19 of the San Francisco Giants poses on photo day during MLB Spring Training at Scottsdale Stadium

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Laura's husband is former professional baseball player Josh Rutledge. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, he was a three-year starter on the University of Alabama baseball team from 2008-11.

In Tuscaloosa, Rutledge played shortstop and developed into an All-SEC first team player. He led the team in numerous hitting categories as a freshman, including batting average (.369), hits (99), runs scored (62) and stolen bases (16).

By the time the freshman phenom's NCAA career was up, he was one of the highly touted SEC players ahead of the 2010 MLB Draft. The Colorado Rockies selected him in the third round of the same draft stars like Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Christian Yelich were taken.

Rutledge's Professional Baseball Career

Mitch Moreland #18, Mookie Betts #50, Josh Rutledge #32, Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 and Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox talk on the bench before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park

Photo by Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Rutledge progressed through the minor leagues and earned his call-up to the show in 2012 when the Rockies needed an infielder to replace shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. As a rookie, Rutledge hit .274 with eight home runs and seven stolen bases in 73 games.

He played two more seasons in Colorado and solidified himself as a decent baseball infielder and utility player. He was then traded to the Los Angeles Angels in 2014 and spent times with the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants before officially retiring in 2018.

How Did They Meet?

SEC Network reporter Laura Rutledge reacts to a comment on the set of the Paul Finebaum Show during the SEC Football Kickoff Media Day

Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

RELATED: Georgia RB Ran Over a Sideline Reporter, Then Asked Her Out

Tailgates in the SEC are unlike any other in the country. They're also apparently where people find love.

Laura and Josh met at a random tailgate before an Alabama Crimson Tide football game in 2011. The two even revisited the same tent cupid shot his arrow at five years later.

"Sometimes you walk up to a random tailgate and meet your future husband. That happened to me almost five years ago. So, naturally @jarutledge and I went back to that exact same tailgate today for the first time since we met. We even found the same tent where it all started," Laura wrote on Instagram.

The American beauty pageant titleholder and ballplayer got married in 2013 and took their engagement photos at Coors Field, home of the Rockies where Josh was playing at the time.

They Have a Daughter Together

The pair welcomed a daughter, Reese Katherine Rutledge, to the world in October 2019. They live in Birmingham, where Josh is from.

The sports reporter is still traveling during football seasons, and Josh went back to school to earn his degree from Alabama in 2019. He now works as a financial professional, according to his Instagram.

Laura Rutledge Net Worth

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban is interviewed by ESPN sideline reporter Laura Rutledge following the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers

Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to reports, Laura Rutledge's net worth is an estimated $500,000. Considering she's been climbing the ladder as a rising star with ESPN, that number figures to grow.

This article was originally published on August 25, 2021, and has been updated since. 

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