Karina Smirnoff engagement: Who is Brad Penny?
Dancing with the Stars pro dancer Karina Smirnoff recently announced her engagement to MLB pitcher Brad Penny. Who is this mysterious guy?
Wonder no more. We have the inside scoop on the Major League Baseball player and how he captured the popular dancer's heart.
Penny was born on May 24, 1978 in Blackwell, Oklahoma. He was an All-state selection and a Frontier Conference Pitcher of the Year at Broken Arrow Senior High School. Kristin Chenoweth is a fellow alum of the school, according to People.
He was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth round during the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft. He officially signed with the ball club on June 4, 1996. He played (and won awards) with various Diamondbacks Double-A teams before being traded to the Florida Marlins in 1999.
Penny is currently a free agent, but the pitcher has played for a variety of teams besides the Diamondbacks and Marlins. He played with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2004-2008, the Boston Red Sox in 2009 and the St. Louis Cardinals in 2010.
His salary ranged somewhere around $7.5 million during his starting pitcher stint with the St. Louis Cardinals. He put that money to good use by buying Smirnoff with a 4.5-carat Assher cut diamond engagement ring, according to People.
Penny reportedly proposed to Smirnoff back in early October, right after she finished a taping of Dancing with the Stars. The to-be-wedded couple have been dating since early 2009 after Smirnoff broke off her engagement with fellow DWTS pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy.