DETROIT -- An exhausted Phil Coke, who had spent nearly 24 hours with his wife Bobbie as she gave birth to the couple's first child early Saturday morning, was walking through the clubhouse on Sunday passing out cigars to teammates and showing pictures of his new baby girl.
"I've never had the pure joy of life given to me, literally," said Coke of welcoming his daughter Mickenzie Lou Ann into the world. "It was incredibly special.
"I still don't quite have words to describe what I was feeling. I've been thinking about it every time, and every time I look at my phone I get a little teary-eyed."
After celebrating his 30th birthday on Thursday, Coke said his wife went into labor at 2:40 a.m. CT on Friday and didn't actually give birth to Mickenzie until 2:22 a.m. CT on Saturday. He said the past few nights have made pitching in the big leagues seem simple.
"I was in for my first save replacing Mariano Rivera for a night because he had thrown like four or five days in a row," said Coke, trying to compare two of the most exhausting, but gratifying moments of his life. "I almost coughed up the game. I was out there for, I think, a two-inning save. All of a sudden, that seems easy."
After spending the entirety of the birth with his wife, Coke said he could never complain about an injury again, especially with how tough his wife was.
"She's phenomenal. She's so, so tough," Coke said. "She makes me feel like such a girl. But, then again, if I felt like a girl, I'm tough, too. But she's tougher than me. It was unbelievable.
"She was up walking around [on Saturday]. They were concerned whether she was going to be able to or not, but she popped up and thought nothing of it. I was like 'Whoa. Extra strong. Momma is extra strong.'"