Eli Manning: Ava Is ‘Working on’ Her Throwing Skills

06/16/2012 at 07:00 PM ET
Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic

Eli Manning has a little lady after his own heart!

The Giants quarterback tells PARADE that his 14-month-old daughter Ava Frances is already showing an interest in sports.

“She’s still working on her throwing motion a little bit. She does like playing with footballs, basketballs and baseballs. One of her first words was, ‘Balls,'” says Manning, 31.

“And of course I have a lot of footballs around the house so she’s often picking them up and throwing them. It’s kind of a two-handed toss right now, as expected.”

Often logging long hours on the field, the proud papa admits nothing compares to heading home to his family each night.

“Right when I walk in the door I immediately drop everything and look for her, hoping that she’s not taking a nap or sleeping,” Manning shares. “That you get to run around and play with her a little bit, that’s one of the most exciting things.”

However, the doting dad isn’t taking all the credit when it comes to raising his little girl. Noting that the experience of fatherhood has been nothing short of a “blessing,” he agrees that his wife Abby has taken on much of the responsibility.

“My wife does a lot of the work while I’m away practicing and having commitments,” he says.

But, this Sunday, Manning reveals it’s all about daddy duty as the sports star and Ava will throw out the first pitch during the Mets game at Citi Field.

“I’m looking forward to this being the first Father’s Day where I really have some interaction since she’s 14 months and we can have a fun day, do something active, like going to the Mets game,” he explains.

As for plans to expand their home team in the future, Manning and Abby are open to the possibility. “We haven’t quite timed it all out, but we definitely want to have more kids down the road,” he says.

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 54 comments

Pamela on

You can tell he loves and adores his wife and child-in both the way he speaks about them and photos of the family. He’s a great qb and a great family man 🙂 Go GMen!!

SusiQ on

what a good daddy!

happylime77 on

Sooooo….we can tell he’s a good dad by the fact that his daughter’s first words were “balls”? How about the mom & dad being around more so that her first words were “mama” or “dada”? And unless she is the calmest child alive, she won’t last 2 innings at a baseball game! Oh wait, they’ll be sitting in a luxury box they can load with toys & a nanny to entertain her (unless the cameras are on then they will be good parents for the media)!!

Shannon on

Weird first word. She must spend a lot of time playing alone with her balls. Sad.

Kitty on

For the two idiots @happylime77 and @shannon, the guy is a football player, hence her first word was ball. Use your brain once in awhile before posting garbage.

CRH216 on

Wow jealous much? This guy has lived in the shadow of his brother and dad and still came out on top twice. He’s not out partying, clubbing and getting in trouble like other athletes. He’s going home every night to spend time with his wife and kid. He also shouldn’t have to apologize to anyone for having a good life. What’s wrong with that? He didn’t do anything wrong then take an opportunity that he earned. He’s proven his talents twice with two Superbowl wins. He nor anyone else for that matter should have to aplogize for being successful and earning a good living. Anyone who says they should is just looking for a handout.

Reality Check on

Wow really people – do you not have kids of your own? They said ONE OF her first words was balls not THE first word. They are not saying it’s the ONLY word she says. COME ON!!! Having a child say ball just goes to show you that they are playing and interacting with their child like parents should. Get a life people and stop attacking celebrities – I’m sure you’d say the same about ‘normal’ people too. Get over yourselves & enjoy life. HAPPY FATHERS DAY ELI!

Reality Check on

One of her first words was, ‘Balls,’” says Manning, 31. He didn’t say “Balls” was her first word. It was one of her first words. She could say,” Dada Balls!” Children acquire words from conversation. He must talk to his child!

Nichele on

Geez! People sure like to get upset and complain over every little thing, don’t they?

Eli didn’t say her first word was “balls.” He said ONE of her first words was “balls.” But even if it was her first word, so what? Babies are like sponges; they take everything in and then repeat the things they hear. And he’s a football player – it makes sense that he’d use the word a lot.

Not to mention, it’s a fairly easy word for kids to say. It’s not a hard word for them to form in their little mouths.

As for the rest of it, happylime77, you sound very jealous and petty. You don’t know Eli, his wife or his daughter, so you have no idea how she’ll be at a baseball game or if she even has a nanny. Besides, I actually know quite a few babies who, at that age, would be fine for an entire baseball game. Just because yours wouldn’t behave – or maybe because you don’t know babies with such a calm demeanor – doesn’t mean that all babies wouldn’t last at a game.

(By the way, I’m not a Giants or an Eli Manning fan. In fact, I avidly root against the Giants. But Eli still seems like a nice guy off the field.)

Lisa on

@happylime77 and Shannon, not only are you miserable individuals, but you have reading comprehension issues as well. ONE of her first words was ball. Something IS really sad here, but it’s not Eli Manning and his family. Lovely family, lovely man, btw.

Jenn on

It said “one of her first words” not “her first word.” There’s a lot to be said for comprehension when you’re reading.

happylime77 on

Not jealous, petty, or miserable. I love my life, my wonderful husband, our two beautiful daughters & my family & friends. I just get tired of “celebrities” pimping out their children to get even the tiniest shred of publicity. No, I don’t know Eli or anyone in his family, however neither do any of you…

lisa on

You haters need to get a life! Really? Because ONE of her first words were balls you want to bash this beautiful family?? Eli and his wife obviously love and adore their baby to be gushing about spending time with her and you morons want to complain about her saying ball?? We have people out there abusing kids, or hiring nannies to raise their kids and you have the Mannings who truly delight in their baby girl. Let me guess, you’re probably a bunch of disgruntled Patriots fans who have nothing better to do then cry like babies over the loss of yet another superbowl to the G MEN!

CF98 on

HappyLime77 if you don’t like celebrities pimping out their kids to the media as you put it why are you on a website that is devoted to celebrity kids?

Besides its Father’s Day of course he’ll mention his kid. Otherwise you rarely hear him or his brother talk about their kids at all.

happylime77 on

Ha ha ha!! I want to thank all of you for giving me some of the best belly laughs I’ve had all day! You take one simple statement of disagreement & turn it into a cyber-space lynching! Talk about petty & judgmental…

Fabulous on

happylime77 is nothing more than a dried prune!!!! ShutTheFup!!! People come on here with their dumb ASSumptions because they live miserable lives…. Then come on here behind a computer screen and ACT as if they have a GREAT Life…. Yeah right!!! Go find the nearest exit will ya!!!!??? GREAT article!!! Happy Father’s Day Eli!

M.N. on

Some people are seriously ridiculous and pathetic–always having to stir up some kind of drama about something. My oldest son’s first words, besides “mama” and “dada”, included “ball,” and neither my husband or I are pro-ball players. Come on, people. Manning and his wife seem like great people and loving, doting parents.

Lisa on

happylime77 seems to be suffering from denial as well as utter cluelessness. So, you come onto a public website and make a ridiculous comment about a perfectly harmless father’s day article and then complain about being called out. There’s more than enough negativity in the world without your petty comments contributing to the garbage.

If you have a beef with celebrities “pimping” out their kids, you picked the WRONG celebrity to get on your soapbox about. Eli Manning is “pimping” out his daughter in this interview? LMAO!

happylime77 on

I’m not complaining about being called out. In fact I rather enjoy it. I just find it funny that my one little statement has caused so many of you to bare your fangs & claws. I’ve been called so many names in this one feed than I have in my entire 34 years 🙂 Now THAT’S an accomplishment!!

Sandra on

Eli and his gorgeous wife seem like really great parents. Their daughter Ava is also super cute! Happy father’s day, Eli!

Lisa on

There is no doubt you enjoy it, happylime77. You do get back what you put out ten fold. And you put out a load of garbage. Have fun with it.

happylime77 on

I’ll just grab my snorkel & enjoy the dumpster dive! Thanks for the go ahead Lisa!

CRH216 on

Happylime77 if you are so “happy” with you you husband and kids, why are you on here posting borderline obsessive comments? If that was a true statement, you would be doing something enjoyable with them now for Father’s Day, instead of being on this site bashing a guy who seems like a genuine, nice guy who stays out of the limelight and focuses on his family, something you are failing to do yourself being on here.

Stop trying to get yourself some empty attention and put your money where your mouth is and focus on being a good wife and mom to your husband and kids. You might be happy but do you make them happy? If you are on here all the time, I would say that answer would be no.

Karen on

happylime, it’s not that you’re being called out. Your statements were just very unpleasant and considering what a sweet article it is. Very peculiur. Have a nice day anyway 🙂

meghan on

34? Surprising, since you sound like a child.

meghan on

Happy Father’s Day, Eli!

Sevilla on

Balls? Hmm.

anon1 on

happylime77, your statement wasn’t that simple. you made an assumption that Eli uses nannies which he may or may not use. and you basically attacked Eli. with that being said, that doesn’t excuse others who attacked you and called you names.

to all those who attack other posters and call them names, don’t you think you are being hypocritical? i mean, seriously, you are calling them out for attacking a stranger when some of you are attacking complete strangers as well. can’t we just not call names while arguing our own opinions. it is Okay to make a statement to other posters against their comments but don’t attack them personally or call names.

Kim on

“hoping that she’s not taking a nap or sleeping,”….Isn’t that the same thing?? LMAO!!

happylime77 on

That is crossing a line. How dare you try to describe what sort of wife or mother I am. All I did was state an opinion & then sit back & read as several commentators turned it into a personal attack. Because I chose not to back down, I am accused of neglecting my family. For your information, my husband is at work. But I’m sure you’d just say that’s because he couldn’t stand to be around me. My children are spending the day with their grandparents who live out of state. They get to see them only 4 or 5 times a year & when they come to visit, they take the girls out for a day for some one on one time. However, I’m sure you’ll just think it’s because I don’t want them around. I’m not on here “all the time”. I took time while having my morning coffee to browse through this site…wow! How neglectful I am…

Katie on

Cute! And those comments are ridiculous on the balls comments.. Like others and Kitty has said the father is a football quarterback star.. so get your mind out of stupidity for once and relax. I’m sure a lot of people have help. Shiet… I do and I am a single mom of a 5 year old with no father for my son (his choice not mine). But I digress around stupid people who have no worldly humor let alone solid discussion on a toddler who is 14 months. Pity you.

MrMonkee on

happylime77 is nothing more than a TROLL. They post derogatory comments with the hope of getting/stirring the pot. Best to scroll by and don’t FEED the TROLL.

Amanda on

My first word was “ball”. My dad would come home after work and play ball with me. My second and third words were mama and dada. My son’s first word was “chicken”. Weird, but it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t around. Some of these comments are just plain dumb.

pylgrym on

Her FIRST word was TOUCHDOWN! lol

Anonymous on


“Petty & judgmental?” or “crossing a line?”

I’d say your first post alone was was nothing but petty and judgmental and crossing the line:

“Sooooo….we can tell he’s a good dad by the fact that his daughter’s first words were “balls”? How about the mom & dad being around more so that her first words were “mama” or “dada”?”

“Oh wait, they’ll be sitting in a luxury box they can load with toys & a nanny to entertain her (unless the cameras are on then they will be good parents for the media)!!”

How would you like it if someone said that your child’s first word was something else instead of “mama” or “dada” (after you already said it was only ONE of her first words and THEY apparently can’t read) because you weren’t around enough? Or accuse you of sitting in a luxury box with toys and a nanny to do all the work while you only play a good parent when the cameras on? But I guess comments like the above is only an “opinion” and is perfectly all right when stated by you about a complete stranger, but if the same was posted by someone else about you who also know nothing about you, you’d find it petty and judgmental and crossing a line.

meghan on

happytime, you didn’t have a problem judging the kind of parents the Mannings are. Doesn’t feel good does it? Then don’t dish it out.

Catca on

I’m confused @Happylife77, how did a family with a mother who is a stay at home mom and a dad stating he looks for his daughter first thing when he comes home from work to drop everything and play with her become a family you felt the need to criticize for not spending enough time with their children? Did you actually read the story before commenting? And you do realize that while mama and dada are common first words, (often times mistaken as first words when the baby is actually just babbling), first words run the gamut. He said one of his daughters first words is “balls” because as an athlete he has a lot of balls around the house. “Ball” happens to be a very common word as one of the first ones spoken as well. And he’s quarterback of the Giants, what’s wrong with him taking his daughter with to the luxury skybox to watch her daddy throw out the first pitch? Why do you think she’ll be left with a nanny and a load of toys and be ignored b/c Eli is throwing out the first pitch and then returning to his family when the game starts? You may claim to be happy with your life, but you certainly do sound jealous and intolerant of others with absolutely no basis for your criticisms! If you’re not jealous, why are throwing out nasty words against this family because they have money and fame that your family doesn’t have, even though everything they said about their life is exactly what you claim to value?

Madeline on

Is she cross-eyed??

happylime77 on

I will dish out whatever I chose. I can take it. Obviously you all have a problem with anyone who doesn’t think the same way as you. I’m sorry, but this “troll” will continue to speak her mind no matter how many of you disagree. Feel free to continue to call me names for as long as you like. I’m positive you have nothing better to do either since this is how you choose to spend your day as well.

katie on

How come we dont see Peyton’s twins…. the last time I saw one of them it was November…just wondering.

SouthernGyrl on

I decided to read through all of the comments before posting my own. Thanks to anyone that pointed out the fact that he said ONE of her first words,which is obviously something this happylime person misread.

Also,@happylime777,who are you to judge what type of parents he and his wife are and make assumptions about the way YOU THINK they’re raising their chid,but when someone made the same assumptions about you,you felt they were crossing a line. Sounds a bit hypocritical to me.

J on

Well said happylime77! It’s apparently not ok for you to make a comment but it’s ok for others to slam you, gotta love this page…

happylime77 on

@J – Why thank you! 🙂

meghan on

2J, perhaps people wouldn’t be on @happylime’s case if her comments had anything to do with what the post was about. She’s whining to hear her own voice, a concept I’m sure you are familiar with.

michelle on

awww THIS IS SO CUTE!!!!

Extraordinary on

Oh my. This happylime77 thing is extremely out of hand. Why cant people just respect others opinions? They have a right to their own words and speech. And PLEASE, stop questioning her on her OWN family!

happylime77 on

I’m just the lightning rod for hate on this feed 🙂

Extraordinary on

Im totally on your side. Yes your comment was a bit “different” but i respect your determination to stand your ground. the others have excellent points too, but…they just want to know their right.

ruby on

People, PLEASE turn off the comments on this article.

L on

Chill killas!! Last I checked this was a People mag message board, not an Eli fan club or encouragement card. Happylime can post whatever the f*#% she wants to, as can you! Geez!?!

kshopegirl72 on

Not sure what the big deal is? “Ball” was my son’s first word. It’s the first word of a LOT of kids. It is an easy word for them to say. It IS cute as can be, but just because Eli plays football and his daughter says, “balls”… newsworthy? Really?

Traci on

Happy Father’s Day Eli.

froggirl80 on

I love this article. I knew Ava was a athlete in the making. She is the cutest thing and I am so happy for Eli and Abby. Eli’s got his priorities straight and it shows in the article. Eli loves his wife and child with all his heart and that shows as well.

As for people verbally attacking ELi or his family, we don’t know the situation and it is none of our business. Instead of picking on ELi, we should be thankful that New York has a quarterback who is a nice guy, spends quality time with his family, and is not getting into trouble. I am proud that Eli is our QB and I hope that my futre husband loves me as much as Eli loves Abby.

PS: Peyton and his wife are very private, so that is why you don’t see the twins much.

Bugs on

What the heck, i never thought the “balls” thing was gonna cause such an uproar for some LOL!