Karina Smirnoff's groom-to-be is an Oklahoma boy with a good sense of humor

By Rennie Dyball
November 07, 2010 02:00 PM
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Credit: Gustavo Caballero/Getty

Dancing with the Stars pro Karina Smirnoff broke the happy news to PEOPLE on Saturday that she and baseball player Brad Penny are engaged.

So, who is this guy?

Dancing fans were quite familiar with Smirnoff’s ex fiancé, fellow pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy, (the pair called off their engagement last year), but much less is known about Penny, who proposed in October. Want to get to know him a bit better?

1. He’s an Oklahoma boy
The strapping pitcher (he’s 6’4″, 230 lbs.) was born in Blackwell, Okla., and attended Broken Arrow Senior High School. Another well-known alum from the school? Kristin Chenoweth.

2. It’s no wonder he could buy her that rock
The 32-year-old presented Smirnoff, also 32, with a 4.5 carat Asscher Cut diamond, but it probably didn’t break the bank: As a starting pitcher (with 10 years of experience) for the St. Louis Cardinals, Penny’s salary is a reported $7.5 million.

3. He’s well-traveled
Before joining the Cardinals, Penny played for the Florida Marlins, the L.A. Dodgers, the Boston Red Sox and the San Francisco Giants.

4. He’s got a modest fan base
Currently, Penny’s got 1,912 “likes” on his Facebook page, a number that will surely go up now that he s got a high-profile bride to be.

5. He’s got a good sense of humor – and a good heart
In 2005, Sports Illustrated bet 19-year-old Marlins bat boy Nick Cirillo $500 that he couldn’t drink a gallon of milk in an hour without throwing up. Cirillo lost the bet and was suspended by his team for six games, but Penny promised to cover his wages and quipped, “It’s kind of ridiculous that you get a 10-game suspension for steroids and a six-game suspension for milk.”