In my years as a Nationals fan, I’ve witnessed many of the players’ achievements. I saw Stephen Strasburg’s first game, where he struck out 14 and electrified the park as had never been done before. Then, a little over a year later, I watched his triumphant return after he underwent Tommy John surgery and therapy. I’ve seen Ryan Zimmerman hit a walk-off home run against the Phillies, Drew Storen rack up countless saves and Pudge remind opposing base runners that “you can’t run on me.”
I feel a sense of pride and excitement every time one of the Nationals does something good, like they were my own children (or maybe an older brother), and I have no intention of that changing.
But Saturday, February 11, 2012 it was my turn.
No, I didn’t hit a home run, make a game-saving catch or steal third. I didn’t even make the Nats Pack, so my apologies if you were counting on me to toss you an out-dated, oversized t-shirt.
Instead, I woke up that morning to my roommate knocking on my door, telling me I needed to check on Zimm, mine and Sam’s beagle. When I asked why, he simply said “I don’t know.”
Fearing the worst, I jumped out of bed, opened the door, and quickly realized that nothing was wrong with Zimm. On the floor was an 8×10 photo of Sam and I from a Nationals game, with a rose on it. Down the hall and into the living room there were more of the same. I didn’t realize that the person sitting in our living room chair filming me was our roommate and not Sam until I saw the final photo, sitting on our kitchen table. It read:
“Please head down to the lobby at 9:30 AM. a car will be waiting. Zimm and I will be waiting at your destination! See you soon.”
Given that Sam and I had been dating for over 4 years, and we had already begun planning a future together, I had a pretty good idea that this was it. He was finally going to pop the question!!! As I hurried to get ready (I had only been given 30 minutes to prepare for this momentous occasion), it occurred to me that I was probably headed to NatsPark. After all, that was the scene of the pictures on the floor, and I knew there weren’t many places he would take Zimm!
It’s a good thing I figured it out, because my driver apparently didn’t spend much time on that side of town, and ended up needing my help. When we finally pulled up, I saw Sam, Zimm and a friend of Sam’s (he had thought to bring a photographer!) waiting for me.
Sam lead me to right in the middle of the front gate, where he said a lot of sweet things about me that neither of us remember very well at this point (it was cold and a little rainy). He then informed me that Zimm wanted to offer his advice before Sam asked me the question that I knew was coming. On Zimm’s collar was note that said “Mom, please say yes!” As if I needed any persuading.
Sam then dropped down on one knee, and in front of the place where we’ve spent so many wonderful rainy, sunny, humid, windy or cold hours together rooting for the one team we both support, he asked me to marry him.
I probably won’t make in my lifetime what Jayson Werth makes per strike out, but if you ask me, my life is plenty rich. Rich with love, contentment, an exciting future and of course, lots of baseball with my future husband.
So, as you can imagine, the term “baseball diamond” has taken on a whole new meaning for me. 🙂