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The ballpark marriage proposal has been done and done again, but one that happened at Fenway Park in the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday night included a surreal twist.
Without apparently notifying the Boston Red Sox, without any acknowledgement by either TV broadcast and while a ballgame continued without seeming to notice what was going on in the front row behind home plate, a man dropped to one knee and proposed to his girlfriend during Shane Victorino's final at-bat.
A few members of the crowd in the rows behind the couple hooted and hollered, as the man offered and the woman accepted, but neither the hometown NESN or visiting YES TV crews mentioned what had to be obvious to anybody who was paying attention at home. The Busted Coverage blog, for example.
Pro players have trained themselves to ignore, or at least minimize, the crowd and crowd noise. It's possible Yankees right-hander David Robertson (who was making his first appearance since being taken off the disabled list) didn't notice or care about the marriage proposal in his line of vision. And Victorino probably was thinking about trying to start a rally in Boston's last ups. And yet it's still kind of bizarre to watch the players interact as usual while a marriage proposal is going on behind them. That the broadcasters made no mention of it was just, well, surreal.
Several odd moments occurred in the Yankees' 14-5 victory — most notably Red Sox slugger Mike Carp pitching a knuckleball and allowing five walks in his inning of work. But the proposal takes the cake.
As The Stew has posted before, most major league teams have a marriage proposal "package," in which you pay them a certain amount of money and they assist you. They'll put it on ballpark's video board, they'll send the mascot over with the ring, whatever. The costs run from about $50, to hundreds of dollars and even much more at some parks. This guy bypassed all of that stuff and got the best possible deal: Free.
We don't know the couple's name, and there have been no obvious reports of them being interviewed yet (if ever). But the guy's plan seemed to be this:
• Wait until the late innings and hopefully the crowd will thin. Luckily, with the Red Sox down 14-5, folks who paid for the front-row seats got a jump on the traffic and cleared out. He needed some luck and got it. In a one-run game, he probably doesn't get the good seats. And does he even propose? It's Red Sox-Yankees for crying out loud.
• Hop on the phone and tell his friends (and have the woman do this too) that they are at the game and to record the broadcast, because they'd be on TV and waving like dopes. This is really the genius part of the plan. There's no way she suspected.
• Be in position for a pair of billion-dollar TV networks to get the whole thing on video, without having to pay a dime. Perhaps he was hoping Michael Kay would notice and do play-by-play but, trust me, Kay's ignorance was better.
The ways to make a ballpark proposal unique seem to be dwindling. This one was creative in its simplicity, even if it needed a little luck. And they managed to pull it off in front of the whole world without it really noticing.
By the way: Victorino grounded out and the Red Sox went down in order.
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