Amy and Gary share a love of baseball! In fact, when Amy became a big fan of the Red Sox, Gary knew that if they ever got to Boston he would propose to her at Fenway Park.
So on June 4, 2016, with “Amy Junkersfeld, will you marry me?” posted on the Jumbotron big screen, and millions of people watching, Gary surprised Amy by taking a knee, offering her a ring, and asking her to be his MVP forever. And of course she said “Yes!”
Of course, their wedding ceremony had many baseball references!
In the procession, I carried a copy of the ceremony AND a baseball.
After members of the bridal party entered and took their positions, I threw out the first pitch, which Gary caught. He then ran to home plate and took his position, standing as though he were going to bat.
The music changed and the guests stood up and cheered!
Amy then entered with her escort, took Gary’s hand and stood in position facing him across home plate.
And the ceremony began …
Baseball and Marriage
Welcome, fans from all teams! We are gathered this afternoon, on Rudnick Field, to celebrate the union of Gary and Amy. They are delighted that you are here to cheer them on and witness the Opening Day of their life together!
There’s a saying that “Baseball and marriage have much in common. Both are a team effort. You can’t play baseball by yourself.”
There are fundamental rules to the game, but an infinite number of ways to play it. No two marriages, like no two games, will be the same but there are things you can do to improve your chance for a successful marriage.
The qualities that make a great baseball player or team are the same qualities it takes to win at marriage. Gary and Amy, and all of you in the box seats and the bleachers, I’m here to remind you of those qualities.
Follow These Rules
Know your position: A pitcher doesn’t catch and an outfielder doesn’t rush a bunt. Each position has clearly defined activities associated with it. Understanding what your role in the relationship is will make things flow more smoothly. Unlike in baseball, you and your partner define these roles and expectations. Like when players don’t call for the ball, this can result in confusion, miscommunication, and errors that can cost you the game.
Execute your position: Once you know your role, it’s your job to perform it each and every day. It’s what you promised to do and your teammate (partner) is counting on you. Even if the umpire doesn’t call the strike or the player out at first, you have to shake it off and be ready for the next play. Life throws curve balls all the time. Your job is to push through and do what needs to be done. Dropping the ball means letting your team down.
Focus on fundamentals: Successful marriages, like successful teams, practice the fundamentals over and over again. Developing good relationships skills is essential for avoiding marital problems. Productive communication, conflict resolution, showing respect and affection, and honoring reasonable requests are all skills that can be learned. Honing those skills is key to winning the relationship game.
Always touch base: Baseball games have been lost because a runner missed touching a base. Touching base is very important in marriage, so give consistent affection, support, gentleness and attention, in ways large and small, every day.
Bring your best game: It’s common to ease up when you’re having an off day. But the best players in the game never do. Pete Rose played above his natural ability. Cal Ripken, Jr. played over 2500 games straight, through illness and minor injury. BoSox pitcher Curt Shilling didn’t let an injured ankle and bloody sock keep him from a win – against the Yankees – in the 2004 American League Championship Series.
Not giving up, even when you’re down by 5 in the first inning, is what makes for success. Commitment to your game plan is what will see you through when all seems lost. You might not win that game, but you’ll stay in top form for the next one.
Trust your teammate(s): Your teammates know what to do and you have to let them do it. Don’t take on your partner’s stuff. It’s disrespectful and it doesn’t work. Trust that they will make the necessary adjustments and get back in the game.
Successful baseball teams learn how to put it all together on a regular basis, day after day, over the course of a season. Many of those teams do it successfully year after year. Adopting that same can-do attitude will result in you and your partner creating a winning team.
Just remember: Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. And there’s no crying in baseball – well, I don’t know if that’s true, but I hope any tears you shed will be tears of joy. Because there’s truly no better game than a strong and loving marriage.
So, Amy and Gary, stay in the game, touch all the bases, and win the World Series of Marriage! We’re all rooting for you!
Baseball Details Throughout the Day
Keeping with their theme, Gary and Amy included many baseball-related details in their ceremony and reception:
The ceremony was held on a ball field (of course!) and the backstop was decorated with images of hotdogs, popcorn, and posters of significant moments in Gary and Amy’s relationship.
Instead of traditional flower-stem wrapping, Amy’s bouquet was held in a mitt. Her maid of honor’s bouquet was contained in a popcorn box!
Favors included peanuts, bubble gum and, of course, Cracker Jack
The top layer of their cake looked like a baseball, while the bottom layer was edged with Cracker Jack!
And instead of wearing traditional wedding attire (suit and gown), Gary and Amy wore personalized BoSox Jerseys!
It Was A Grand Slam Wedding!
Because I love baseball, and especially the BoSox, this was one of my favorite weddings of all time!
Congratulations, Gary and Amy! May you always be each other’s greatest fan!!