Billy Beane once said, "how can you not be romantic about baseball?"
For these Washington, DC sports fans, it's not just baseball - they are all love when it comes to their favorite teams. High fives turned into heart eyes, catching a drink after a game turned into a lifelong love and a first date led to a mutual bond over the Caps, Nats, Wizards, Redskins, Mystics, DC United, and Orioles.
I took to Twitter to ask DC sports fans to tell me their love stories, to reminisce on the game that brought them together. Their responses did not disappoint. Here are just a few of the many replies I received:
Twelve years after they had met on AOL and subsequently lost contact, Jesse and Summer finally reconnected and had their first date: a Wizards-Nets game on Feb. 8, 2013. The pair hit it off and a relationship blossomed. Four years to the day later, their son Champ was born Feb. 8, 2017, remarkably, during another matchup between the Wizards and Nets. Champ's baby shower was Wizards-themed, of course, and the new family of three went to a Wizards game for Champ's first birthday. Now, the Joneses are a "sports-loving family of 5." "With AOL and the Wizards, we thank Ted for bringing us together," Jesse said.
Another prior missed connection that led to love was that of Kenneth and Didget. The pair attended high school together in the late 80's, Didget going on to become a Redskinette in 1989. 20-years later, Kenneth reached out to Didget after finding her on classmates.com. Didget converted Kenneth into a diehard Redskins fan, and the pair has had to purchase the highest cable plan and the NFL Ticket to catch every game.
The Redskins also brought love to Chris Gregory and his wife, Mary. After bonding over their love for the Redskins in their '90's glory days, Chris and Mary were married in September of 1992 and attended a Redskins game as part of their honeymoon.
Opening Day of 2015, Nationals in-game host Mike Ploger, met his fiancé Maddy Tettelbach when she was a contestant on his pregame show. Four years later after Maddy had joined the "NatPack" team, Mike proposed to Maddy on the field with a special video tribute on the jumbotron, their families watching in the stands above. Warning: The video below of their proposal will probably make you cry.
Also finding love at Nats Park are these couples: one meeting in the stands, the other having their first date, engagement AND wedding at the Park.
I met my husband at Nats Park in Sec106 during the 2014 season when he was working as an usher and I was sitting in my family’s season tickets seats. We were married in 2017. pic.twitter.com/JAkDdgbuQ8— Kari H ⚾ (@NatsLFBetty) February 11, 2020
One of my first dates with my now wife was to a Nats game. 7 years later, we got engaged and married at the park. pic.twitter.com/MM49ZT1wfR— Matt (@geneticlyperfct) February 11, 2020
Josh and Michelle have always been DC sports fans, so when the Caps and Nats won championships in consecutive years for the first time ever, it was a big deal for them and their relationship. Exactly 200 days before the Nats won Game 7 of the World Series, Josh proposed to Michelle on the mound at Nats Park.
After taking in a Caps game with friends eight years ago, Tasha and Jimmy met walking out of the game on 7th Street. The pair headed to Rocket Bar for some postgame drinks and skee ball and never looked back. Now, the two are engaged and live together in Southwest DC, able to walk to Nats Park to catch games as season ticket holders, to Audi Field for DC United games, and a short Metro ride away from where it all began at Capital One. Tasha and Jimmy took in the Stanley Cup win together and attended every Nats home playoff game and watch party of their 2019 World Series win.
Mark and Alison Hendricks also met at a Caps game -- Game 2 of Caps-Habs 2010, which the Caps won 6-5 in overtime. Alison was there with her dad. Mark was a row in front of them with his friends. "Started with high fives after goals, and 10 years later we are married (with a kid on the way)," Mark said.
A Caps game seemed a popular first date destination for a lot of fans. This couple never misses a chance to catch a Caps game together, even on their wedding day!
Our first official date was at @Capitals game. Neither of us could imagine how important this team would become to us. 6 years later, on March 30, 2019, we watched the Caps take down Tampa Bay during our wedding dinner. Watch every game, no exceptions 😅 pic.twitter.com/2xUB41jm0F— :) (@_efbrown) February 12, 2020
After being set up at a bar while the Caps were playing, Candice turned her now-husband into such a huge Caps fan, they had a Caps-themed engagement shoot.
We got engaged Xmas 2017 & early 2018 set our wedding date for June 7th the next year. On June 7th, 2018, a year b4 our wedding, they won the Cup. My hubs was deployed, so we had to celebrate from afar, but man did the Caps give us a great early wedding gift during a hard year. pic.twitter.com/1mqtFL5z6f— CandiceElyse (@CandiceElyse) February 11, 2020
Corey Brown and Megan Miller's first date was at a Caps-Canucks game, now making it a point to attend every home game against Vancouver. When the Canucks came to town this past November, Corey got penalty box package tickets and hired a photographer to capture the moment he bent down on one knee during warm-ups.
Emmaly Kiley knew Mike was the one when he gave her a personalized Caps jersey from 1992. But when the season ticket holders' wedding day fell on a Caps game day, they had to improvise. "Photographer in tow, we headed to Verizon Center and couldn’t NOT include Caps fans in our day," Emmaly said.
After two years of trying to court Jenn the baseball fan, Nick the hockey fan finally got her to agree to a date at an Orioles game. Jenn converted Nick into a baseball fan and Nick turned Jenn into a hockey fan. When they got married years later, they had a Caps and O's themed wedding. They also had former player Troy Brouwer do their pregnancy announcement, named their son Troy Nicklas after Brouwer and Backstrom and watched the Caps hoist the Stanley Cup in person for Game 5 in Las Vegas. Now together 10 years, their 4-year-old son Troy can name every Caps player on the roster, gives recaps after every game and plays hockey himself.
DC United brought Ashley and her boyfriend together.
My boyfriend and I got together because of our love for @dcunited. We never miss going to a game together. This is at the last game at RFK, and we were there for the first game at Audi. So many amazing memories w/ him involving the team. pic.twitter.com/z2FXV8UR12— ash (@ashleyjtippie) February 12, 2020
Abby met her boyfriend while watching the Mystics win their first-ever championship in a bar.
Of course, love doesn't always have to be romantic. Alex recalls bonding with his infant daughter as he held her while watching the Nats go on their World Series run.
Not romantic love, but I fell in love with my infant daughter as I held her during every game of the @Nationals title run. She was 4 days old when we beat the Brewers on Oct. 1st, and I told all my friends I knew we were winning the WS bc of baby magic. #mlb #baseball #babymagic— Alex The Analyst (@realAlexChapple) February 11, 2020
For Angelica Vergel Dios, striking up a conversation with co-worker Jodi Aime about her Capitals mug, led to a lifelong friendship. "She asked if I had ever been to the Hockey n heels event and I said no, I can’t wear heels," Vergel Dios said. "It’s been our running joke since then! We’ve become such close friends that we consider us “framily” (friends who are family). She and her kids spend holidays with us, and we all go to games together. We were all together the night that we won the Cup!"
There's something about sports that brings people together. The teams we know and love brought lifelong friendships and partnerships.
So, DC sports fans, if you haven't found "the one" yet, support your teams, go to games, head out to catch a game at a bar or restaurant. You never know, it might just change your life.
Happy Valentine's Day, District of Champions.