“One Saturday last February, I woke up and there were photos of us scattered all over the floor, and every one was of us at a Nats game. There was a note that said ‘A car is coming to pick you up, and Zimm and I will be waiting for you.’ That’s when I noticed that my dog was missing. So [Sam] had a car pick me up, and the driver got lost — he didn’t know how to get to the ballpark. I essentially had to tell the driver to how to get to my surprise proposal! When we got to Half Street, the driver told me to close my eyes, and I was like, ‘Really? I know where we’re going.’ I mean, what else is on Half Street?
“There will be some Nationals elements to the [April 6] wedding: The groom’s cake will have a Nationals helmet as a cake topper — the kind you get ice cream in — and we’ll have a caricature of us there that we had done at the ballpark.
“We had to pick a day before the team announced the schedule, and we’re not going to be able to go to opening day. I feel terrible about it. I’m flying home to Texas on Saturday, and Sam can’t take any more time off work, because he’s already taking off for the wedding and the honeymoon.
“We’re getting married in Texas, and then we’re going on our honeymoon. The first thing we’ll do as a married couple in the States is to go to the game on April 14. ”
Anthony A. Williams
Chief executive, Federal City Council;
Former D.C. mayor and current season ticket holder
“My dad had a little league team. That’s how I got started. I was an indifferent player, but a good baserunner. The Dodgers coming to L.A., where I grew up, was a big deal, but I really became a Cardinals fan. I was a huge fan of Bob Gibson. He was an African American all-star pitcher — he was really in no-man’s land there. And they were a really fantastic franchise. Then I met my wife, who is from St. Louis, and it cemented the love of the Cardinals for me.
“When I came here, I really felt that Washington needed a team of its own. It’s your home. You have to be for your home team.
“We easily go to 30 games a year. It’s as many as we can get to. I like walking into the park. I like the pace of the game. I like that I can wear whatever I want — no one knows who the hell I am anymore — and just enjoy the day. I sit behind first base, and we always walk over to the kosher hot dog guy in right field.
“I know Washington is going to be a baseball town. We’re a big football town, but you can see it happening. It’s going to take time. We haven’t had that Bobby Thomson Shot-Heard-’Round-the-World moment that helps to build the mythology.
“I think baseball is going to grow again, in all parts of the Washington community. It was huge in the African American community, and I think it will be again. I think about what President Obama said: I love football, but if I had a son, would I let him play football now? I just don’t know.”