The ultimate wedding present

Ryan McLaughlin and Red Sox Nation Maine governor Rachel Yacouby savor the moment during pregame ceremonies prior to Sunday’s game at Fenway Park. The Red Sox celebrated Maine Day at Fenway on Sunday.

For those of you who may not know, and if you don’t, you must’ve been on Mars, but last weekend, my bachelor days came to a close with an awesome, Les Mills-style wedding day!

At the crack of dawn the next day, the bride and I were up and off to Boston for Maine Day at Fenway – again, this post is not fitness or BodyPump related – but Red Sox Nation delivered me a wedding present I’ll never forget.

You see, Sunday was the celebration of Maine Day at the ballpark as the Sox took on the Kansas City Royals. Earlier this summer, I had heard about a “State your Case” contest, in which Sox fans from Maine could tell the team why they should be honored on the field, with the prize being two free tickets and setting foot on the Fenway diamond.

My case was that my bride had taken a liking to baseball since we met last year, and even though we took in a pair of Sox-Orioles games in Baltimore last summer, she hadn’t experienced the true magic of Fenway, save for a UMaine-UNH hockey thriller in January.

The fact that Maine Day was the day after our wedding was a no-brainer for a contest entry, and it came as no surprise to me when I picked up my phone last week and the Red Sox had notified me that my story was a winner. The prize: Two free box seats, a pregame appearance on the Fenway diamond, and for the bride, a free Sox game, a drink courtesy of the groom at Cask ‘n Flagon and a dinner at Cheesecake Factory!

We met the other winners on Landsdowne Street at 12:30 p.m., where I found out that unfortunately the bride couldn’t join me on the field, as it was a “winners only” thing. It felt really surreal, and my first thought when I stepped on the field was, maybe I could hit a ball over that monster of a wall in left field.

Prior to me and the two other winners going to the mound to be recognized, Adrienne Bennett, who I’ve had the honor to speak with regarding a couple stories for this newspaper, was awarded a proclamation declaring it State of Maine Day at Fenway. She was representing Gov. Paul LePage, who couldn’t be in attendance but delivered a message to the fans.

After that, me and the two other winners took the field, stood on the pitcher’s mound, smiled and waved, and were recognized for our loyalty to the Sox from the Pine Tree State. It felt like it lasted a lifetime, although the whole thing only took a few minutes.

Standing on the same field that Pesky, Ted, Papi, Nomar, Manny and Pedro have graced was the ultimate wedding present for sure. As tired as we both were, we couldn’t have asked for anything better. My fellow Les Mills instructors will attest that this is just as sweeter as being on the same stage as the likes of Ostergaard, Renata, Fleming, McBee and Robinson at Masterclass filmings in New Zealand.

Oh, and as irrelevant as this is, the Red Sox did win the game 8-6.

Ryan McLaughlin

About Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective with BDN readers about what's happening on the Boston professional sports scene.