Charleston pitcher Martinez proposes, then pitches in RiverDogs victory
|Charleston pitcher Brady Martinez proposed to girlfriend Josie Hancock before the start of the RiverDogs' game against Augusta earlier this season. (photo courtesy Charleston RiverDogs)
By Chuck King
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Couples get engaged at the ballpark all too frequently, but Brady Martinez managed to put a unique spin on his proposal.
Martinez’s girlfriend Josie Hancock threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Charleston’s game against Augusta. Martinez served as her catcher, then walked to the mound to give her the ball.
“I remember the walk up and I remember just trying to figure out if I wanted to say something, then get on a knee or just kind of get on the knee and then start everything,” Martinez laughed. “I decided to just get on the knee when I got there. I do not remember what I said - she remembers but I don’t. It was like a blackout. I was really nervous and didn’t know what to do. I was confused out there.”
Martinez presented the ring and Hancock, his girlfriend of 18 months, accepted. The couple will be married in a little more than a year (in a church, not a ballpark).
The unusual proposal may have surprised Hancock, but Martinez’s RiverDogs teammates were anxiously watching to see what he would do.
The 25-year-old pitcher told teammates two weeks prior he wanted to do something unusual and asked them for advice.
“I think everybody kind of contributed to it,” fellow pitcher Mike Dunn said. “We talked about it one time when I gave him a ride to the field – what we thought it would be kind of cool to do.”
Dunn was scheduled to be in the stands video taping hitters and pitchers that day. He entered the stands early to make sure he recorded the big event.
“Before it happened I was off to the side trying to hide and get video of Josie of her family and his family in the stands,” Dunn said. “After the game everyone was congratulating and we won so it was that much better.”
Martinez had plenty of reason to celebrate the victory, too.
Unlike the thousands of fans who’ve proposed via stadium announcements, scoreboards on other ballpark props, Martinez still had work to do after Hancock accepted his proposal.
He took the mound and threw a scoreless eighth inning. He returned to try and close the game in the ninth, but was removed after walking the first two batters.
“I don’t think I would add anything else,” Martinez said. “It worked out perfectly. The whole team was excited for it, which made it that much better.”
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