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Vin Sylvia: Why Sunday was 'the greatest day ever' for a Fisher Cat and his now-fiancee
Kate Schmeling displays the engagement ring she just received from Fisher Cats third baseman Andy Burns at Hampton Beach, hours after Burns won Sunday's game in Manchester with a 10th-inning home run against Trenton. Fisher Cats pitcher/shutter bug Daniel Norris, at the beach unbeknownst to Schmeling, captured the moment. (DANIEL NORRIS)
After the game, Burns and Schmeling drove to Hampton Beach, where he treated her to ocean-view dining, a 23rd rose and a sunset stroll across the sand. And there, before a backdrop of brilliant orange sky and azure blue sea, Burns capped this almost impossibly perfect day by asking Schmeling to marry him.
“When Andy hit the walk-off home run, I was up in the suite and all the other girls were crying,” Schmeling recalled Monday afternoon. “I thought it was kind of crazy how everyone reacted to it — but I was the only one who didn’t know what he had planned.”
More good fortune: Burns had invited oufielder Matt Newman and his wife and infielder Jon Berti and his girlfriend to meet him and Schmeling at Hampton Beach to continue the celebration. Fisher Cats newcomer Daniel Norris, a pretty decent photographer as well as a very talented pitcher, asked to tag along. Schmeling saw someone on the beach taking pictures of the sunset but didn’t know who he was, so Norris was able to capture the proposal in photos without spoiling the surprise.
“From sunup to sundown, it was all just incredible,” she said.
As well as the day went, Burns said he’ll leave planning the couple’s wedding to Schmeling and her mother, with input from his own mom, as well. Given the duration of the baseball season — from the start of spring training in February until Labor Day or later — and the geographical separation of their families — Schmeling is from Michigan, Burns from Colorado — the logistics could get complicated.
Vin Sylvia is a New Hampshire Union Leader deputy managing editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @vinsylvia.