Patrick Morris had traveled from Maine to propose to his girlfriend in Pensacola during the Fourth of July weekend.
He was searching for a creative way to do it.
And then an idea struck Friday night louder than a Eury Perez fastball. Why not right here at Blue Wahoos Stadium? Why not after the game, right before an added fireworks show launched?
“So, it was in the second inning. I thought that would be pretty cool,” Morris said later, after she said yes. “We went up to (Fan Services) booth on the concourse and you guys (Blue Wahoos staff members) actually made up a plan.
“And I thought, yes, this sounds perfect. And so that’s how we did it.”
The surprise choreography included Blue Wahoos emcee “Downtown Dave” pausing the fans’ countdown to fireworks show for a brief interlude.
With the friends of his soon-to-be finance’ Katie gathered around the home plate area, Morris quickly dropped to one knee and proposed. His girlfriend is stationed in Pensacola as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Now, with the crowd cheering and Katie emotional, embracing her boyfriend, it was another one-of-a-kind moment at Blue Wahoos Stadium.
“It turned out very cool,” Morris said.
That was part of a special night where the outcome of the game – an 8-0 Biscuits win against the Blue Wahoos – was secondary to game experience.
Before the stadium gates opened Friday, three lines had formed outside the ballpark with people waiting to receive the Giveaway Friday item – a Blue Wahoos decorative Hawaiian shirt, provided by game sponsor Landshark.
When the gates opened at 5:30 p.m., all the shirts were gone in just eight minutes from three different locations.
The massive popularity of the shirts matched a year ago when Landshark also sponsored a shirt giveaway. One of the first couple to receive the shirts arrived at 3 p.m.. Only those ages 21-up received the shirts, due to Landshark being an alcoholic beverage sponsor.
Blue Wahoos season-ticket holders also had option to reserve one. That is part of the perks of being a season ticket holder, as it includes a voucher to guarantee one of the season’s giveaway items.
Many of the fans quickly took the shirts, all sized men’s XL, out of the plastic bag and wore the shirts during the game.
It was part of a festive atmosphere that included an added fireworks show and the engagement proposal. The Blue Wahoos will now finished the homestand on Saturday and Sunday by having staged four fireworks shows in five nights.
In addition, the stadium is hosting a free watch party on Fourth of July Monday for the Pensacola Sertoma Fireworks Show, which occurs a short distance away on the Bayfront Parkway waterfront. The stadium will open at 6 p.m. so fans can be entertained the Pensacola Symphony concert, sponsored by Peter Mougey of the Levin Papantonio Rafferty Law firm, that will take place at the Hunter Amphitheater behind center field.
The Blue Wahoos game itself Friday fizzled for the home team. The Blue Wahoos managed only four hits in the game and had just eight baserunners.
Starter Zach McCambley was terrific through five innings, after escaping a bases-loaded situation in the second inning and giving up just one run.
But he was touched up for four runs in the sixth inning before exiting. The first two batters reached on hits, including an RBI double. The next batters walked to load the bases, setting up a two-run single by Biscuits’ designated hitter Erik Ostberg.
The Biscuits then added three more runs in the ninth.
The loss became the Blue Wahoos fourth in the last five games and dropped them to 1-2 to begin the second half schedule. The Blue Wahoos and Biscuits will play a doubleheader Saturday, beginning at 4:05 p.m. Following the second game, another fireworks show will ensue.
--- Two of the world renown performers on ABC's Dancing With The Stars, the couple tandem of Daniella Karagach and Pasha Pashkov, attended Friday's game after performing at the Saenger Theater. The two were part of the cast of "LIfe's A Dance" show on Thursday at the Saenger Theater. The event benefitted Junior Achievement of Northwest Florida.
Both Daniella and Pasha threw out ceremonial first pitches. Pashkov is a Russian born dancer; Karagach was born in New York after her parents immigrated.
--- The post-game fireworks were part of three shows in three days. The Blue Wahoos will have their traditional Saturday night fireworks show, then a special pre-Fourth of July show on Sunday that will be an expanded display, the longest show of the season. The Blue Wahoos will be on the road on Monday against the Mississippi Braves for the Fourth of July, but the stadium will host a watch party for the downtown Sertoma show.
BLUE WAHOOS WEEKEND
WHO: Montgomery Biscuits vs. Blue Wahoos
WHEN: Saturday and Sunday.
WHERE: Blue Wahoos Stadium.
GAMETIMES: Doubleheader Saturday beginning at 4:05 p.m. with two 7-inning games. Sunday's game starts at 6:05 p.m.
RADIO: : ESPN-Pensacola (99.1 FM and 1330 AM and WYCT 98.7 HD4).
TV: YurView (check provider) and MILB.tv (streaming) through www.milb.com/live-stream-games with subscription discount using BLUE WAHOOS.
PROMOTIONS –Saturday – Fireworks Saturday with post-game show. Plus team will wear the specialty Navy baseball uniforms for the final time and the auction for those jerseys will be completed.
Sunday – Special start time at 6:05 to allow for the annual Wahoos Fourth of July enhanced fireworks show. Team will wear stars and stripes Fourth of July uniforms and kids will run the bases following the game.