Here's a sweet story that sounds like a scene from a chick flick, but even hard-hearts will fall for this hardball tale.
While pitching for the Oakland Athletics in 2010, pitcher Brad Ziegler, 32, spotted an attractive woman in the crowd during a spring training game. After the last out, Ziegler decided he was going to try to find the woman in the stadium parking lot.
With odds stacked heavily against him, Ziegler played amateur detective, darting through thousands of fans leaving that afternoon's A's game in search of a stranger.
"I circled it four times," Ziegler told the Arizona Republic. "It was after the game, so there were a lot of people filtering out, but I remembered what she was wearing and what her friend was wearing so whenever I saw them I knew right away, even though it was across the parking lot. I was like, 'There they are.'"
Her name is Kristen, and she was at the game with an old college friend she hadn't seen in years. Let's just say Kristen was a tiny bit surprised when an unfamiliar person approached.
"We were in the parking lot and my girlfriend was talking to a couple people that she met and this car pulled up behind us," Kristen explained to the Arizona Republic. "I was like, 'Well, I don't know anybody here, I don't live in Arizona, so it must be Maria's friend.' Maria looked over and was like, 'I don't know who that is. I don't know that person.' He kind of motioned, 'Come here' with his hand and we were both (unsure, but we went over.)"
The women didn't realize right away that Zeigler was a player. Yet after some small talk they made arrangements to meet later that night. To say it went well would be a pretty big understatement. "He and I really just hit it off, not necessarily in the dating sense because Brad and I started out as friends," Kristen said.
The rest of the story: Brad and Kristen got married in 2011. In fact, the Zieglers tied the knot on 11/11/11 (her favorite number is 11) and they had 111 wedding guests. (Though they claim that part wasn't planned.)
Kristen explained to the Arizona Republic how fortuitous that meeting back in 2010 turned out to be. She almost canceled her trip to Arizona, but a friend talked her into the weekend visit. Kristen also was leaving the state the very next day, so the couple ended up spending lots of time on the phone and, as she pointed out, were friends before they dated seriously.
Ziegler, a relief pitcher, was traded from Oakland to the Arizona Diamondbacks during the 2011 season. He pitched in the National League Divisional Series for Arizona.
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