Class AAA Omaha first baseman Matt Fields came on as a pinch-hitter on May 13 and ended up going zero for two.
But he’ll never forget that day, but not because the Storm Chasers beat New Orleans 5-0.
Fields married his fiancee, Elizabeth, that day — at the Storm Chasers’ stadium, Werner Park in Papillion, Neb., before the game.
“I told myself I would never get married in a baseball field,” Fields said in a phone interview. “I would never do that, and it ended up happening and it makes me glad, because the game is something I’ve been involved in for a very long time and I love. I guess it was only natural that I would have a wedding like that. It meant a lot to me.”
A woman often dreams of a romantic spot for her wedding. A ballpark is not what springs to mind.
“We talked about it, and it was mutual agreement,” Fields said.
“We were going to have it in the courthouse, and she said, ‘No, I don’t want to do it here, because this place kind of makes me a little depressed.’ I was like, all right, how about at the field? If I could get that, would you want to do it? And she said, ‘Of course. I would love to do that.’ ”
Fields said the Storm Chasers were thrilled by the idea. After exchanging vows, the happy couple walked back down the aisle while the Omaha players made an arch of baseball bats.
“It was,” Fields said, “a pretty cool experience.”
That Fields was married at his Class AAA ballpark is kind of a storybook ending. He was cut by the Rays in 2010 while at Class AA after nearly six full seasons in the organization. He quit baseball, then reconsidered and played in the Frontier League. The Royals signed him in 2012, and he started in Class A-Advanced Wilmington. He has since worked his way up the ladder.
Fields is hitting .260 with nine homers and a team-high 34 RBIs this season.
“I’m going to continue to work hard and do what I have to do in order to make my dreams come true,” Fields said. “It’s been amazing to look back and think about everything.”
The Star’s Top 15 Prospect List
1. Kyle Zimmer, P, Class AA Northwest Arkansas
Is out because of an injury
2. Raul Mondesi, SS, Class A-Adv. Wilmington
Has three multi-hit games this month
3. Jorge Bonifacio, OF, Northwest Arkansas
He is hitting just .128 in June
4. Hunter Dozier, 3B, Wilmington
In his last 10 games, he is batting .353 with two homers and 10 RBIs
5. Sean Manaea, LHP, Wilmington
Has 58 strikeouts and 20 walks this season
6. Miguel Almonte, RHP, Wilmington
Has struck out 53 in 55 innings over last 10 starts
7. Orlando Calixte, 3B, Northwest Arkansas
Is batting .333 with all six of his home runs in home games
8. Bubba Starling, OF, Wilmington
In May, he had hitting streaks of 15 games and six games.
9. Christian Binford, RHP, Wilmington
He has issued 11 walks in 12 starts this season
10. Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B, Northwest Arkansas
Has a .313 average in June games with 10 RBIs
11. Jason Adam, RHP, Northwest Arkansas
Key reason for his struggles: opponents hitting .418 with runners in scoring position
12. Sam Selman, LHP, Northwest Arkansas
Has a 2.04 ERA in seven home starts this season
13. Sugar Ray Marimon, RHP, Omaha
Has allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven of his last 10 starts
14. Elier Hernandez, OF, Class A Lexington
Batting .600 (six for 10) in three game since coming off the disabled list
15. Christian Colon, SS, Class AAA Omaha
Hitting .324 with four walks and one strikeout in June