On this day in 1983 in Southern California, my parents, Stephen Phillip Scheerer and Monica Janice Hlivyak became husband and wife. Still going strong, my parents are celebrating their 30th anniversary today in the quaint Bavarian town of Leavenworth, Wash.
Ironically enough, my parents spent their 10th anniversary in Leavenworth as well – visiting the local sites and seeing the town of Roslyn, where the then-hit CBS comedy Northern Exposure was filmed.
I write this post in tribute to my parents, and to wish them a happy anniversary with many more to come.
One of the things they always told me when it comes to relationships is that it is always about give and take and if you love someone it’s really no thing.
18 years ago tonight, the Seattle Mariners played a crucial game five against the New York Yankees in the American League Divisional Series. My parents went to dinner that night to celebrate their 12th anniversary while I was at my Grandma’s house for the evening watching the game.
Though I’m quite sure the game was always in the back of my dad’s mind, he ate dinner with mom and pulled the old “I have to run to the restroom” routine to catch up on the game.
With the Mariners trailing the Yankees in the bottom of the eighth inning, 4-2, Seattle savior Ken Griffey Jr. hit a two-run homer to tie the game going into the ninth inning.
In the following inning, “The Big Unit” Randy Johnson stepped onto the mound in relief for Seattle with only a day’s rest. Facing elimination, Johnson pitched seven innings October 6 to give the Mariners their first win of the series.
Johnson held New York scoreless for two innings on the mound until Randy Velarde singled to left field with Mike Stanley on second base to put the Yankees in front of the Mariners, 5-4, in the top of the 11th inning.
With the motto “Refuse to Lose” in their back pocket and the heart of the lineup due up, the Mariners battled back in the bottom half of the inning on Jack McDowell as Joey Cora hit a bunt single down the first baseline and Junior singled to centerfield to push Cora to third.
The rest is history for Seattle Mariners fans, as designated hitter Edgar Martinez hit a line drive double to left field, well out of reach of Gerald Williams, to drive Cora home and tie the game.
With the ball bouncing hard off the wall and dead on the Astroturf of the Kingdome, Junior rounded third base for the win, beating the throw to Stanley with ease to send the Mariners to their first ever American League Championship Series.
It was heralded as one of the best playoff games in Major League Baseball history by members of the media.
My dad never missed a minute of the late game game heroics on television that night.
Once my parents were done with dinner, they went to the bar of the restaurant they were at to have a couple drinks and watch the end of the game.
It’s that kind of give and take, for better or worse and no matter how unromantic it may seem, that has kept my parents together for 30 years. I have no doubt that there will be many more to come with stories like that.
As James Earl Jones said in “Field of Dreams” — “The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.”