For Love of the Game: Ross Perez Proposes in Pensacola
Ross Perez is enjoying a record season with the Blue Wahoos.
After winning out the starting job in May, the catcher caught fire at the plate to the tune of a .335 average over 71 games. From a franchise-best six RBI on June 13 to the longest hitting streak of his professional career, the Reds organizational newcomer has benefitted from the change of scenery. Ross Perez has loved Pensacola, and the city has loved him back.
Before Friday’s game, a player married to the game for nine years asked the love of his life to marry him. These photos tell a better story than I ever could:
Smirna Flores thought she was just throwing a ceremonial first pitch to her boyfriend. But Perez, who had a hidden ball in his glove, had other plans. Opening the modified ball to reveal an elaborate ring, he popped the question to thunderous applause and an enthusiastic yes.
Flores played matchmaker on May 19 when Perez was reunited with his father Santiago. It was the first time his father saw him play professionally. This time, the longtime couple shared the occasion with the Flores family, including his mother and aunt.
In a season of phenomenal numbers, the two top highlights of his year won’t be found in any record books. In fact, his personal-best 13-game hitting streak came to an end last night.
Now, Ross starts a far more important streak: the first day in blissful union with his fiancée.
Special thanks to team photographer Michael Spooneybarger for these unforgettable photos.