Sarah and Luke Englert of Seattle were married in Hawaii last January, and their frequent visits to Safeco Field had at least a little something to do with it.
"Luke and I met at a small family-and-friend party as we are a part of the same parish and neighborhood," Sarah explained in an email to MLB.com. "During that party, his father asked me if I play softball. After I said yes, [and] he invited me to play softball on our parish team. Luke and I fell in love playing softball and going to M's games. We played softball all summer after we met and went to M's games together whenever we could.
"At one Mariners game with Luke's parents, one woman behind us even tapped Luke's mom on the shoulder and said that I would be her future daughter-in-law. Well, about a year later, she turned out to be right."
Just imagine that woman's reaction when she looks on Mariners.com now and sees that her prophecy not only came to pass, but that the newlyweds also became the club's star couple.
Representing all Mariners fans, the Englerts are the latest contestants on the hit MLB.com game show "Bucks on the Pond" powered by Ford. You can watch them in Episode 36 of this second season to see whether they add to the $20,955 won by fans in the previous 65 overall shows taped at 25 of the 30 Major League ballparks since the series debuted last season.
"The day Luke and I were plucked from the crowd as we were taking our ceremonial pregame stroll all around Safeco Field was incredible," Sarah said. "We walked through Safeco's main entrance, admired the sunshine, ate some stadium fare, including Luke's favorite garlic fries, and started our walk around the stadium, taking the long way to our seats 16 rows behind home plate in section 132.
"We were geared up from head to toe, including our favorite M's jerseys, and excited for the start of a new opportunity for our young ballclub to snag a victory in our presence. We were struck by such surprise when 'Bucks on the Pond' pulled us aside and asked us to play, answering trivia questions for a chance to win some cash. It started out our day at Safeco with an experience we will never forget."
"Bucks" is hosted by Jeremy Brisiel and you might be a part of this season when you least expect it. Fans at the ballpark interact with MLB.com's studio through the magic of technology in conjunction with game action inside, and shows are released each Tuesday and Thursday.
Contestants are asked a trivia question -- general knowledge and baseball -- on each pitch during a half-inning of baseball. Get the question correct and win money. Get the question wrong and it's a strike. Three strikes and you're out.
The questions' difficulty and value increase with the number of outs in the on-field action: $5 easy questions to start, $10 medium-difficulty questions after one out, $20 hard questions after two outs. If the contestant lasts longer than the team's at-bat, they win the bucks in their bank.
Cross the $100 mark during the show, and it's time for "Say the Word" powered by Ford SYNC. You can wager any part of your bank on that next question, which is asked each episode by 2014 Hall of Fame candidate Frank Thomas. Answer correctly and you win, answer incorrectly and you lose that amount ... and it's another strike.
The newlyweds stumble out of the gates in this episode, as you'll see with the first question.
"When I got the 'bull' question wrong I was shaking in my boots," Sarah said. "I thought we may never get a right answer. I was thinking that our nerves were high and that we could definitely do better if we each took a deep breath and relaxed. Being that relaxing is hardly my style, I was really counting on Luke to be the cool, calm, and composed one and pull us through. We really came together using teamwork and our complimentary skill sets and knowledge."
Luke works in accounting, while Sarah is a field chemistry specialist for Waters Corporation, based in Milford, Mass. They had attended the same parochial grade schools and high schools in Seattle, but they did not meet as adults until she moved to Seattle after attending Manhattan College in New York and working on the East Coast for a while.
They were wedded in Kauai, and they plan to return there for their one-year anniversary on New Year's to enjoy a honeymoon they had to postpone. She said it has been a "blast" being married, and having the opportunity as a couple to play "Bucks" added to it.
"Now that we've been on the show and been able to have fun and answer trivia questions to win cash, we've been addicted to keeping up with the new episodes," she said. "Not only that, but we have some of our family members watching regularly as well. It is a great addition to MLB.com, a site my husband and I frequent often to catch up on the latest in baseball. "'Bucks on the Pond' is fun and unique, as I have not seen a similar show in sports."
This was the second "Bucks" episode taped at Safeco this season, following the ballpark date in Episode 30.
In addition to the Mariners, teams visited by the "Bucks" crew include the Angels, Astros, Athletics, Brewers, Cardinals, Cubs, D-backs, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Marlins, Mets, Orioles, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Red Sox, Reds, Rockies, Royals, Tigers, Twins, White Sox and Yankees. Bookmark MLB.com/bucks and be on the lookout for the "Bucks" crew at your ballpark.