Asked recently to reflect on all that had happened in his life over the past year, Cardinals left-hander Marco Gonzales noted that he "couldn't have written [the script] better myself."
That had much to do with the baseball side of things, as Gonzales catapulted from Class A Advanced to the Majors in his first full season with the organization. By the time the season ended, he was the most reliable lefty reliever manager Mike Matheny had in his 'pen.
But there was another high note for Gonzales at the end of the year, as he executed a sunrise proposal that his girlfriend, Monica Zender, accepted. The two spent the weeks leading up to the 'I do' moment snowshoeing in Colorado, catching a Clippers game in Los Angeles, hiking in Washington and enjoying a fish pedicure in Mexico. It was there in Mexico, three days before the end of 2014, that Gonzales lured Zender to the beach and then dropped to his knee just as the sun became visible above the horizon.
The moment, Gonzales later bragged, was perfect. The rest of year was nearly so, too.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.