DENVER -- Valentine's Day is a big one in Loveland, Colo., a city 46 miles from the state capital in Denver. The town is famous for its Sweetheart City Valentine Program, under which more than 130,000 lovers from across the world send their Valentine's greeting cards to the city's post office for mailing to the delighted recipient.
But that wasn't good enough for Nick Piburn, the Rockies' assistant director of communications, when he proposed to his now-wife, the former Nikki Friedin. Forget the commercial stuff. He had a special plan for the day at Loveland Pass, which is 11,990 feet above sea level on the Continental Divide.
"It was after a Rockies game at Coors Field, July 23, 2008, which was seven years and four months [after] the moment we first started dating back at Arvada West High School," Piburn said. "We had a picnic planned, and it was raining. Plus I was nervous driving there, not saying anything. She was mad. She was like, 'Forget it if you're not going to talk to me.' But I knew what was about to happen. She didn't.
"We went to the top of Loveland Pass. There is a glacier lake. No one else was there. As soon as we parked, the skies brightened and it stopped raining, so we were able to have our picnic.
"We went down by the lake and I told her we'll take a picture. She had a camera with a timer on it. The first one I knew wasn't going to work, so I made a bad face. Just before the second one, I dropped to a knee, and the camera snapped."
Nick Piburn had interned with the Rockies and also spent time working for the Texas Rangers before returning to the Rockies full-time on June 23, 2008 -- exactly a month before the breathtaking proposal. Nick and Nikki Piburn married on June 27, 2009. Nikki Piburn was a Denver Nuggets Dancer from 2008-10. The couple welcomed their first child, daughter Mavyn, on July 29, 2013.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.