Everywhere you look at PNC Park in Pittsburgh or in Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla., you are reminded that "P" is for Pride and Passion. On Dec. 11, 2013, "P" was also for Proposal.
Andrew McCutchen had his people finagle an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," a curious bit of daytime programming if ever there was one. McCutchen was a month into his reign as National League MVP, but DeGeneres and her predominantly female audience aren't known as fans of baseball. They are, however, fans of romance.
Indeed, DeGeneres' first question didn't deal with brushback pitches or with sliding catches, but with Cutch's marital status. Cue the video: McCutchen portraying his on-field exploits as analogies to the proverbial dating ritual, "getting to first base, etc."
And it was time to turn for home.
He asked Maria Hanslovan, his girlfriend of four years, to join him on stage from the audience, and looking into her eyes and with a slight tremble in his voice, he said:
"I've always envisioned that I would be on the highest mountain in the world and that my voice would be as loud as a lion's roar times a billion so the whole world could hear me just tell you how much that I love you. I didn't do any of this for the publicity; I didn't do any of this for the recognition. I did this to show you that if I could tell the whole world how much that I love you, I would do that."
With that, McCutchen dropped to his knees and produced a ring that made DeGeneres go, "Oh, my Lord!"
"She said yes!" Ellen informed millions watching.
On Nov. 22, Maria said, "I do."
If McCutchen wanted the conspicuous proposal to impress people with the depth of his love for Maria, he quickly knew he had succeeded.
"I got the MVP," he recalled, "and I knew after the proposal people would just forget about the MVP, that that's what I'd be all about. And that's the way it should be."
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.