Several hours before the start of the 82nd Major League All-Star Game, the perfectly painted paragon of baseball's greatest fans was on display in the form of an All-Star wedding.
Joe Curiale and Dolly West, residents of Humble, Texas -- and lifelong baseball enthusiasts -- tied the knot in an unconventional yet perfectly suited ceremony on Tuesday morning at MLB All-Star FanFest at the Phoenix Convention Center.
Accompanied by several friends and family members who flew in from every corner of the country, Curiale and West exchanged vows on a small diamond, surrounded by flowers resembling baseballs and a public audience that engaged in the wave.
"What else could you ask for, right?" a beaming West said following the event.
Engaged in 2010, West and Curiale first met three years ago in Continental Airlines flight attendant training. They ultimately transformed a friendship into a relationship, at which point they began arranging the same layovers in different cities -- all the while managing to visit more than 20 Major League parks.
Imagine their delight, then, when Major League Baseball asked fans just two months ago to submit stories explaining why they should be chosen to win an All-Star wedding, complete with a donated package that included the ceremony, a catered reception for 50 guests, a ring package, roundtrip airfare and two tickets to the All-Star Game.
"Baseball is more than just a game to us," West said in the winning submission. "It's a way for us to be together. We're hoping baseball can make us a part of its world as much as it has already been a part of ours."
The game did just that, welcoming the couple with open arms, with D-backs outfielder Justin Upton serving as a special guest. The two-time All-Star greeted the pair with a few congratulatory words and also signed home plate, on which West walked while making her way down the aisle.
"You have to be a real fan to do this," Upton said. "I thought it was a great idea. They're obviously big baseball fans. It was definitely cool to see and be a part of."
In a symbolic gesture, Major League Baseball brought together dirt from both the Indians' Progressive Field, home of Curiale's favorite team, and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, where West's Rangers play. They both merged in a single glass, with Curiale calling it "just the coolest thing."
"This is a man's dream," he said. "All of this, it was the best feeling in the entire world. It was amazing."
"It's so much more than I imagined," West said.