The Mariners’ season-opening trip to Japan provided shortstop Brendan Ryan with the perfect opportunity to pop the question, and Major League Baseball provided an assist.
The 30-year-old told his longtime girlfriend he would be taking her on a tour of the city Tuesday, but the guide was actually an employee of Major League Baseball who was in on the plan.
When the couple reached the Sky Deck of the Mori Tower, one of the city’s tallest buildings, Ryan proposed.
"We got up there at sunset so it was starting to get dark and you could see the lights of the city and the Tokyo Tower was lit up," Ryan said. "It was perfect."
The Los Angeles native said he popped the question in Japanese after asking Ichiro’s interpreter how to say, "Will you marry me?"
"So I dropped that on her," Ryan told MLB.com. "When she asked me what that meant I got down on a knee. It was kind of cool.
"She didn’t answer at first. I’d instilled in her that we’d be close to 40 when that would happen, so she was pretty shocked. But after 5-10 seconds, she finally gave me an answer, which of course was yes."
Ryan, who started the two games against Oakland at the Tokyo Dome, said he entrusted the team’s ace, Felix Hernandez, to hold on to the ring on the trip.
"One of the smartest things I ever did was give that thing to Felix, because I figured if anybody was going to lose it, he could afford it."
The Mariners won Wednesday’s regular season opener 3-1, before falling to the A’s 4-1 Thursday. The team will return to spring training play this weekend before resuming the regular season at Oakland on April 6.