Wedding bells ring at Ballew-Bowlin Field

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 22, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; Judge Mary Toles has married lots of couples in lots of places.

She has married couples in a church. She has married them at the gazebo. She has even married a couple in a car.

But the one place she has never married anyone is on a baseball diamond.

Email newsletter signup

That is until Saturday.

Amy Thorpe and Steve Lazarus were married at home plate at Ballew-Bowlin Field surrounded by their biggest fans in the stands Saturday afternoon.

&8220;There ain&8217;t much traditional about us,&8221; Lazarus said before the ceremony. &8220;We are unique.&8221;

&8220;Instead of having our kids in their dress shirts and neckties on we said, &8216;Lets have fun.&8217;&8221;

&8220;We had a chance to marry on a cruise or in Las Vegas. But that eliminated our kids.,&8221; Lazarus said. &8220;The kids are the ones that got us together.&8221;

Dressed in purple and carrying a baseball glove bouquet of flowers, Thorpe walked down the third base line to the sounds of a baseball organ playing &8220;Charge.&8221;

With her sons, Devin Long and Ashton Lively, and her maid of honor, Erin Ernst, Thorpe met Lazarus and his two daughters, Anne and Taylor Lazarus, and his best man, Doug Lowery, at the plate to exchange vows and rings.

&8220;We are kind of like the Brady Bunch in reverse,&8221; Lazarus said.

Lazarus met Thorpe earlier this year behind the visitor&8217;s team dugout. Lazarus was assistant coach of a Dixie Youth team. Thorpe was the mother of one of Lazarus&8217; players.

When Devin accidentally tossed his glove on the dugout, Lazarus came to the rescue. And that is where he met Thorpe.

And that is when Lazarus knew he had found the one. All he had to do was convince Thorpe that.

After getting Thorpe&8217;s permission to call, Lazarus tried to convince her to go out on a date.

So he took his own coaching advice.

&8220;Never give up. Never quit,&8221; Lazarus said. &8220;As long as you got one out left, you are still in the game.&8221;

&8220;He was determined,&8221; Thorpe said.

But she finally said yes, and six months later the couple found each other at home plate.

With the traditional kiss of the bride and groom Saturday the family of six was officially pronounced Team Lazarus.

With that, the team went to eat hamburger and hot dogs and wedding cake decorated with baseballs and baseball bats.