As Royals players jogged out onto the field Monday afternoon, warming up for the series finale against the Orioles, a special ceremony was happening on the fourth level of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Down the left-field line in Suite No. 60, a Royal wedding was taking place.
Chad Chitwood, a diehard Royals fan who was born and raised in the Kansas City area before moving to Washington, D.C., in the early 2000s, married his wife, Elizabeth, on Monday in front of their closest friends and family. The big day was supposed to happen Saturday, but the rain postponement pushed it back.
The two adapted quickly, and aside from “Mr. and Mrs.” masks that technically had the wrong date on them, the ceremony went perfectly. It’s not often a wedding happens at a game, so ballpark staffers popped in to give their congratulations all morning.
Growing up a Royals fan in the Kansas City area, Chad remembers watching the 1985 World Series at a theater his grandparents owned in Atchison, Kan. He moved to D.C. for work in 2001 and met Elizabeth there. She’s admittedly a Nationals fan, but happily roots for the Royals with Chad. They were at Game 5 of the 2015 World Series, when the Royals clinched the title over the Mets, which, for Chad, was a very different experience and a long way from watching the ’85 Series on a tiny TV in Kansas.
“We were four rows from the top of the stadium,” Elizabeth said. “As it became more obvious that they were going to win, we kept sneaking down. That was a pretty special moment in our relationship."
The couple tries to make it to Baltimore every time the Royals play at Camden Yards, and sports have been a big part of their life together. So, when they decided on having a small, intimate wedding and were looking for venues that could hold 10-15 people, Elizabeth thought that a suite would fit all their needs -- including catching the Royals while they were in town.
“We have been coming up to games for a long time, so it’s been a part of my experience living in D.C. and our experience since we’ve been dating,” Chad said. “Pretty much everybody here enjoys baseball. So it’s a wedding and a baseball game, all provided.”
Chad and Elizabeth were married before first pitch by officiant Chris Boesen. They took pictures with their family before enjoying the game, and although the Royals lost, 6-1, no result on the field could contain the happiness around the newlyweds.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be the first to introduce to you as husband and wife, Chad and Elizabeth,” Boesen said as he wrapped up the ceremony. “Play ball!”