Love and Diamonds

By -

The story of how Kristen Fetrow and John Henry fell in love while playing softball for the West Chester Sport and Social Club (WCSSC), written by Kristen Fetrow.

In November 2008, before I knew him, John moved down to West Chester, PA from his home of Basking Ridge, NJ to take a new job.  Not knowing anyone and looking for a way to meet some people, in addition to wanting to continue engaging in his love for sports, he joined the WCSSC coed softball league in the Spring of 2009 and was placed on Tim Horan’s team.

In the meantime, I had been back home in Media for a few years since graduating from Virginia Tech.  As all of my college friends lived in different cities and having only remained in close contact with a handful of high school friends over the years, I was looking for a way to meet more people.  Plus, I missed playing sports as they had always been a big part of my life growing up and in school.

I was aware of the Philadelphia Sport and Social Club, but not wanting to drive in and out of the city for a game, I hadn’t explored it.  Then, I saw there was a similar league in West Chester, PA.  So, I asked two of my high school friends if they would be interested in joining the league and playing a sport.  Being athletes themselves, they were up for it.

We signed up for the West Chester Sport and Social Club in May 2009, and no more than a day later, I received an email from Tim saying a softball league had recently started and his team could use some girls.  My friends had never played softball before, nor had I, but I had played little league baseball until I was 12.  Just wanting to get involved, we thought sure, why not, and just like that joined the team (a few weeks late).

John caught my eye the first few games with his raw talent and athletic ability.  Not being the biggest guy on the field, he sure did have an arm and was an impressive hitter to boot.  He later told me that I caught his eye with turning double plays at second base.  Thank goodness for all those years playing with the boys in little league!

As I noticed his strong play on the field, and seeming like he was a nice guy, I tried to talk to him between innings hoping he would pick up on me being interested (and hoping he didn’t already have a girlfriend).  I’m not sure how successful that was, but one week there was a rain delay for our game, only John and I didn’t get the message.  So, we both showed up to the field on time and Tim was there who informed us we had an hour until game time as he was prepping the field.  That is when John and I were able to have a real conversation instead of just small talk and got to know a little bit more about each other.  I knew I definitely had a crush after that game.

Shortly thereafter, we had our last regular season game.  Knowing John would not be in town for the playoffs the following week, I was hoping we would remain in contact.  I thought at the least I had his email from team emails, but I was hoping he would ask for my number.  As I was changing out of my cleats, I looked up to see him walking away to his car.  I was bummed but though well at least I have his email.  Then I grabbed my bag and started to head to my car, only to see John had turned around and was heading back to the field.  Turns out he had forgotten his bat and was heading back to retrieve it.  We did however stop to chat and he did ask for my number.  I must have paused for a second as I was surprised, so he quickly added he was thinking of putting together a football team in the summer.  He didn’t end up putting together a team, but he did end up calling me soon after and asking me out on a date.

It’s really been nothing but great since then.  Five WCSS softball leagues later, John surprised me with a proposal.  We went up to visit John’s family in Basking Ridge, NJ on Saturday, December 17 and stayed until Sunday afternoon. When we left I thought we were coming back home to Philly (we both took off on Monday), but I wasn’t recognizing the route we were on.  John said he knew how busy we both had been lately with little time to see each other, so he planned a little surprise for us to spend time together. He knows how much I like looking at Christmas lights so he found a spot that had some great lights.

We arrived in Hershey, PA and he had booked a room at the beautiful Hershey Hotel. I had been to Hershey many times before for work, but never had seen this hotel. We checked in and walked around the grounds and hotel looking at all the decorations. John had dinner reservations for us too, so we got ready and went to dinner. We had a nice table reserved right next to the fire place. Afterwards, he took me to this Christmas light display, which is a 2 mile drive where there are lights everywhere. We then went back to the hotel and walked around a bit more, then headed up to our room. I opened the door and he had rose petals all over the bed and champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. For someone who doesn’t typically cry, I sure shed a lot of tears.

Finally, after I got myself under control, John handed me a card. He had written a very sweet message in it, which at the end told me to hold his hand and look at him. So I did and he got down on one knee, told me how much he loved me, and asked me to marry him! All I remember is jumping at him and saying yes!!!

We will have been dating for 3 years on June 26, and we’re elated to get married November 10th this year!  Looking back, it couldn’t have been more appropriate for us to meet our future spouse on the athletic field.  Although we aren’t playing in the coed league this year due to our busy schedules, John is playing for a second year in the all-male league with my brother … on who else but Tim’s team!  We can’t thank Tim enough for starting this league, both for all the fun it brings and lucky for us, bringing us together.

Meghan Kelly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *