CHERRYVILLEâ€”Not many women would be thrilled to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary at a ballpark.
But Judie Eaker is an exception. There is no place she would rather be, even on an occasion as momentous as a milestone anniversary.
Instead of going out for the evening, Judie and her husband, Danny, were at Buck Fraley Field Monday for the American Legion baseball game between Cherryville and Newell.
They were in the press box as usual, Danny behind the mike and Judie at the controls of the cassette and CD players.
While Danny and Judie have been a team in matrimony for the last 40 years, they have been a duo for the past 15 years as P.A. announcer and music coordinator respectively for Post 100 home games.
Dannyâ€™s job is announce the game and Judieâ€™s is to play music between innings and for player intros.
Together, this happy couple has become as much a part of the Cherryville baseball tradition as coaching icons Henry Jones (high school) and Bobby Dale Reynolds (legion).
â€œItâ€™s just old hat,â€ said Judie of the way the couple spent another June 21. â€œWe have done it so much, it is nothing new.â€
Danny, for one, appreciates Judieâ€™s indulgence of his passion for baseball.
â€œShe has been awfully supportive all these years. We have probably celebrated our anniversary 75 percent of the time either here at the park or on the road,â€ he said.
â€œWhy she supports me the way she does, she must really love me a lot to put up with it.â€
When the couple from rival high schools â€”Judie went to Lincolnton and Danny graduated from Cherryvilleâ€”married in 1964, Judie had no idea what was in store.
â€œIf she knew what she would be doing, we would have had a different song when we got married,â€ Danny said.
â€œIt would not have been the traditional song coming down the aisle. It would have been â€˜Take me out to the ballgame.â€™ â€
Danny and Judie have no idea how many games they do during a typical spring and summer. In addition to the Legion games, they work Cherryville Highâ€™s home baseball games, and last year added the Legion B team home games to their busy warm-weather schedule.
Prior to Mondayâ€™s game, the couple discussed the idea of renewing their marriage vows on the field during the break between games of the scheduled doubleheader.
â€œI talked Danny into it, but then I turned around and backed it,â€ Judie said. â€œI told him we would wait and do our 50th on the field.â€
Even though those plans fell through, the evening ended on a happy note.
Cherryville beat Newell 4-3 in the first game, and the second game was rained out.
â€œWe got a win, which was fantastic. Danny told (the players) to pull out one for us, so they did,â€ Judie said.by Amy Wadsworth