Randy Dobnak and his fiancee, Aerial Munson, have registries at Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond. They would like some Pine-Sol, an Amazon Echo and a Queen-sized Coleman GuestRest Double-High Airbed, if you’re feeling generous.
At the very least, you could get him that Fiskars 67” Leaf Rake he’s always wanted. Hell, the guy didn’t even know if he could attend his own wedding until last weekend. It’s the least you could do.
“I don’t want to say yes,” said Dobnak when asked if he was concerned that Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli wouldn’t let his pitcher leave the team this weekend to attend his own wedding, which is this Saturday and was planned two years ago. “But I think just given the situation and I felt if things would line up right, I wouldn’t be available for those few days pitching-wise because usually when I go out there and pitch, it’s going to be more than one inning and I need one or two days off.
“I think if he would have said no, I guess we would have had to postpone things. But I was kind of banking on the idea he’d let me go, for sure.”
Dobnak asked Baldelli if he could attend his own wedding while in line for food on the Twins latest trip to Cleveland, a pivotal series where Minnesota basically wrested the AL Central away from the Indians.
“I think we were back in Cleveland, he goes, ‘Have you heard about the whole wedding thing?’ in the food line,” recalled Baldelli, chuckling. “I had heard about it a little bit but that was the first I heard from him, and I said, ‘Yeah, we can talk about it when we get back,’ and we have.”
Dobnak, an undrafted player from Division II Alderson Broaddus University in Philippi, W.V., revealed three things when he got called up: 1) He has a near-perfect 4.99 Uber rating, 2) he was signed by Minnesota out of the United Shore Professional Baseball League in Utica, Mich. and 3) his wedding is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 28 at 3:30 pm ET in Williamsport, Md.
Coincidentally, the Twins are scheduled to be in Missouri playing the Kansas City Royals at that time.
“We sat down and talked about it,” said Baldelli. “He said they’ve had it planned for two years years. He said when they first planned it and even going into the first full year, this wasn’t on his mind at the time.”
“I think he had an idea,” said Dobnak, when asked if his request caught Baldelli by surprise. “Obviously it spread like wildfire a little bit. He was pretty relaxed with me. I planned it two years ago. Who would have thought this would be a thing, you know? He was really good about it.”
“He should go and do it and enjoy it thoroughly,” said Baldelli, “and when it’s done, we can talk to him.”
Talk to him about potentially being on the playoff roster, of course. It would seem like he’d be a long shot, especially with other young pitchers like Brusdar Graterol, Devin Smeltzer and Cody Stashak making a case for themselves. But Dobnak is a long shot himself, and he’s defied the odds to get to this point.
He went 5⅓ innings and only gave up one run in his first-ever major league win against Kansas City, and has been used as an opener in multiple situations, including against the hard-hitting Indians. There’s a case to be made for him now.
“This is definitely the time of my life,” said Dobnak. “I thought I would be nervous the first day. I wasn’t really nervous at all. It all comes down, it’s the same game I’ve played my whole life. I think if you minimize things like that, you won’t let your nerves get the best of you. Yeah, I’m having the time of my life up here.”
He’s a major leaguer now, and soon to be a married man. If you’re in the giving spirit, he’s going to set up a way to donate to St. Jude’s on his registry. If not, he’ll be just fine. He’s got other things to worry about now.
He’s got 235 people RSVP’d to his wedding, and the venue only holds 200.