Jamie Clafferty proposed to his now-fiancee Paige Yeager at the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox game on Sept. 18, 2017, enlisting family and friends to hold up signs in view of their balcony suite at the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor hotel.
Jamie Clafferty proposed to his now-fiancee Paige Yeager at the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox game on Sept. 18, 2017, enlisting family and friends to hold up signs in view of their balcony suite at the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor hotel. (Courtesy of Jamie Clafferty)

Many stadium proposals involve a couple's large display on the Jumbotron, but one Parkville resident and devout baseball fan took his proposal to a different level — literally.

During Monday's Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox face-off in Camden Yards, Jamie Clafferty rented a balcony hotel suite at the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor hotel that overlooked the stadium. In the third inning, Clafferty got down on one knee and family and friends across from the balcony in the stadium stands held up letters forming "Will You Marry Me, Paige?"

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It took his now-fiancee Paige Yeager of Perry Hall completely by surprise.

"She kinda freaked out," said Clafferty, who later draped a queen-sized sheet, spray-painted with the words, "She said yes! " notifying the stadium that the proposal was a success.

For the couple, the game held significance, Clafferty said.

Both baseball fans, Clafferty and Yeager's first date was at an Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox game more than a year ago, which proved to be the beginning of their relationship and a tradition.

“We just had a lot of fun. We had a great connection, … and she was trash talking the whole time, which was really odd for me. … She started cussing out umpires, and I knew I had a keeper,” said Clafferty, adding that while he’s a big Red Sox fan, Yeager loves the Orioles. The two then made it a point to go to baseball games together, sometimes traveling to Boston to see the Red Sox play.

"It's kind of been our thing," Clafferty said.

The couple also said "I love you" in the seventh inning at another Red Sox and Orioles game months later, Clafferty said, so it was only right that he planned to pop the question at another Baltimore vs. Boston face-off.

The local artist planned the proposal for the past three months, inviting close friends and family in on the surprise proposal to a closed Facebook group, surreptitiously hand carving a ring box and making reservations for tickets in the stadium and their stay in the hotel. He decided to plan the proposal in conjunction with his guise: his 30th birthday celebration.

"Birthdays have never been a big deal to me," he said, but to Yeager, whom he began dating around a year-and-a-half ago, Clafferty said she wanted to make his celebration special.

"Little did she know," said Clafferty, adding that Yeager kept asking him how he wanted to celebrate.

Clafferty said the couple had long wanted to stay in the balcony suites at the Hilton to watch a game, but "they're quite expensive … We both agreed that we could do it but on a special occasion."

Clafferty decided to make that their celebration and engagement. "I told her that's all I wanted."

The day of, Clafferty hosted a quirky proposal.

Jamie Clafferty proposed to his now-fiancee Paige Yeager at the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox game on Sept. 18, 2017, enlisting family and friends to hold up signs in view of their balcony suite at the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor hotel.
Jamie Clafferty proposed to his now-fiancee Paige Yeager at the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox game on Sept. 18, 2017, enlisting family and friends to hold up signs in view of their balcony suite at the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor hotel. (Jamie Clafferty)

While the couple was sitting on the balcony during the third inning, Clafferty excused himself to the bathroom, which allowed him to set up a table in front of the balcony's doorway to capture the moment, while a family member filmed the moment from across the stadium.

Then, Clafferty played a prank on Yeager, pulling a black cardboard box, made to look like a ring box, from his pocket and then "accidentally" dropping it over the balcony railing. Yeager was alarmed and confused.

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"I'm a bit of jokester, but she's pretty good at dealing with me," he said.

"I told her she needed to keep an eye on it," said Clafferty, who then pretended to leave the room to retrieve the box. Instead, he went inside to get the actual ring, placed in the ring box that he had hand-carved for her.

He got down on one knee and had to coax Yeager to come over to him.

"She kept saying, 'This isn't real!'" Clafferty said, and then, he pointed to the stands.

"I told her, 'That's our friends and family. Will you make me the happiest man in the world?'"

Families affected by cancer spend 'Sundays at the Park' with Orioles

Held in memory of Jonathan Gitelman, who died at 46 of leukemia in February 2016, Sundays at the Park provides children and families battling cancer with a day of baseball at Camden Yards.

Yeager, in disbelief, looked over to the stands, and, through tears, said yes. That's when Clafferty let down the "She said yes!" sheet as members of the crowd cheered. Some screamed for the couple's phone numbers to send pictures they had taken, Clafferty said.

The couple later purchased stadium tickets and joined their friends and family in the stands to celebrate one of the most important moments in their lives, Clafferty said. There were lots of tears, Clafferty said, and of course, some exciting moments in baseball, with the Red Sox beating the Orioles 10-8 in 11 innings.

"It was awesome," he said.

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