Cavalry player Jeremy Barnes and his wife Lauren. Photo: Melissa Adams
A visit to a doctor's office is normally a drag, but for Canberra Cavalry star Jeremy Barnes it was where he discovered the girl of his dreams.
Having been drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies the day before, Barnes thought a routine check-up was all he was in for on a life-changing day in 2009.
But instead of leafing through outdated magazines, the now 25-year-old met his sweetheart, Lauren, whom he married in an intimate ceremony just before leaving for Australia.
Now the third baseman is focused on adding an ABL championship ring to his wedding one with the competition-leading Cavalry.
''The day after he got drafted we just happened to meet in a doctor's office, we started talking and it went from there,'' Lauren said. ''We had the wedding at a small park near our house [in Philadelphia], just immediate families, but we'll still have a bigger wedding once baseball allows.
''Jeremy's dad is a minister so he married us a couple of weeks before we came out here, which was pretty special.''
Married life seems to be agreeing with Barnes, who was outstanding in the Cavalry's crushing home-and-away series wins over Perth the past fortnight. His 41 hits is third best on the Cavalry roster, behind only Kody Hightower (44) and Adam Buschini (42).
After the Phillies released Barnes in August after four years in the minor leagues, former Cavalry manager Steve Schrenk, a pitching coach at the Phillies, urged him to join Canberra.
While being cut by the Phillies was tough to swallow, Barnes has learnt not to worry about being picked up by a Major League-affiliated team.
''I can hit .350, but if there's no spots or no interest, I can't control that,'' he said. ''All I can do is put up numbers, and hopefully it happens. It can drive you crazy but it's all part of the business. I've got [Lauren] to keep my head on my shoulder.''
The Cavalry will begin its series against the Bandits on Friday night by completing a suspended game halted by rain in November. It will resume with Canberra down 6-1 after three innings, but Barnes is nonplussed by the decision not to start the game from scratch. ''Obviously we don't want to be down 6-1 but we dug ourselves that hole, and we're just going to have to go out and finish off strong.''
Brisbane Bandits v Canberra Cavalry at RNA Showgrounds (suspended game from 6.30pm; game two 8pm).