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Original Issue

Wedding Bell Blues

A wild-card game or a walk down the aisle?

LAST SPRING, when pitcher Ian Kennedy was getting ready for his first Class A season, with the Tampa Yankees, his wedding plans seemed ideal. He and fiancée Allison Jaskowiak had set their nuptials near her hometown of Kirkwood, Mo., for Oct. 6—when all minor league seasons would be done and two weeks before Jaskowiak, a shooting guard at USC, would begin basketball practice. Kennedy, 22, had even run the date by New York Yankees farm director Mark Newman, who gave his blessing. Says Kennedy, "He and I didn't anticipate I'd be in the majors." Whoops.

Kennedy, a USC alum who has been dating Jaskowiak since they met in their dorm in 2001, tore through the minors and was called up to the big leagues on Sept. 1. After three starts through Sunday he was 1--0 with a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings. Best—or worst—of all, depending on whether you were among the 250 guests invited to the wedding, the Yankees appear to be headed to the playoffs, which begin on Oct. 3. "I'd be lying if I said she didn't look up the playoff schedule when I got called up," Kennedy says.

Jaskowiak, 23, who spent the summer living with Kennedy in his various minor league stops (Tampa; Trenton, N.J.; Scranton, Pa.), has been fielding e-mails, text messages and calls from friends and family asking about the looming logistical quagmire. "We've got people coming from Seattle, Florida, and Ian's family is coming from California," she says. "I would hate for them to get messed up."

The American League doesn't have a playoff game scheduled for Oct. 6 but does have games set for Oct. 5 and 7. Kennedy is considering flying in for the 6 p.m. ceremony and flying out that night. The Yankees won't comment on what leeway they'll give him, though manager Joe Torre has said, "We just hope his prospective wife is very understanding." In any case, the planned weeklong honeymoon in Tahiti appears to be toast. "I'm not sure when we would go," says Kennedy, who expects to have some making up to do, "but it might have to be for two weeks now."

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