The first time she spotted her future husband, he was hurling 95 mph fastballs at Rosenblatt Stadium.
She was Mikki Caniglia in those days, and the man she was watching on that May evening in 1979 was Ken Cvejdlik, a pitcher for the Omaha Royals.
Mikki worked for an Omaha accounting firm, and a woman she ordered office supplies from wanted to set her up on a blind date with Ken. Mikki's friend had been a classmate of Ken's at Thomas Jefferson High School in Council Bluffs, where he was a pitching standout.
Ken was a three-time all-Metro and all-state selection, and he attracted a lot of attention from college and professional scouts.
The University of Southern California and Arizona State University sought him out of high school in 1975, and he committed to Iowa State to stay close to home. But he gave up his scholarship to sign with the Kansas City Royals as a 17th-round draft choice. His fastball made him one of the top prospects in the Royals organization.
Mikki's friend convinced her to meet Ken at a party on Memorial Day 1979. Ken called her the Friday before to make arrangements, and they ended up talking for four hours.
She told him about growing up in the Caniglia restaurant family. He told her about his baseball career.
They talked about the food they both loved — steak. They also liked the same movies, and hanging out with family.
The conversation went so well that Ken asked Mikki if she'd like to watch him pitch the next day at Rosenblatt against the Iowa Oaks.
She was a baseball fan but was reluctant. It wasn't her style to just show up and meet a guy.
But she agreed, and Ken told her to pick up her ticket at the stadium will-call window.
Ken knew roughly where she'd be sitting and tried spotting her but had no luck. He even asked the bat boy to look for her.
It was easy for Mikki to spot the 6-foot-3 Ken on the mound, as the right-hander brought the heat against the Iowa team. It was a big night for him, but it started out a little rough.
The first batter he faced smacked a home run. Ken wondered what Mikki was thinking of him now.
The rest of the night was much better.
He gave up only four more hits, pitching his first complete game, and the Royals won 5-1.
Ken had told Mikki to meet him after the game near the stadium entrance. So Mikki stood there with a group of players' wives and girlfriends, and felt awkward.
Mikki didn't know it, but Ken had to ice his arm, so he didn't come out right away. She began to think Ken had spotted her in the stands and didn't like what he saw.
After 45 minutes, a security guard asked if she was waiting for Ken, and told her he was getting iced.
Finally Ken emerged. He thought Mikki was beautiful with her long brown hair, dark brown eyes and tan skin. She told him he pitched an awesome game.
That night she went to a party at his home in Carter Lake, Iowa, and met some of his teammates. The next night they went out to dinner, and soon became a couple.
They married Dec. 7, 1979, at Countryside Community Church, and two months later Mikki traveled with Ken for their “honeymoon” at spring training in Fort Myers, Fla.
In 1981, after an ongoing arm injury slowed his career, Ken left professional baseball for good.
He worked 21 years for the Campbell Soup Co. in Omaha, and now teaches private and group baseball lessons to young players.
Mikki is a nurse at Children's Hospital and Medical Center, and the couple have three children and one grandchild.
Both still love baseball, and catch games on TV.
Ken hasn't played pro ball in more than 30 years, but he's still Mikki's star.