October 22, 2018
I am a HUGE Major League Baseball MANIAC!! I don’t have a nostalgic story about going to games with my grandfather or of painful, interminable years as a loyal fan of a losing team (like my Chicago friends). I don’t have any relatives that play Major League baseball nor has going to the ballpark been one of those regular activities with “the gang” that became tradition. I may not have “a story”, yet I do know that my excitement for all things baseball is impossible to contain and lights a fire within!!
Since 1998 I have (slowly) been on a mission to visit all of the major league baseball stadiums. One cool aspect of this is that it marries my thrill of travel with my love for baseball and allows me to feel less guilty about gallivanting about because I have an actual purpose – like when I used to run marathons around and about. It also often involves Family which is very special!
My son and I did a four stadium, East Coast trip when he was still in junior high school, taking us to Fenway, the former Mets and old Yankee Stadiums and on a Greyhound bus to Baltimore. Not to mention a very fun time in New York! And when he was even younger, we took a trip to San Francisco and saw Barry Bonds play in Candlestick Park, enjoying the historic waterfront and serpentine Lombard Street together as a side benefit. Recently the “Willmeister” and I have tried to make this endeavor an annual trip and have been to see the Oakland A’s, Chicago Cubs and a Boston revisit to cheer on the Red Sox and Big Poppy as we made our way to Cooperstown for Ken Griffey Junior and Mike Piazza’s inductions into the National Baseball Hall of Fame!! Big Will was also along with his sister and dad for our family assault on Arlington stadium to catch the Rangers with a laugh filled side trip to Austin, Texas to celebrate his birthday. And I have fond memories of Willie and his sister, Linzer Lou, joining me on another fun trip to that most enjoyable city, San Francisco, within the first three years of the Giants’ move into their new PacBell Stadium.
One year both of my sisters and I visited a high school friend in New York and went to a Yankees game in their new stadium, rented a car in New Jersey and drove to Philly for a game and then on to Washington DC where we visited with an Aunt and Uncle we had not seen in a decade with them ultimately joining along with us for the Nationals game! And on that same trip I enjoyed a solo game to the new Met’s Citi Field! I could go on and on – the trips coinciding with family reunions and outings with cousins, other baseball fans, piggybacks onto graduations and vacations – all very pleasurable memories!
Though I have officially been to 30 stadiums and there are in fact 30 Major League Baseball teams, given that several new stadiums have been built as improvements over their predecessors, I am still chasing my goal. And unfortunately, I didn’t get to Montreal before it ceased to be a part of the system. Last year it looked like I would not make it to my minimum one annual stadium, but Hubby saved the day and we had a Fabulous time in San Diego and got in a game watching the Padres at Petco Park.
And with my two Camino walks and extended trips to Spain this year, both of which occurred during the baseball season, it was looking as if this might be the year I would have to miss my mark. Billfish to the rescue AGAIN!!! Virtually last minute – and during playoffs to boot, he pulled the trigger on a quickie trip to Houston! Unfortunately, it was the last hurrah of the season for the 2017 World Series Winners, the Astros, but seeing some of my favorite players was a thrill!! And of course, I got to check another stadium off the list.