The Birth Of A Big Trip…

You know, it’s funny how some things work out.  It wasn’t that very long ago that I believed that I wouldn’t be visiting a single park outside of Seattle this year, then I got to talking with Chuck Booth about his attempt to break his own held Guinness World Record of getting to all 30 MLB ballparks the fastest.  I got to thinking how I should be able to drive to his, hopefully, last game of his streak in San Francisco as it’s only a 12 hour drive from my house.  I mentioned this to Chuck and he informed me he changed his schedule and he will now finish in Chicago, if all goes well, on the South Side.  Not a problem!  I can drive to Chicago and catch a couple Twins vs Red Sox games in Minneapolis along the way. What a great way to spend a week!

Once Chuck heard this he had one simple question for me, “What is your last day of work for this tax season?”  I told him that the season ends on April 17th, I have employee evals on the 18th and I am free to go as early as the 19th.  I got a 1 word message back from him on Facebook when he read this, “PERFECT!” Less than 5 minutes later I got an email filled with a bullet pointed schedule that included me going to at least 6 games with Chuck on his streak.  The basis of the email is that with his sponsorship, he would put me on as a driver and I would get to go to those games with him and possibly any makeup games if that happens. How could I say no to that?  Better yet, how could my wife say no to that??  After a quick look at the schedule, I realized I would be able to put in a few other games as well, to give me a total of 9 games in 8 days with a full weekend ahead to do whatever… or more games!

Our schedule was set then.  I would pick up Chuck at the airport in Seattle on April 19th and join him for the next week and a half.  I would get to see games as part of his streak in Seattle, Kansas City, Chicago (Wrigley), Milwaukee, Pittsburgh & Chicago (US Cellular).  I would also then add another game at Wrigley, one at Comerica Park and one at Progressive Field to round out my 9 game run.  This would be a great trip!

Then one Sunday afternoon during Spring Training Chuck came down to my house, he lives just over an hour away, to hang out and watch some spring ball with me.  We got to talking about situations on his trip and he let me know that I shouldn’t schedule anything for the weekend after his scheduled record breaker in Chicago because there was a good chance he would have makeup games to do. We discussed the possibilities of make up games in Arlington, St. Louis, Baltimore, Atlanta and maybe even Miami or Tampa.  We talked about how I would be the one getting him to the game if it was within a days drive, Arlington being about the furthest as it’s a 17 hour drive from Chicago.  As we got to talking about things, like the El Train schedule in Chicago if needed to get him from O’Hare to U.S. Cellular Field, Chuck got quiet for a few moments and then he says, “Ya know Big Dog, if you did this right, with your work trip to New Mexico in August, you could possibly see all 30 parks this summer”.  Um, what?  Seriously?  My response to him was simple, “Chuck, you’re a dick for mentioning that!”  Then I wanted to know how it would be possible….

The schedule came together fairly easily thanks to Chuck.  I would have to adjust my current schedule, give up my extra game at Wrigley and head to Minneapolis for a game.  I would still have an extra day off that I could spend visiting friends in Chicago before I head to Minneapolis.  That would work for me.  We had planned on going to a few games together after Chucks streak, so those games now became part of my SeeAll30 run.  We put the schedule together and the only part of it I really didn’t care for was the St. Louis to Baltimore drive over night.  That’s a long drive with no chance for error, especially when you are by yourself.  After it I would have a couple days to get to Miami, so that was nice.  My East Coast run, plus Seattle,was put together.  There it was sitting in front of me.  I know it wouldnt be easy, that it would be worth doing if I could.  I still had a couple hurdles to cross first before declaring it a go and when the wife said “Yes” and my boss agreed to my timeline for my New Mexico trip, I was ready to rock!  Little did I know how things would change but ya know, it’s funny how some things work out…

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