– Road Tripping To All 30 MLB Ballparks – Road Tripping To All 30 MLB Ballparks

Follow Me On Twitter – @SeeAll30 – Road Tripping To All 30 MLB Ballparks RSS Feed

My Trip Begins…

My day actually started way earlier than it needed to, honestly.  I was up and doing things by 7am, even though my flight wasn’t until 11:52pm, I still had several things that need to done first, such as laundry and packing.  I also had to go get gas for the Sante Fe because by 11:30am, Barbara, Sanji and Mahesh would be at the house so we could all go to Emerald Downs to watch the horse races.

The reason we were doing the horse races on the same day that I fly out (and would normally just veg all day) is because it was Costco Day at the races, which means anyone who works for Costco can take the whole family and get in for free.  Along with admission you got a program, soda and bag of chips for free also.  Not too shabby.  The races were fun.

Due to my schedule we were only able to stay for 4 of the 9 live races and as such we all placed our bets on who we wanted to root for.  I chose my horse by going with my gut and I also picked the easiest way to win, “Show”. That way as long as the horse comes in 1st, 2nd or 3rd, I win.  Mahesh jumped out on the very first race and won as his horse (who *I* had to remind him he chose earlier but was going to change his pick just before he placed his wager) came in first and he chose him to “Win”.  He got a whopping $9.50 for his $2 bet.  My horse?  Well, he came in 4th, naturally!  Mahesh won again on the 2nd race as he picked his horse to “Win” also.  My wife, Yvonne, also won as her horse came in 3rd for a “Show”.  My horse?  Not to sound like a broken record, but he came in 4th, naturally! In the 3rd race I chose “Wicked and Wild” because 1 week from right then my wife and I will be in New York City seeing “Wicked” on Broadway.  Again, I chose with my gut feeling and that one just seemed natural.  I also found out that everyone else in our group had picked him to either “Win”, “Place”, or “Show”.  When he came in 2nd, I was over excited!  I knew I hadn’t won a lot, ($10.50), but it was just so cool to win!  The 4th and final race I had chosen the #7 horse, “Ivory Man”, because… well… I’m a white dude.   As they were showing the horses before Post, I just got a gut feeling on the #4 horse “Youcan’ttellmeno”.  Looking at the reader board I could see he was a BIG TIME favorite, which meant that if I did bet on him my payout wouldn’t be that big if I did win, but I figured that since all I spent on wagering was $20, why not take that $10 I won and lay it on the #4 horse to “Win”.  If I lose it, I am still only down my $20.  I decided to do it, even against the wife telling me I shouldn’t, and went to place my bet.  As I stood there in line I got to thinking, “You can only really win, if you bet BIG!”  I had another $100 in my pocket, should I lay it on the #4 to win as well?  When it was my turn at the window, I just put $10 on him figuring I didn’t wanna lose that other $100 the day I leave for my big trip, just in case.  Well, needless to say the #4 horse came in with the “Win” and my original pick of “Ivory Man” came in 2nd, so my “Show” bet was a winner as well.  2 winners on 1 race, gotta love that!  I ended up winning $23.50 on that race, combined with the left over $0.50 from my previous win means I won $24 for the day, so to be UP $4 after 4 races wasn’t too shabby I didn’t feel and since we were done, *I* was the big winner of the group.  My wife was quick to point out that I was also the big winner 6 years ago today, as today is our anniversary.

After the races it was time to get home, finish up the last minute things and get ready to head out to the airport.  Mike was going to be picking me up around 7pm and naturally he got there just after 6pm and I wasn’t ready.  After telling my puppies I would see them in 2 weeks (the longest I have ever been apart from them) we headed out.  After a couple long hugs from my wife, it was time to jump in the Sante Fe and be on our way.

Mike wanted to take some time and just hang out before my flight, so we decided to try and find a place we had heard about called “Jersey’s” in Federal Way.  After consulting Google and not finding it, we gave up and headed for the “Time Out Ale House” in Federal Way instead where we had a few beers, a huge plate of nachos and watched the Mariners lose to the Angels as once again League serves up a loss.  I really don’t understand why that guy is taking up a roster spot at this point.

After wasting more time just outside the airport which included us driving around just to see what all was in the area, after a a quick stop at the Safeway to get me some ear plugs, we found ourselves somewhere we had never been.  No biggie, we were just south of the airport so not to worry.  Then I looked up and in the distance I would see the Space Needle?!?  Um, what?  The Space Needle is a ways NORTH of the airport, Mike where the heck you taking us?  Something similar to this had happened to us almost 20 years ago and has been a good laughing point with us, so naturally, this cracked us up!

Mike dropped me at the airport about 10:30pm and refused to help carry my bag inside because it was so heavy he was sure I had a dead hooker in it!  After checking in, it was time to go strip for security.  Ever since the Shoe Bomber travelers have had to remove their shoes to get them x-rayed, yet I wear a brace on my right leg/foot that goes inside my shoe so it’s a royal pain to do that.  I understand why though, so I make it work.  If I wasn’t just taking a carryon bag with me today, not checking anything, I would have packed my brace in my suitcase and wore my Crocks to make it easier.  But I didn’t, so here we are.  What really sucked is that I had to unpack my laptop, which was buried in my duffle bag.  Ugh!  Between my brace, my laptop and taking everything out of my pockets, removing my phone, having to put my toothpaste out of my bag as well, I felt like I had to repack right there at security.  As all that went through the x-ray, I headed for the metal detector and it buzzed as I went through.  I had forgot my watch and the nice, yes I said nice about someone working airport security cause she was just that, lady reminded me about belt buckles too and I was wearing one for the first time ever at the airport, so I had to remove it as well and send it through.  So there I am.  Wearing jean shorts that are too big for me and wont stay up without that belt, no shoes (and no brace) so I am limping a bit, trying to get through the metal detector again.  As I walked through I held my breath and…. and… NO BUZZ!  WOOHOO!  The lady told me, “Good job, you did it!” lol

After getting dressed and repacking everything I made my way to my gate. I don’t know about you, but for me, my gate is always the last one down any given concourse I have to go.  I get that it’s probably because I fly the “low cost” airlines, like today with Air Tran, but still.  That don’t make it any easier to lug that freakin’ heavy ‘dead hooker’ around!

I got to my gate, A-14, and the flight before ours was just pulling away from the jetway, which means my plane wasn’t even there yet.  I took a seat and almost fell asleep.  I had to remind myself to wait to do that for when I get on the plane.  Once our plane got there, and the previous passengers deplaned, it didn’t take long before I was headed towards my seat.  As I always do when I board a plane, I stop for just a brief moment as I am walking into the plane, place my hand on the side of the plane and say a quick prayer.  I hate flying so much that I even have to take some pills to calm me down.  Not that I would freak out,  I just get very anxious.  If I could fit in the restrooms, I would probably just have a couple drinks and let that relax me, but I ain’t taking the chance.

I was darn near asleep before we started pulling away from the gate, but as the plane lurched, I was awake.  The taxi to the runway was a long one, I swear it had to be 8-10 minutes and during that time I did fall asleep, but just as we turned the corner and the pilot hit the gas, I was awake…barely, but I was.  I remember take off.  I did look out a little over Seattle, but then I was out!  It didn’t last long, but it was ok cause I was awake for beverage service and after getting my water, taking a few sips… GOOD NIGHT!  I slept for a full hour that time and couldn’t believe that shortly after looking at my watch, I was asleep again!  What woke me up that time was a little bit of bumpy air, but I noticed that the fasten seatbelts sign wasn’t lit, so I figured they weren’t expecting much, or so I hoped.  It wasn’t long after that I felt as if we had already started our decent into Milwuakee.  That made no sense cause it was too early for that.  For most flights that started right about 30 minutes before you land and this was too early.  So I nodded off again and was woke up to the pilot announcing to the flight crew to prepare for arrival.  Say what?  I had only been out for maybe 5 minutes that time, yet we were indeed on our approach.  Holy cow, that means we will be early!  At this point I got excited!!

Today is the day!!!!

I am about 12 hours away from heading to SeaTac airport to board my flight to Milwaukee tonight.  By this time tomorrow I will be about 30 minutes outside of Minneapolis.  I am hoping to get into town by Noon, so I can park at the Mall of America and ride the Hiawatha Train up to Target Field.  I hear its about a 40 minute ride, so if I can be in my rental car and on the road by 6:30am at the latest tomorrow morning, then I should be able to get to the Mall of America by Noon.  Its a 5 hour drive, doing the speed limit, so with minimal time off the road (which is how I travel), I should be good. There is still the chance that I wont be able to get my car until the rental counter opens at 7am (I am a Fastbreak member with Budget, just have never used it and never been to the airport in Milwaukee before), if that’s the case, I will probably be late for 1st pitch or get there right at game time and have to pay the big fee to park downtown, instead of going cheap and parking at the MOA and riding the train up which only costs $1.75, since parking is free at the MOA. 🙂  Checking the departure schedule at MOA, they run about every 10 minutes or so and as long as I can be there, parked and on the train by the 12:20pm departure, I will be at Target Field just in time for the 1:10pm first pitch.  So that’s my plan for tomorrow 🙂

Looking at the MLB schedule, no really great pitching match-ups are coming my way.  No matter, it’s still baseball 🙂

July 18th – White Sox vs Twins:  Garcia (9-3) vs Blackburn (7-7)
July 19th – Indians vs Twins:  Laffey (1-3) vs Baker (7-8)
July 20th – Rays vs Orioles: Garza (10-5) vs Arrieta (3-2)
July 21st – Rays vs Orioles:  Shields (7-9) vs TBA

See ya on the road! 🙂

5 days to go…

Can’t believe there is only 5 days left, and a few hours, before I head out on my trip.  After months of planning and waiting, it’s almost here.  I am almost ready but not quite yet.  I am putting together my “Trip Book” today with stuff I will need for my trip.  It’s a book with my schedule, all the confirmations for my hotels and rental cars, my tickets and other things I might need, like addresses to places I might wanna check out.  I know I am a geek when it comes to traveling, but I dont ever leave home without my “Trip Book” 🙂

I checked the MLB schedules today… only my 1st game shows the starters so far and that’s the Twins vs White Sox game at Target Field, Garcia vs Blackburn.  Will be nice to see the Big Chief again as its been a few years since we got to see him regularly in Seattle.   Too early yet to see who the others might be, but I will check it again in a few days and post the schedule.

Until then, it’s time to get my trip book finished, get some laundry done and continue getting ready as Saturday will be here soon enough! 🙂

Cubs vs Mariners – June 24, 2010

Today was what I have been looking to as the official kick off to my Summer of Baseball 2010!  It couldn’t have been a better day today!  The sun was shining and it was freakin’ hot… I LOVED IT!

I started my day off by picking up Doug in Tacoma and we headed towards The Safe to meet up with Bob DeVries across the street at the Pyramid Ale House.  With my back still hurting from a couple weeks ago, as we got into town and started looking for parking I had to opt for a $35 spot as close as I could to the ballpark.  $35 to park, while $15 cheaper than Opening Day, is still highway robbery!  But, like I said, cause of my back I really didn’t have much choice in the matter this time.

Doug and I got lucky and were able to get a couple spots on stools in the bar at the Pyramid, as the place was quickly filling up with about 90 minutes or so to go before game time, so we ordered up some nacho’s and a pitcher of their newest IPA called “Grifter”.  I gotta say that it was awesome!

Bob DeVries is amid his second straight year of going to a game at all 30 Major League Ballparks in a season.  Seattle is stop # 19 for him this year and I am so glad that after having spent time talking on the phone, via email or texting back and forth as he made his ballpark chase last summer, that I would finally be able to not only meet the man, but attend a game with him during his Quest.  Last year Bob did his Quest as a way to regain his life after his wife passed away suddenly from SADS (Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes) on September 10, 2008.  This year he was doing it to bring awareness to SADS.  I fully admit that I have never heard of SADS until I met Bob online last year and I think what he is doing is just simply amazing.  For all of you that read this, if you would, please donate a little something to the “Shawn M. DeVries Memorial Fund”, you’ll be glad you did.

Bob had texted me a few times over the morning to let me know that his flight was delayed leaving Denver and now wouldn’t be into Seattle until 10:30am.  As I was driving to Tacoma to pick up Doug, I got another text saying it would now be 11am before he landed, which meant that he wouldn’t be into downtown until roughly Noon.  Despite having trouble finding parking and luckily getting one of the last $40 spots available, Bob, wearing his #10 “Every Park” Cubs jersey, walked into the pyramid just a little after Noon and joined us for a much needed beer!  It was great finally meeting him and hanging out for a bit, but we had to go find a high school friend of his, Joe,  who was meeting us at the game with his kids and get to the game.

The game was awesome.   King Felix vs Ted Lilly.  The Cubs jumped out front first with 1 run in the 2nd, before the M’s tied it up in the 4th.  In the 7th each team got a run and there we sat tied at 2-2 until the top of the 13th inning when Marlon Byrd singled to score Alfonso Soriano with the winning run, 3-2 Cubs.  This was the longest game I had ever been at in terms of innings (13) and time (4:02).  While my wife would have had a cow having been there that long, I was loving every moment of it.  Not only was it the Mariners vs Cubs, but I was sitting in the left field bleachers between Bob DeVries and Doug Miller, 2 guys that really know their stuff when it comes to baseball, the sun was shinning, my arms were burning… it was an amazing day!

After the game Bob, Doug and I made our way over to Jimmy’s on First for dinner and a couple beers before calling it a night.  Was really great getting to just sit there and talk with Bob about his adventures and just be able to take it all in.  I had so much fun getting to be a part of his Quest, even if it was only for a few hours.  We parted at the corner of 1st and Edgar Martinez Drive, just outside the Home Plate entrance to Safeco Field and as Doug and I waited for the light to turn green at the cross walk,  we watched Bob walking up the street until his #10 “Every Park” Cubs jersey faded away as he headed to yet another ballpark to continue his Quest…

The “Summer of Ken” continues July 11th as my brother and I will join the World Record holder Doug Booth for a game at Safeco Field as the Mariners take on the boys from the Bronx.  Looking forward to it.

Cubs (32-40)0100001000001360
Mariners (30-42)00010010000002111
W: Grabow, CHI (1-3) L: Olson, SEA (0-2) S: Gorzalanny, CHI (1)


1 Month To Go…

1 month from right now I will be making my way from Milwaukee to Minneapolis for my first game of the trip at the brand new Target Field. It’s a 5 hour drive from Milwaukee to Minneapolis, so as soon as I get into town I have to get on the road. You might be asking why I didn’t just fly into Minneapolis instead of Milwaukee and adding a 5 hour drive, both ways? Simple actually, the flight into Milwaukee was cheaper. I was already going to be having a car for 2 days, no matter where I flew into, so that’s a wash. When you take into account the price of gas to make those drives, I come out better by a few bucks. However, with that aside, I could not get a flight out of Minneapolis into Baltimore without going through either Atlanta or Boston with a 4+ hour layover in either. That just don’t make sense to me! With flying back out of Milwaukee I leave MKE at 6:10am and have a non-stop to BWI arriving at 9:00am. That not only gives me time to make it to the Orioles game that night, but it also gives me a day of sight seeing. In this case I will be headed straight down to DC as soon as I get my car (more on that to come in a different blog). Had I flown out of Minneapolis, via either Atlanta or Boston, I would have spent the biggest bulk of my day sitting in an airport instead of being able to enjoy myself seeing the sights and would have missed the first few innings of the Orioles game. Makes perfect sense to me even with a 5 hour drive directly after a night game looking me in the face for July 19th. I will be channeling my inner Doug Booth for that portion, that’s for sure.

Over the next month I will be adding posts about the upcoming trip. It’s getting close, yet I am not completely ready for it, so I best start getting ready. Until then, I still have a Mariners/Cubs game (with Bob DeVries from “30 Ballparks In 1 Summer”), a Mariners/Yankees game (with World Record Holder Doug Booth) to get me through. Plus, Strausburg pitches tonight vs the White Sox… looking forward to him shutting the SouthSiders down!


My 5 hour drive from Milwaukee to Minneapolis and back...

All My Tickets Are Bought…

I finally pulled the trigger and bought the last couple tickets I needed to be completely covered for this trip. I was lacking a ticket to the first game @ Target Field as well as a ticket to the Mets game @ Citi Field. For this trip I wanted/needed to make sure I got my tickets early, especially for Target Field. Unlike my next trip down into California where I can just wait to buy A’s tickets the day of the game (I did go ahead and get my tickets for the Giants and 2nd Angels game though).

Anyway, 1 step closer…. only 57 more days!

I have you in my sights Target Field!

It’s official… the airline tickets are bought, rental car is booked (and paid for) and I have already purchased a ticket to 1 of the 2 games I will be going to, with the 2nd ticket not too far behind.

I will be in Minneapolis to check out the brand new Target Field on July 18th & 19th for games vs the White Sox and Indians respectively. Can’t wait to see the park and check out all it has to offer. I will be sure to take plenty of pictures to share.

After MPLS I leave for Baltimore for 2 games at Camden Yards. Then a few days later I will be taking in a game at Yankee Stadium and one at Citi Field. I am going to try to add a game at Nationals Field as well on this trip.

July 18th – White Sox vs Twins @ Target Field
July 19th – Indians vs Twins @ Target Field
July 20th – Rays vs Orioles @ Camden Yards
July 21st – Rays vs Orioles @ Camden Yards
July 25th – Royals vs Yankees @ Yankee Stadium
July 27th – Cardinals vs Mets @ Citi Field

The Big Trip Has Been Canceled!

After months of planning and waiting… I am sad to announce that the trip has been officially canceled as of just a few minutes ago! As sad as it is, cause it would have been an amazing trip, it don’t mean I wont be going to games this year!

Look for reports on upcoming trips and reports from the games this summer!


2010 Road Trip… Schedule Change!

I got an email from Chuck the other day saying that, like me, he hates to have a day of vacation where he don’t get to see a ball game. So he worked up a new schedule for us next year and the only day(s) on the entire trip we wont be seeing a game is our big travel days to and from Denver. That just rocks! So the new schedule is:

June 22 – Drive from Lacey to Denver
June 23 – Red Sox vs Rockies @ Coors
June 24 – Red Sox vs Rockies @ Coors
June 25 – Cardinals vs Royals @ Kauffman
June 26 – Cubs vs White Sox @ US Cellular
Mariners vs Brewers @ Miller Park
June 27 – Mariners vs Brewers @ Miller Park
June 28 – Tigers vs Twins @ Target Field
June 29 – Rays vs Red Sox @ Fenway (drive from Mpls to KC, fly to BOS)
June 30 – Mariners vs Yankees @ Yankee Stadium (after a few hrs at HOF)
July 1 – Brewers vs Cardinals @ Busch (after flying in to KC from BOS)
July 2 – Giants vs Rockies @ Coors
July 3 – Drive from Denver to Lacey

8 Parks, 11 games, 12 teams…

Ballparks we’ll see:
Coors Field
Kauffman Stadium
U.S. Cellular Field
Miller Park
Target Field (current ballpark #30 for both of us)
Fenway Park
Yankee Stadium
Busch Stadium

Teams we’ll see:

Red Sox (x3)
Rockies (x3)
Cardinals (x2)
White Sox
Mariners (x3)
Brewers (x3)

For you travel geeks, like myself, this trip will also include seeing 20 different states…

States we’ll see:
New Mexico
New York
New Jersey
Rhode Island

2010 Road Trip Planned!!

Since MLB announced their 2010 schedules the week of September 15th, it was time for all of us “Ball Park Geeks” to sit down and start planning our 2010 Baseball Road Trips. 2010 will be very different than I had originally pictured it. I only need to pick up Target Field in Minneapolis to (re)complete having seen all 30 current MLB ballparks. I had planned a quick run over to Minnesota for a game, or two, then back home. I got to talking to Chuck Booth about it a while ago and we decided to make this run together. This mounted from there and I am very excited to say that I will be doing a really cool road trip with “Mr. World Record” himself next June!!!

This trip came about from the need to see a game at Target Field and the fact that Chuck didn’t like that I have the new Yankee Stadium ranked at #24 on my “Top 30!” So after some discussion, this is the trip Chuck has planned for us for next summer, assuming the schedules hold as previously announced.

June 22 – Drive to Denver from Lacey, WA
23 – Rox vs Red Sox @ Coors
24 – Rox vs Red Sox @ Coors
25 – Royals vs Cards @ Kauffmann
26 – CHW vs Cubs @ US Cellular
Brewers vs Mariners @ Miller
27 – Mets vs Twins @ Citi
28 – Cooperstown
29 – Yankees vs Mariners @ Yankee
30 – Twins vs Tigers @ Target
July     1 – Drive rest of the way home

I have to give up seeing the Cubs in Seattle for 3 games to do it, but getting to see my Red Sox @ Coors for 2 makes up for that. On the 26th, the time for the Cubs vs White Sox at US Cellular has not been announced, but most often those games are at 1:10pm EST, so if that’s the case we will be able to make that game and the nightcap in Milwaukee @ Miller Park. If the White Sox/Cubs game is scheduled differently we’re talking bypassing Chicago completely and hitting “The Field of Dreams” in Dyersville, IA on our way to Milwaukee 🙂

We would be driving from Lacey, WA to Denver (1370 miles), then to Kansas City (about 610 miles), then to Chicago (530 miles) and up to Milwaukee (92 miles) then over to Minneapolis (337 miles).  From Minneapolis we would fly to New York (LGA) for the Mets game, then drive to Cooperstown (223 miles), and back to New York (223 miles) for Yankees game before flying back to MPLS for the Twins game and hitting the road shortly after the game (1697 miles from MPLS to Lacey). Since it’s a 12:10pm start it will allow us a few hours of drive time after the game before finishing the drive on in to Lacey the next day.

On the 28th, after a FULL DAY at the Hall of Fame, we are hoping we can add a minor league game in somewhere, like maybe Binghamton. That would be cool.

Should be an awesome trip and to get to share it with “Mr. World Record” will be awesome!