The Ultimate Road Trip

My NBC colleague Bob Harkins has a long piece up about folks who do the 30 ballparks in one season thing. Lots of good anecdotes in there, a great interactive map, and a good overview of the logistical hurdles such a trip presents. The biggest hurdles for the ultimate road trip, however, could be personal ones:

Foster, however, offers words of warning for those who don’t have a family to take with them, yet may be leaving important people behind.

“Be single,” he advised. “I had a girlfriend when I left, and when I got home I was single. It fell apart, man.”

Hmmm . . . in the ATH thread this morning, people talked of chipping in to get me the Extra Innings package, which I said could lead to my divorce. At the same time, I’d give just about anything in order to be able to do the 30-parks road trip.

Hey, you two birds: prepare to meet a stone . . .

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15 years ago

I’m totally with you, Craig (other than the whole divorce thing, of course). That would be the greatest trip in the world. I love that they have the interactive map.

When I was in college, I had dreams of doing this. I had ideas for writing a computer program to figure out the schedule and route and ways to modify the car to make it the most interesting (a digital camera on the dash that would automatically take a picture every mile, a power converter to plug everything into the cigarette lighter, etc.) It never came anywhere close to happening, though. Being a computer science major, I had few friends at school who were really into baseball, so there wasn’t really anyone to go along with. Plus, the whole money/car thing would’ve been pretty difficult to work out.

Still, the dream continues, and it will happen, I’m sure of it…

15 years ago

Very cool.  Someday…someday…

Matt in Toledo
15 years ago

I remember reading a New Yorker story one time where the main point was people are surprisingly bad at knowing what they will like or dislike over time.

People who thought they would like to eat ice cream every day got sick of it. People who didn’t want to do it were pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoyed it. That sort of thing.

This project, seeing all 30 parks in one season, seems like ripe ground for validating that article’s point in a very time consuming, expensive way.

15 years ago

I don’t know Matt. My friends and I did a two-week version of this, only getting to a third of the ballparks, but we could have done the whole thing.  For anyone who loves baseball, it’s a heck of a lot of fun.

I think the key is going with people who you genuinely enjoy spending time with.  If you’re with some questionable characters, that much time together in a car very well could drive you crazy.

And just as a counterpoint, my girlfriend at the time (and my wife now) was happy that I got to do this since she knew I would get it out of my system and not bug her about it in the future.

15 years ago

No mention of those three kids from Philly who just finished their insane, ‘30 Ballparks in 30 Days’, trip. Shyster had a link to an article about them in mid-April. I got to meet them when they blew through Arlington – neat bunch of kids. They made it, too. Finished up in San Diego the first week of May.

15 years ago

While I haven’t done the all-in-one-year trip, I’ve done many large multiple-park forays (all Midwest and all East Coast, for example) and I think I like following ballparks more than following a team.

It’s too bad people don’t have the chance to see a game in some of the old parks, like Tiger Stadium, Comiskey, or even The Mistake By The Lake – it put things into perspective for me to see the old park and then come back and see the new one. Even to see a crappy-ass park like the fully enclosed “Big A,” then see it after it became a great ballpark again, adds perspective.

My advice to travelers: I highly recommend building in side trips. It not only lets you experience some incredible things that you’d later kick yourself for missing, it gives you slack in your ballpark schedule so it isn’t so frantic.

Craig Burley
15 years ago

That’s not the ultimate trip.  The ultimate trip is all 160 minor league stadiums (not including the Mexican, Dominican or Venezuelan Summer Leagues) in one season.  That’s my White Whale.

It’s been done (it’s even been done with all the major league parks thrown in) but it would make a great book.

15 years ago

I took a 6-week road trip cross country last summer with my husband… it was amazing, probably the smartest thing we’ve ever done.  We only made it to a handful of parks along the way, but had an unbelievable trip, saw Niagara Falls, Glacier National Park, the wilds of Montana, Bob Dylan’s birthplace, the Grand Canyon, and of course, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.  We traveled about 12,000 mile total, and camped out the whole way.  I recommend it to anyone and everyone… even if you can’t afford it, go anyway smile