S: A Baseball Journey
BC: First Trip - Baltimore Orioles July 22, 1996 Dad - 38, Rob 11 | Final Trip - Los Angeles Dodgers August 13, 2011 Dad - 53, Rob 26 | Nick - Game #14 Half-way Through his journey Nick - 13
FC: A Baseball Journey 1995 - 2011
1: In the summer of 1995, at an Atlanta Braves game, the seed was planted to visit every MLB stadium. Beginning in 1996 the journey officially begins. The rules: - Boys-only no girls (sorry Mom). Nick was added to the journey in 2004 - Annual trip - even becomes part of the pre-nuptual discussion with Lindsey. - Eat everything at the stadium, jump on the beds at the hotel, be boys. - Rituals: - Buy a team hat, record the stats in the hat bib. - Buy a stadium pin, place pin on Journey Map. - Buy a team logo ball, obtain autographs, place ball on Journey Map ball rack. - Buy a foam team finger - Nick's ritual - Buy a program guide and keep stats on the score sheet. - Take a photograph from behind home plate after the game.
2: On Labor Day weekend in 1995, our family went to Atlanta for a long weekend. We visited the Olympic Park and found the brick with the kids name on it. We also went to an Atlanta Braves game. This game planted the seed to visit every MLB stadium - and the journey began. | Fulton County Stadium (old) 09/03 Braves 2 Cubs 0
3: Camden Yards 7/22 Orioles 5 Twins 9 7/24 Orioles 4 Twins 11 | Veterans Stadium (old) 7/23 Phillies 3 Reds 5 7/24 Phillies 1 Reds 3 | 1996 - Baltimore and Philadelphia First "Boys only" Baseball road trip. We drove from Winston-Salem to Baltimore and Philadelphia. We attended two games at each stadium - including an afternoon and evening game at two different stadiums on the same day - whew, we slowed down after this.
4: 1997 - Trip Around Lake Erie Cleveland - Toronto - Detroit We flew into Detroit, rented a car and headed to Cleveland, then the NFL Hall of Fame, then Niagra Falls, then Toronto, then the NHL Hall of Fame, then back to Detroit. We intentionally scheduled this trip to see the old Tiger stadium, opened in 1912 Tiger and Fenway were the two oldest parks at the time (Fenway also opened in 1912), the last game was played here in 1999 with a new ballpark built for the 2000 season | Jacobs Field 07/20 Indians 7 Red Sox 2 | Skydome Stadium 07/22 Blue Jays 5 Brewers 2 | Tiger Stadium (old) 07/23 Tigers 8 White Sox 6
5: 1998 - Kansas City This is the summer we moved to Dallas and the summer almost passed us by - so we did a quick overnighter to KC in September. We also visited the Negro Baseball Hall of Fame. | Kaufman Stadium 09/12 Royals 5 Mariners 2
6: 1999 - LA and San Diego We did a southern California tour and visited Hollywood, Malibu, Venice Beach, Rodeo Drive, and drove the coast to San Diego. We had tickets to the Dodgers game - at the Will Call window - the "fan" site said the game was at 7:05 (this was before the Dodgers or MLB had an official website) but the game was played at 1:05 -- so we totally missed the game - watched the 9th inning on TV from our hotel room - Randy Johnson had pitched an entire game. We ended the journey back in LA in 2011. The L.A. Angels were known then as the Anaheim Angels. | Edison International Field 08/02 Angels 4 Royals 12 | (Old) Qualcomm Field 08/01 Padres 10 Astros 3
7: 2000 - Montreal and Boston Two games in Montreal - the franchise was done (their final season was in 2004 then they moved to Washington) - and the stands were eeriely empty. Rob was in his second year of French and he quickly realized how much more he had to learn as he tried to converse with people in Old Quebec. Boston Fenway was awesome! Game was won bottom of the 9th with a Grand Slam! | Olympic Stadium 08/12 Expos 2 Rockies 14 08/13 Expos 3 Rockies 5 | Fenway Park 08/14 Red Sox 7 Devil Rays 3
8: 2001 - Tampa and Miami Tropicana Field was eerily empty as well. This was their 3rd season in Tampa Bay, playing in an indoor arena built in 1990 in anticipation of attracting a franchise. Our nephew/cousin Brian Martin joined us at the Marlins game. After a day on the beach at South Beach, Robbie was convinced this is where he wanted to live! | Tropicana Field 08/11 Rays 4 Twins 2 | Pro Palyers Stadium (Old) 08/12 Marlins 13 Astros 5
9: 2002 - St. Louis and Minneapolis We sat in the MasterCard Home Run Suite at the Cardinals-Cubs game - long standing rivals, the stadium was packed! Another highlight was seeing Sammy Sosa play. We did the Arch in St. Louis and we also rode the roller coaster at the Mall of America in Minneapolis. The Metrodome is the only air-supported domed stadium in MLB. | Busch Stadium (Old) 07/26 Cards 8 Cubs 4 | Metrodome (Old) 07/27 Twins 5 Blue Jays 4
10: 2003 - The City - New York We did all of the touristry things and rode the subway to the games. We'll always remember the cheer at the Yankees game - Chaaarge! We exited the subway from the wrong exit at Yankee's stadium - not where you want to be! | Shea Stadium 08/17 Mets 6 Rockies 4 | Yankee Stadium (Old) 08/18 Yankees 11 Royals 6
11: 2004 - Houston and Phoenix Nick was old enough (6) to join the "boys trip". We visited Houston and Phoenix. Leaving Minute Maid Park we took a wrong turn and ended up in a very bad part of town - we will always remember the man walking down the street with a refrigerator on his back! In Phoenix we stayed at the Squaw Peak Resort and had our own Casita. The resort had a huge pool and a lazy river - Nick was in Heaven. He was glad he had aged in to these journeys! His only regret - that we did not reserve the Swimming Pool seats at the BOB. | Minute Maid Park 08/08 Astros 2 Expos 6 | Bank One Ballpark (now Chase) 08/09 D-Backs 4 Braves 11
12: 2005 - Chicago and Milwaukee We flew into Chicago and started with a road trip to Milwaukee - did the brewery tours. Then headed to the Windy City and visited Dad's favorite team and park - Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Also saw the White Sox at the new Comiskey Park - called US Cellular Field. | Miller Park 05/28 Brewers 6 Astros 9 | Wrigley Field 05/29 Cubs 11 Rockies 6 | US Cellular Field 05/30 White Sox 5 Angels 4
13: 2006 - San Francisco and Dallas Rule #1 - boys only. Rule #2 - don't erroneously schedule a boys trip over Mothers-Day weekend. Rule #2 trumps Rule #1. Yep, totally booked the SF trip over Mothers Day. When I realized this (and I was reminded a few times ;-D ) I secretly booked Barb on a flight, packed a bag for her, and surprised her at the airport that she was going with us. Of course she couldn't go to the game with us - let's not push rule #1 - but she had a day at the San Francisco Hilton Spa while we went to the game, and we all had a lot of fun over the rest of the weeknd! Realizing we had not officially done a "boys only" Rangers game, we officially visited this stadium in 2006. | AT&T Park 05/13 Giants 6 Dodgers 5 "Beat L.A.; Beat L.A." | The Ball Park in Arlington 05/23 Rangers 6 Angels 7
14: 2007 - Cincinnati and Denver As the number of stadiums to visit became fewer, and the boys got older, the scheduling became harder. We visited Cincinnati in May and Denver in August. We visited the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The Rockies game was one of the most exciting games we've seen - a 5 run bottom of the 9th inning with two outs to win the game. Colorado won the National League pennant that year, and lost the World Series in a 4-0 sweep to the Red Sox. Note to self - having bat-shaped pillows on the hotel beds = a bad idea! | Great American Ballpark 05/26 Reds 5 Pirates 9 | Coors Field 08/24 Rockies 6 Nationals 5 | Key Players: Ken Griffey Jr
15: 2008- Washington DC When our journey began, the Nationals were the Expos. So this was an addition to the original plan. We visited the Nationals in their inagural season of their new stadium (Dad had attended a Nationals game the prior year at the old JFK stadium). We toured all of DC and wow was it HOT! A thunderstorm erupted at the very end of the game and we were soaked to our "panties" getting to the train station! | Nationals Park 06/07 Nationals 0 Giants 6 | Key Players: Benji Molina | John Bowsker (SF) - Grand Slam in the 8th Inning
16: 2009-Seattle To make up for the hot trip the prior year, Seattle in June was COLD! We went on a Duck Tour early one morning and it was in the low 40's! We visited the Space Needle, the Old Public Market and the first Starbucks store. Cha-ching! (Something they taught us on the Duck Tour). | Safeco Field 06/20 Mariners 7 D-Backs 3
17: 2010 - Pittsburgh We did a quick weekend trip to Pittsburgh - the hotel was in the ball park's parking lot - convenient! We visited the Andy Warhol Museum - quoting Nick "that was one wierd dude!" There was a woman sitting in front of us that had the biggest head - a 40 pounder! Dad could finally see the ballgame after she left in the 7th inning. | PNC Park 05/21 Pirates 0 Braves 7 | Key Players: Chipper Jones
18: 2011 - Oakland and LA The Oakland A's was the only team we had never seen play before we visited Oakland (Rob did see them in Dallas versus the Rangers in June so he partially blew this factoid). The A's played the Rangers in Oakland too. As noted back in 1999, the Dodgers stadium was a do-over. Nick and Dad stayed an extra day to visit the Angels - Nick has only been on half of this journey, so you'll have to wait for version 2.0 to catch a glimpse of the rest of this journey -- and we get to see all of the new stadiums that were built since we began this journey! | The Coliseum 08/12 A's 1 Rangers 9 | Dodger's Stadium 08/13 Dodgers 6 Astros 1
19: Baseball is a game of stastistics, here are ours: 31 Stadiums; 34 Games 28 Cities; 2 Countries 16 Years Home team W/l Record: 18-16 Home/Visitor Score: 171-200 AL Home Team Record: 10-5 NL Home Team Record: 8-11 Inter-league (AL-NL) Record: 2-0 Teams we saw the most: 2 teams for 5 games (Rockies and Astros) 1 team for 4 games (Twins) 4 Teams for 3 games 14 teams for 2 games 10 teams for 1 game Teams we have only seen win: Braves 3-0; Giants 2-0; 7 Teams 1-0 Teams we have only seen lose: Orioles, Phillies, Nationals, Brewers, Diamondbacks - 0-2 Extra Innings - only 1 Grand Slams - 2 Memories - Endless; Cost - Priceless | Sidebar Factoids: Stadiums rebuilt since we visited: 7 Teams no longer in existance: 1 - Expos Teams added after we began: 3 1998 Tampa Bay and Arizona - Expansion teams 2005 Washington Nationals - moved from Expos/ Did you know that Washington had a MLB team called the Senators until they moved to Arlington TX to become the Texas Rangers in 1972? Washington Nationals and the Seatle Mariners have something in common - neither have ever played in the World Series | Evolution - in the beginning it was hard to find the schedules and book the tickets (pre commercialization of the internet). Had to call directory assistance to get the phone number for the ticket office to have a schedule mailed to you, then order the tickets over the phone. Same for hotel and air travel. At the end, could book entire trip, including printing the "virtual tickets" on my iPhone.