It is only January, but my appetite for baseball is still ginormous. I guess three months away from the game combined with a few weeks until pitchers and catchers reporting will do that to a fanatic.
Since my longing for baseball can be compared to the appetite of a professional competitive eater, I have come up with a few trips that are more than likely going to happen. I’ll still be attending a dozen or so Twins games at Target Field, but my desire to cross off every team’s stadium from my list is at an all-time high.
Trip #1: Cactus League
You read that correctly. I have attended Spring Training for the past four years, but only in Florida. I still would love to extend that Florida streak, but due to the price of the following trips and work commitments, that want is probably going to stay a bud never to bloom.
So why the Cactus League? Simple. I have a work trip that will be taking me to Vegas for a few days. I realized that teams will already have players reporting by then, so I might as well view some workouts and *hopefully* score one of those sweet new Spring Training baseballs.
I am hoping that a Twin can help me out with the FL version, but above all, I am really hoping that the workouts include these new balls. Since I will be arriving before games start, this form of ballhawking is completely new to me. Wish me luck.
(I plan on seeing Surprise Stadium – Rangers/Royals – and Camelback Ranch – Dodgers/White Sox.)
Side note: While I am down there I will also be attending an Arizona Coyotes hockey game (against the St. Louis Blues). I’m pretty pumped to be able to enjoy my two favorite sports… and escape the well below freezing temps.
Trip #2: California
I have a week set aside in late May/early June and as long as our work schedules allow us, my wife and I will be California-bound (for the first time in either of our lives). While out on the “Best Coast”, I plan on visiting O.co Coliseum, Angel Stadium, Petco Park, and Dodger Stadium (in that order). You have no clue how excited I am to be doing this trip.
The only down side? Not being able to cross off AT&T from the list. Stupid San Francisco Giants don’t play the week I’m out there (let alone within a few days of us arriving/leaving – probably their longest road trip of the season).
The Athletics will be facing the Twins for the game I will more than likely attend, so this also has me jacked. If schedules align, maybe I will even see “the Pride of O.co/Oakland Coliseum,” Nick Badders. Think I should have him on as a guest for At the Gates?
The other three match-ups are Angels/Tigers, Padres/Mariners, and Dodgers/Braves. Not exactly marquee match-ups, but this is a good thing, since it’ll help my wallet (and chances of getting some baseballs).
Trip #3: Atlanta
Not sure when this will take place, but it WILL take place. My co-conspirator, Paul Kom, and I will have to compare schedules and line it up with the Braves’. Who knows, maybe a bonus stadium of Cincinnati or St. Louis, too? Again, all these factors rely on numerous schedules, but should happen at some point in 2016 (preferably earlier).
PS: Any idea if there is a commemorative baseball (and what it will look like)?
Trip #4: Chicago
Still in the infancy of planning, but the 100th season of the Cubs at Wrigley means that a commemorative is likely. This also means that I will try for one of these – it would look nice sitting next to my Wrigley 100th from 2014. I’m guessing Larry Larson will make the push to get me out there. Again, if schedules align, maybe I can cross U.S. Cellular off my ballhawking list (I attended a game there in 2011, but wasn’t ballhawking full-time yet).
So there it is. My busy baseball season. If all goes well with my flight to Las Vegas I will probably be flying out to California. This means my “road trip and baseball” marriage is not exclusive. I would love that because it would open up doors to travel more (and obviously quicker) to baseball and non-baseball destinations. But we’ll see how the anxiety treats me. Wish me luck and many positive vibes.
Total stadiums planned: SIX MLB and TWO Cactus League (potentially increasing to EIGHT MLB stadiums, depending on additional stops to/from Atlanta/Chicago)
New Stadiums Gained: FIVE-SEVEN MLB and TWO Cactus League