I wrote the post below on December 27, 2018. I never got around to posting it, but I thought it might be cool to revisit it now that the 2019 MLB season is in the rear-view. So which goals did I achieve? How close to reality was this outline? And which pieces did I miss?
Original text in standard black.
Revisitation text in italic red.
If you are still reading this blog… THANK YOU! I will always use this space to recap my adventures in some form and share the things I couldn’t otherwise share in video/audio form. With that being said, my focus in 2019 will be video form, specifically YouTube. So far, so good. Wouldn’t you agree?
If you haven’t subscribed by now, I’d more than appreciate your subscription (and views). I am “Baseball Road Tripper”. Click this sentence to be directed to the site. You’ve already subscribed, right? RIGHT?!
As for 2019, well, I have quite the list of plans and a few major milestones to reach.
Let’s start with the plans: (Links to the YouTube videos in the bullet’s title.)
- Opening Day – March 28, 2019 – MY BIRTHDAY! I get to celebrate my 35th with the Twins and 35K+ friends. A certain major milestone may be reached this day. The weather gods allowed this to happen, and the baseball gods blessed me with #1000 as a birthday gift. Thanks to all who showed up or sent well wishes.
- Miami – Marlins Park plus THREE National Parks (Everglades, Biscayne, and Dry Tortugas). This trip will be short, but packed with goodness. I’ll see Key West for the first time, do some fruit searching in the Miami area, and explore the Miami way the only way I know how… Vegan, Vinyl, and Baseball! Oh, and another massive milestone will be reached here. I conquered my fear of planes and took in all of the above and much more. After this trip I was able to say I have visited all 30 Current MLB Ballparks.
- New England – New York City, Boston, Cooperstown, and crossing off New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont from my list of states to visit. I’ll be taking Jared with me to see Citi Field, Yankee Stadium, and Fenway Park, with a stop in Cooperstown to top it all off. We’ll even hit up Acadia National Park in between. So much to see in just over a week, but see things we will. A final massive milestone can and should be reached in Boston. For the second time in less than a month, I can say that I conquered my fear of planes and took in all of the above and much more. With balls from each ballpark, I have attended a game and gotten at least one ball at EVERY CURRENT MLB STADIUM! Actually, I’ve gotten at least 3 balls, since that’s the lowest total for any of the stadiums. Oh, then there is Cooperstown, too. Wow, too much to describe right here.
- Omaha & Dallas – College Baseball World Series? Cool. But the MLB playing a game at the same venue for the first time? AWESOME! A special commemorative will be in play (most likely) and I will be there crossing my fingers and trying my luck. Plus, this will be my first MLB game at a non-MLB stadium. Then I will head down to Dallas and double down, hoping for a final season at Globe Life Park commemorative. Wish me luck. Well, this trip changed, but I was still able to hit both places up. Instead of Omaha + Dallas, it turned into Omaha + Cincinnati, with Dallas happening a couple months later. Note to self, maybe don’t keep hitting up the Rangers in the dead of summer? But if you do, spend less than 24 hours away from home. I CONQUERED MY FEAR FOR THE THIRD TIME THIS MLB SEASON! Who am I?!
- Cincinnati – As mentioned above, this was swapped out with Dallas. I decided to hit Cincy because of the commemorative baseballs (a sweet 150th Anniversary logo). I ended up getting both the standard and the “throwback” versions. I was lucky with the latter, since they didn’t actually use the throwback balls the game I attended (even though they wore the throwback uniforms).
Now the milestones:
- 1000 Balls! – I just need four more to get there. I’d like to do this on opening day. How many can say they’ve reached such a milestone on their birthday?! And if it was an Opening Day commemorative? Perfect.
Again, wish me luck. I did it! Marwin Gonzalez is the man, and everything was perfectly aligned to make this happen.
- Visit all 30 (current) stadiums – Miami will be the last one on the list. To be able to do this about 10 years after I started catching baseballs is semi-impressive. But considering I will have visited them all since September 2015, I’d say my seriousness as of late is more than respectable. Done. I was able to complete this just a couple weeks after the 10th anniversary of catching my first ball.
- Catch a ball at all 30 (current) stadiums – If I can do it in Miami, both New York stadiums, and Fenway, then I will have completely the biggest goal I have ever set out to do. Not only was I successful, but I have visited all 30 current stadiums (at the time of writing) within 1003 days. The only down side is that once the Rangers open Globe Life Field in a few months, my list needs to be updated and it will add a couple hundred days to that total.
- Get a game ball at all 30 (current) stadiums – Again, I’d need the 4 listed above PLUS Globe Life Park. This wasn’t an original goal of mine, but I’m this close and can cross it off, so why not? I was able to cross of the first three from the list (New England). Then there was Texas… WHICH I TOTALLY CROSSED OFF THE LIST! Thanks, Miguel Sano and Tony Beasley!
- Get a postseason commemorative – This was not an original goal, since the Twins were not really a playoff contender the previous season. But this goal has always been in the background and I finally got the chance to go for it on October 7th. Spoilers: Nailed it!
Now for the THANK YOUS…
In no particular order, I’d like to give some thanks:
- Jared – thanks for continuing to go on adventures with me.
- Chelsea – thanks for putting up with my crazy. You both attended games with me, without me, and let me go solo as you watched my Evelyn.
- Benny – thanks for letting me crash with you in Texas… and Cincinnati.
- Greg – thanks for the entertainment in Cincy.
- Zatch – Even though you didn’t appear in any videos or on the blog, you are a legend. Hopefully the public will one day get to see just how much of a ballhawking master you are.
- David W – my Atlanta via Maine brother. Thanks for showing us around Portland. Here’s to a longer overlap in 2020.
- Target Field crew – thanks for being awesome and hanging out. I’m bummed that 2019 seemed to be a down year for all of us, but we did manage to grow in size. Alex, Dave, Nate, James, Jake, Ryan, Katie, Logan, Jordan, and anyone else that I may have forgotten (sorry)… you are the best.
- Target Field staff – Joe, Heather, Lee, and everyone else in my section… YOU ARE ALL FANTASTIC! You have made my adventures memorable and I cannot thank you enough.
- Ian – thanks for being a cool dude. It was a pleasure meeting you in Omaha and as much as I’d love to add a record to my vinyl collection, sending you one from Minnesota is the next best thing. If the Twins and Yankees meet again, this bet will have a round 2.
- And to everyone else – readers of this blog, viewers of the channel, and friends I’ve met on the road or sat next to at a game – I hope we cross paths again and get to talk more baseball.