Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My love/hate relationship with baseball

Another World Series has come and gone. I think I watched about a dozen pitches, if that many. Why? i guess I didn't really care about either team. Baseball is probably the only sport where I'm a homer. I'm probably an A's fan and a Padres fan, as I was in San Diego during their last World Series trip and had the chance to go to many games. My buddy Terry and I even drove out to Phoenix to check out a Spring Training game against the A's. I guess that would be my first of several baseball road trips.

But the thing is that I'm not really a big baseball fan. Let me amend that. I'm not a fan of following baseball. I don't check stats and standings through the season. 162 games is just ridiculous. I don't like watching baseball on TV. I actually prefer listening to it on the radio, but I never do. But I love going to games. I think it's because I'm more a fan of the history and idea of baseball.

I've set a goal to see every MLB team play a home game. I worded it hat way very carefully to avoid saying visit every MLB park. The Yankees are an example, in that I saw them at Yankee Stadium, but that won't be their home next season. So they I couldn't count them. This way I can. And it isn't the Yankees that I make that rule for. It's more about team like the Twins. I saw them in the Metrodome, but they're moving out of there in a couple years. I also spent a day in Minneapolis. I pretty much don't need to go back. So unless the new ball park is crazy amazing unique, do I really want to go there? No, I'm good.

You might think it's strange that I'm not such a big fan of baseball but I have this goal. And I kinda agree. So where does it come from? I think it started on my first major road trip. I reached Cleveland on the way out to the east coast. My plan was to check out the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame that night, since it was its free night and it was open late. It turned out that everyone wanted to go that night since it was the free night and open late. So while it was open late, it had already closed to additional people. So I was stuck in Cleveland. What is there to do in Cleveland? Go to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. That's about it. But there's also the Cleveland Indians. So I decided to go to a game. That was back in 1999 when they sold out every game. I had to stand around waiting for scalpers who were riding around on their bicycles to finally decide to sell a single ticket for under $50. I made it in before the game started with a $20.00 ticket, top row. VERY top row. (And I went to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame the next morning, which was incredible, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton that afternoon. Excellent day.)

Since then, I've found going to ball parks to be an excellent activity in many of these cities. Ever been to Detroit? There's about as much to do there as there is in Minneapolis and Cleveland. But it's a major city, so I went there to see what I was missing. Well, White Castle and the Detroit Lions. And that's a great park. It's lots of fun to plan the road trips using the MLB schedule as a starting point. Here's a list of the teams I've seen in alpha order:

1. Atlanta Braves
2. Baltimore Orioles
3. Chicago White Sox
4. Cincinnati Red
5. Cleveland Indians
6. Detroit Tigers
7. Houston Astros
8. Kansas City Royals
9. LA Angels of Anaheim
10. LA Dodgers
11. Milwaukee Brewers
12. Minnesota Twins
13. New York Yankees
14. Oakland A’s
15. Philadelphia Phillies
16. Pittsburgh Pirates
17. San Diego Padres
18. San Francisco Giants
19. St. Louis Cardinals

And the ones I haven't been to see:

1. Arizona Diamondbacks
2. Boston Red Sox
3. Chicago White Sox
4. Colorado Rockies
5. Florida Marlins
6. New York Mets
7. Seattle Mariners
8. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
9. Texas Rangers
10. Toronto Blue Jays
11. Washington Nationals

And since I know that I'll reach the goal before I die, I'm going to live a long, long life. Who wants to go to Tampa? Though I'm looking forward to Boston. I tried, but they were sold out and the scalper tickets were ridiculous. I have a plan to see a Red Sox game, but it will be a few years.

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