Over at Midwest Sports Fans, Jerod Morris is finishing up his four week college football road trip (sponsored by La Quinta) this weekend, and will be heading to Columbus, Ohio to see the Ohio State Buckeyes host the Purdue Boilermakers. It's a pretty cool promotion, and the staff over at our sister site Crystal Ball Run talked about what their dream college football road trip would be two weeks ago.
Now, it's our turn here at TOC. I'm not sure there's anything more exciting for a baseball fan then loading up your car/van/RV, grabbing some buddies or family, and going off on a week or two adventure to check out a few ballparks that you haven't been to just for the experience. It's very common among baseball fans, perhaps moreso than in any other sport. Some of our staffers came up with ideas of what exactly their dream road trip would be, and our answers are pretty enlightening.
Matt Lindner: PNC Park and Yankee Stadium — My introduction to the game of baseball came in the form of the stories my dad would tell us during road trips from Chicago to his hometown of Cumberland, Maryland to see our extended family. Perhaps the most vivid memory that he had was of listening to Bill Mazeroski's Series-winning home run to lead his beloved Pirates over his father's Yankees in 1960. The excitement he experienced as a 12-year-old kid whose team triumphed over his old man's on the greatest possible stage still shone through in his voice twenty some-odd years after the fact as we rambled through the Appalachians in our old wood-paneled minivan in the late-80s and early-90s. The Forbes Field of my father's youth and the Yankee Stadium of his father's youth are long since gone, but absent any work responsibilities, I'd like to take my dad to those two stadiums, stopping at the old Forbes Field wall in Pittsburgh along the way to indulge my father's inner child and remind me of the reason why I started chronicling these games in the first place.
Joe Lucia: I've gone on numerous road trips with my dad. When I was younger, it was a yearly tradition. We've done a midwest swing that hit Cleveland, Pittsburgh (Three Rivers days), and both Chicago parks. We've gone throughout the northeast and done Shea and old Yankee Stadium in New York, Boston, Montreal, and Cooperstown. We've gone to the west coast twice, and hit every park in California aside from San Diego (and adding in Arizona). I've been to Atlanta multiple times (including last year, when I also saw games in four minor league stadiums traveling to and from my final destination), and have gone to Florida for Spring Training for four years running. So a road trip isn't exactly something that's new to me. But if I had to go anywhere now, at age 26, I'd probably want to go to Coors Field in Colorado. By all accounts, it's a gorgeous stadium and Colorado is one of the best states for craft beer in the country. From there, I'd head to Oregon and indulge in some minor league ball before heading up to Washington, checking out more minor league action, and ending my trip at Safeco Field in Seattle. This just seemed like the best option for me, touching not only baseball, but other things that I enjoy.
Charlie Saponara: I don't have a lot of time to come up with a ton of details, but my dream road trip right now would be to hit up every pro ballpark in Oregon and Washington. One, for the baseball, but the added reason would be to drink local beer, eat local food and enjoy the gorgeous landscape along the way. Also, I've been fortunate enough to see most east coast ballparks, so this would be something brand new for me.
Oregon: Eugene Emeralds (MiLB), Corvallis Knights (Indy), Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (MiLB), Hillsboro Hops (MiLB)
Washington: Everett Aquasox (MiLB), Tacoma Raineirs (MiLB), Seattle Mariners (MLB)
Garrett Wilson: First off, my trip would be in a tour bus, not an RV. RVs are for old people. The trip itself would kick-off at Wrigley Field. Having lived on both coasts, I've already been to a lot of ballparks, but not to any in the Midwest. Why Wrigley specifically? I've never been there and even though it is kind of a dump now, it has always been on my bucket list. From there, I would head to Busch Stadium in St. Louis. All I've ever heard about St. Louis is what a great baseball town it is and I want to test that out for myself. Up next is the Ballpark in Arlington. I am an Angels fan and I feel it important to know thy enemy. Actually, looking at the map, I think I'll throw in a visit to Little Rock to see the Angels' Double-A team on my way from St. Louis to Arlington. After seeing the Rangers, I'd head to Coors Field. Sure, the Rockies stink, but I am strangely compelled to witness a batting practice at that altitude. I'd even try and time it for when Giancarlo Stanton and the Marlins are in town, just to up the ante. I'm indifferent to whether or not I'd hang around for the actual game. Finally, I'd end the trip back in Anaheim. I moved away from Southern California years ago and miss the Big A. It isn't a special stadium or anything, but it feels like home to me. Also, I figure this will help wash all that Texas stank off of me.
We've all got our preferences. What would your dream road trip be? From a purely logistical standpoint, traveling to the northeast is awesome if you want to hit the most parks in the most days. You could conceivably start in Cincinnati and end up hitting a different park every day for a week and a half as you travel into Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and Massachusetts. Or, you could go in the other direction and visit parks in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. There are so many different trips you can plan depending on what you enjoy to do aside from baseball, and all of them would be fantastic.