Have you dreamed of a boomer baseball tour? Are you checking all the professional stadiums off your boomer travel list as you attend a game? In today’s guest post, Greg Goodman, Adventures of a Good Man, tells us how.
Spend a few minutes talking to any serious fan and they will tell you of their dream to visit every single professional stadium of their favorite sport. For me that sport is baseball and my stadium count is at 21 and counting. How did I see them all? Lots and lots of driving—and a few flights.
The first step is to exhaust every single stadium within a few hundred mile radius of your home. Growing up inNew York City meant that Boston, Philly, Baltimore and DC were close enough that I could drive to a game and still sleep in my bed that same night, although a 7:05pm start ensured a late bedtime.
If that’s not for you, getting a hotel nearby to a stadium is usually pretty easy. That way, you can get in early, explore the city a bit, walk to the game, have a good night’s sleep, see a few more sights and still return home at a reasonable hour.
Plan a Boomer Baseball Tour
But what happens when you have exhausted all of the easy-to-reach stadiums? Well, then it’s time to get on a flight and rent a car. It’s also a fantastic excuse to plan a reunion with an old friend.
Micheil and I grew up on a small island in the middle of New York City , though he now lives in Cleveland and I live in San Francisco. So what better way for two good childhood friends to reunite than for a 5 day, 5 stadium, 1,300 mile road trip starting in St Louis?
I’ll be honest, we did very little planning before our trip. We booked our flights, chose our stadiums and figured out our game times. After that, we relied on smartphones for everything: directions, hotels, tickets, sights to see along the way—everything. (Boomers this is where it gets techie).
For tickets, we used Stubhub, and always waited until the night before to get tickets for nearly nothing. Out of the five games, our average ticket price was $30 and our average seat was no more than 5 rows off the field. Printing the tickets required a quick trip to our hotel lobby or Kinkos, but most stadiums will let you scan the barcode on your smartphone to get in.
The whole process seemed extremely daunting at first. Micheil and I made a lot of jokes about how our trip never could have happened the way it did a mere five years ago. I’m not suggesting that this sort of anti-planning is for everyone, but it really did inspire an extra feeling of adventure along the way as it went off without a hitch.
5 Stadiums—5 Days–1,300 Miles
Our adventure began with Micheil and I meeting at the St. Louis airport in the afternoon, renting a car and heading right to downtown for Busch Stadium. The night game–a battle between the 2011 World Series champion Cardinals and my beloved New York Met—ended at 11:30pm, at which point we hopped back into my car and began the 350-mile drive to Cincinnati.
This drive was the most brutal of the trip, as the game started at 12:35pm the next day and was the last Reds home game of the season, so missing it was not an option. We joked about just driving through the night, finding a parking lot outside the stadium and sleeping in the car for a few hours, but we wound up finding a random hotel an hour outside the city and finally went to bed at 4 a.m.
From Cincinnati, we drove to Cleveland where Micheil lives and finally got some rest. The next day we explored Cleveland before catching an Indians game in the city and getting another good night’s sleep.
From there, we then drove to Pittsburgh, and back in a day to catch, a Pirates game at PNC Park. One short night’s sleep later, we were off again, this time to Detroit and back to catch a Tigers game before getting some shut-eye in Cleveland.
Finally, on the sixth day, I took our rental car back to the Cleveland airport and hopped onto a flight home.
And that, my friends, was an epic baseball road trip!
All photos courtesy Greg Goodman.