World Record Attempt – 30 MLB Ballparks in 23 (24) Days 2009
STREAK ATTEMPT 3
30 GAMES IN 23 DAYS “THE STREAK WAS ALMOST OVER BEFORE IT BEGAN”
(Courtesy of www.ballparkchasers.com blog updates)
July.16/2009 DCB Says:
“So, I am sitting in my car at work when I decided to check on my Visa balance for the upcoming trip, (any ballpark chaser dreads the ‘$200″ minimum buy in at the car rentals so it is good to plan ahead), when I realized my Visa Card was gone. Also someone decided to buy a bunch of gas on it.
The bottom line was I started to panic since it was my only credit card. I start the streak in 6 days, but I am starting in Vegas tomorrow.
Luckily my card issuing company is going to send it to a hostel for me on Monday. In my travels, I found hostels to be the nicest staff of any hotel/boarding place. I especially recommend http://www.hihostels.com. Their locations in Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston are really close to the ballparks and convenient.
I will have my new card in time for the trip and thank you’ the USA’ for offering rental cars, with debit cards at airports, as that is a lifesaver.
My point is to always have a back-up plan. I start for ’30-23′ on the 22nd of July with a Pittsburgh and Detroit doubleheader attempt, follow my other blogs for a detailed schedule. Updates will be posted in here almost daily. I hope to see ya out at the yard!
There will be write-up blogs that are actually going to be time of updates written by fellow ballpark chaser Ken Lee in here at www.ballparkchasers.com while I pursue the World Record. I will add a little bit too each day’s (DCB Says 🙂 recap in order to summarize the events that took place. “Thanks again for the help again Ken.”
July.22-Kenneth Lee’s blog:
3:40 PM (PST) – Just talked to Chuck and he let me know that due to a bad car service, combined with a ton of school buses picking up kids on field trips at the game at PNC, he missed his flight from Pittsburgh to Detroit, so it’s now a 30 in 24 attempt! He knew going in that this would probably be the toughest doubleheader of the trip (of the 7 of them he will be doing), so far it looks like he was right.
So now what? Well, he will be catching a Greyhound bus to Toronto in about 2 hours, which will get him in up there around 9am and with a 12:37 PM, game tomorrow afternoon, he should have plenty of time to make it for the Indians vs. Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre as the bus station is only about 1/2 mile from the park. As for the game in Detroit, it gets pushed back to the last game of the Quest, August 14th vs. the Royals, where he will be coming in via Boston.
Btw, the game Chuck caught in Pittsburgh was exciting. I had been keeping an eye on it and when I noticed it was 7-7 going into the bottom of the 9th I texted him about it and as I went to look and see what was going on, I noticed Brandon Moss hit a 3-1 pitch to deep CF for a game-winning HR and just then my phone beeped with a message “Game Over”. He had been standing by the gate, ready to go, watching the end of the game… little did he know that the game wouldn’t be the problem, it would be the traffic. I guess that’s why he has back-up plans… on to Toronto! 🙂
P.S.-the game he missed in Detroit was the Tigers vs. Mariners, with “King” Felix Hernandez on the hill for the M’s… BUMMER!
“This doubleheader attempt was a wild one. I needed a faster game then the three hours it lasted. Worse was the sedan service sent a new driver out to pick me up-and he did not know where the other guy had agreed to meet me. Despite that, I still would have loved to not lose 45 minutes before we even left the area. I probably would have made the Flight to Detroit where I would have landed at 6:28 PM. I would have had 37 minutes to first pitch in Detroit-for approximately a 28 minute drive-but it would have been rush hour traffic.
Anyways, I still have a sweetheart double header-schedule. Despite not making this 2 games in one day I still have, Toronto-New York, Cubs-Brewers, Cincinnati-Chicago White Sox, Mets-Phillies, Indians-Royals and Angels-Dodgers. For Four of the seven Double header’s I have afternoon flights involved in order to arrive at the second game, (Pittsburgh, Toronto, Cincinnati and Cleveland)-all of these I have a contingency plan of a Greyhound Bus onto Toronto-in order to fly out of the next morning.
Toronto would be home base in case of a miss-which will be my course of action in case I miss the tomorrow’s flight to New York City after the Jays matinee game.
My step-mom Nancy is a retired airline executive-and as a family member-I am able to fly anywhere with a travel ticket. I have an itinerary for flights off to the next city on the scheduled day from Toronto all in my briefcase-in order to go ahead with booking in case of a missed flight.
My game the next day was in Toronto anyway. Thank goodness there are three doubleheader attempts by ground transportation in New York-Philly, Chicago-Milwaukee and L.A-L.A
If I had made the Detroit game-I was scheduled to travel to Toronto via Greyhound Bus anyway. I exchanged my refundable ticket-and actually received $9.00 back in the process. It didn’t make up for the $85 sedan ride I had to pre-pay for in Detroit-and a failure to make the $185 plane ticket.
One last note on that flight to Detroit, I actually had a flight to Indianapolis, IN-with a stop-over in Detroit on a NWA flight. The airline was going to charge me $520 for the non-stop flight-but by searching for possible destinations where Detroit was a ‘lay-over’ I came across the Pittsburgh-Detroit-Indianapolis flight-where I could just walk-off during the layover. It was a sneaky way to save $335. I am glad I did that because that would have really been brutal to have been out $605-instead of $270.
You learn to the let-go of the money in the Pursuit.”
“This game today makes it 1 game in 1 day.”
July.23-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
The only update I got is that he has made both games, was expecting a call but it was really late after the Yankees game. I had been keeping an eye on the game in the Bronx last night leading up to game time because it was raining. Ironically I had told him Wednesday that I missed my game there cause of rain and I was worried I might have jinxed him. I did get a text message last night at 7:39 PM (PST) that read “I am so lucky game didn’t start until 9:40 PM, arrived at 7:45 PM with a flight delay”. Since they got that game in, a 6-3 Yankees win (their 7th in a row); sometimes a little rain can be a good thing. It’s on to Chicago for the Red vs. Cubs at 1:20 PM, (Harang vs. Wells) and then to Milwaukee for Braves vs. Brewers at 7:05 PM (Vazquez vs. Parra) on Friday.
“After that sedan debacle yesterday, I am sure to grill every other sedan driver on my travel plan—to ensure we were always on the same page from that point forward. Poor sedan service guy in Toronto fielded 3 calls from me-to navigate the proper game plan-for leaving the RogersCenter. I was also lucky to have woken up 2 minutes before the Greyhound Bus left the Buffalo station en route from Pittsburgh to Toronto after falling asleep briefly. I arrived in Toronto at 9:00 AM. The good news was that I was only a half mile from the park.
Thanks to new airline regulations in 2009, there is a fee that was new to my streak attempt-this I did not have to deal with in last year’s streak. Each flight I have checked baggage would have cost me $15 per flight, per bag. This caused me to think extremely creative. I had arrived in Chicago on the 20th of July to see a White Sox game for a retro-active scenario purpose. Part of this trip though was to check my baggage with Amtrak-Milwaukee Station, so that when I flew to KC-Pit-Det-Tor-in succession I would save some money and baggage claim time. I am paying $6 per day for my 2 bags at Milwaukee-and I am due to return there on the 24th for the second leg of a doubleheader attempt. I am going to retrieve my bags on the 25th morning before flying out of Milwaukee’s Airport to Colorado. The items I had in the first four days of the trip were throw away clothes. I had one clean pair of clothes for this day which I am wearing, so the game plan was to hit Roots Clothing Store-and buy a new set of clothes for the next day. I had accrued Roots Air Miles Gift Certificates by doing internet searches for the trip anyway.
After arming my self with a new set of clothes today, I ate a gourmet hot dog and fries from Union Station-where Street vendors surround the area.
The Rogers Center, while it was the first stadium with a retractable roof, has slipped in the rankings due to the other ballparks catching up. The park has a hotel within the building still, and The Hard Rock Café is still a great place to watch batting practice from. The upper deck tickets make it feel like you are forever from the ball, but the stadium is not that bad.
The scoreboard replay monitor is amongst the best in baseball. The ambience is not bad considering there are not many fans-but you will really want to go when awesome teams play like the Yankees-Red Sox or Tigers are in town.
Kerry Wood shut the door down in the 9th inning on the Jays for an Indians 5-4 win-in a game that lasted 2 hours and a half. It was 3:15 PM now and I had a 5:05 PM flight-that arrived in New York City at 6:25 PM. I was picked up correctly this time-and the sedan driver got me out of the traffic chaos-once again I had to visit the Jays on Community Youth Day just like Pittsburgh had been the day before, I am sick of those Big Yellow Buses I can tell you that.
I was at the airport at 3:40 PM-and at the International Terminal—one problem, my cell phone dropped out of pocket into the limo backseat. I raced to the payphone and used my calling card number-and dialed the sedan’s driver from memory, (probably a good thing I called him four times that day) and the guy came right back. That 10 minutes would have cost me if I was in normal security, however I have the Air Nexus Pass Card. I bypassed the security line-up as a secured traveler-who has already been pre-screened on a background check. Judging on the regular line I might have missed my plane.
Still reeling from nearly losing my cell phone, I left my Day-timer at the eye-dent station. I always do a quick check after security clearance-and I realized it was missing. Good news was I found it quickly, but the bad news was had to re-do the security walk through yet again. I felt like an amateur today but I still made it to the gate with plenty of time for the flight.
My plane had not left the runaway at 6:00 PM-as I watched the rain pelt the surrounding area. The pilot informed us that we would arrive at LaGuardia Airport at 7:15 PM. I heard, (through friends by phone)-that it had been raining in New York and the game forecast also did not look good. I had to try to make it to the stadium. As per Guinness Book rules-I would not enter Yankee Stadium if I missed 1st pitch but at least I would be on pace for my flight to Milwaukee the next morning.
I could not have been more pissed off at my sedan service at LaGuardia. Not only could he not speak any English-but he did not even know where Yankee Stadium was, are you freaking kidding me? By the time I made it to the area it was 8:35 PM! Since I could not talk to the guy, I did not know whether the game had been cancelled or had started. It was raining at a steady pace for the whole time I had been in New York.
I saw a couple of fans walking down River Ave as I reluctantly handed over my $70 for sedan service. I asked them if the game had been called?
I was jovial enough to run to the gate when I learned the game never had started and was in the middle of a rain delay. It donned on me that if all would have been good with the weather I would have missed the first pitch. That sedan driver would have interrupted a historic chase with his geographical ineptness. I made it into the awesome Yankee Stadium and jammed a New York Steak Sandwich-into my face as fast I could devour it for $15. Feeling lucky to have a shot at a game, I bought a new #25 Mark Teixeira Yankee T-shirt to bring good luck.
The public address announcer made an announcement over the speaker system that they would make a game decision to play or not at 9:10 PM at night. I made it to my seat and prayed. It was windy, cold and raining intermittently from slow to medium. The stadium was only half packed-and the people were anxious. There was a tribute playing to George Steinbrenner on the JumboTron. It had been most unfortunate that the ‘BOSS’ died right before I made it to the New Yankee Stadium. The moment of truth had come.
They decided to play!!! It was instance where a rain delay actually helped me again. It was the first hurdle to overcome. There still needed to be 4 ½ innings to make a legitimate game Oakland jumped out to a 3-0 lead on C.C Sabathia and while I was sad the Yanks were losing-I was hoping the game would make it to the 5th inning’s end with a team in the lead.
The Bottom of the 4th saw Mark Teixeira, my current favorite Yankee, blast a homer-and the Bronx Bombers took a 4-3 lead to the 5th. Sabathia just got better as the night rolled on-and the Yanks staved off the A’s and the weather for a 6-3 win. It was awesome to be in the stands when the faithful, chanted a one letter C, followed up with another one letter C for Sabathia. That and the Hip Hip Jorge-for Jorge Posada are classic. Highlighted this night, was also the bleacher creature’s role-call which is just as loud at the new ballpark and my favorite tradition in which positions 1-9 are called with the player’s last name. The fans keep chanting until the player responds with a tip of their cap in acknowledgement.
I took public transportation in the form of a subway train (and bus)-to arrive back at ‘LGA’ at 2:00 AM in the morning. I now have four hours from my next flight.”
“These 2 games today make it 3 games in 2 days-with an improbable-international double!”
July.24-Kennneth Lee’s Blog:
5:36 AM (PST) – Just got a message from Chuck, he is in Milwaukee about to pick up his rental car and head down to Chicago. Sounds like he has a good game plan on where to park to be able to get out of there fast after the game and beat the traffic on his way back to Milwaukee for the nightcap.
5:10 PM PST) – Talking to Chuck right now, he made it to Milwaukee, just 3 minutes before first pitch… had actually sent me a video clip of him there just as the first pitch was being thrown. Was a crazy one coming up from Wrigley for this one, but he made it and sounds really excited about it. Said that MillerPark is packed tonight and the crowd is really loud, which I could hear over the phone!! He’s going to enjoy this game, Braves vs. Brewers, and then it’s on to Coors Field in Denver for tomorrow night.
“Crazy day of emotions up and down, I arrived in Milwaukee and decided I had enough time to retrieve my baggage at the Amtrak Station-to do a trial drive from the highway into Miller Park-in order to refresh my memory once again as to the best path.
I had been so lucky that I arrived in Milwaukee a few days before the streak started. Had I not took an Amtrak train into Chicago-I would have not noticed that all trains for the summer of 2009 were to be delayed 20 minutes by construction. It helped me alter my game plan for this doubleheader attempt, but made it less of a percent chance to make the Cubs-Brewers double header.
I would arrive in Chicago and pre-drive the route back to the 94 highway West-in order to be aware of what turn offs I needed. I made the decision to find a parking spot on W. Irving Park-which would mean I only need one turn From Irving onto the highway from where I was going to park. Since it was my 4th time in the area I was aware of the traffic flow out of Wrigley Field.
I am not proud of this however lord knows I paid a lot of money for Best Western hotel stays in which I stayed there for 5 hours or under, but I will take advantage of several free continental breakfasts despite the fact I am not a hotel guest en route from city to city off of the highway. To me, I also have so many early flights out of the airports I am never eligible for the continental breakfasts from the hotels I am staying at anyway-this was just an extension of my breakfasts had I took a rain check. I have enough Best Western stuff in my briefcase to look legit with hotel gift cards, and old hotel card-keys it definitely helped me play the part. What I like about The B.W’s is that they also have communal internet which is perfect for me to print off boarding passes, game tickets, and check into flights early enough to achieve preferred seating.
I was not liking the amount of construction I saw in the other direction towards Milwaukee-as I drove into Chicago on Hwy 94-East. After pre-driving the route in the morning, I paid $20 to park a few miles from Wrigley on W. Irving Park. I was going to have to run when the game ended-to give myself a leg up on the traffic. I love Wrigley Field-and was so happy to be inside with 90 minutes to spare. I tried to take a picture with my Camera/Video 16 feature device. The battery power was dead. This was not good at all for my evidence. I had been charging the camera in the car so this was a mystery to me. I had my cell phone for pictures-but this was going to be a tough one. I could take a few pictures at each park with the camera for pictorial evidence, but I was going to need a lot of use with my cell phone.
I have already started sending Ken Lee a picture from each city and to document him as a witness I am phoning and texting him for records purposes. Except my Cell phone was on a low battery and I would have to conserve the use. I realized at that point the cigarette jack fuse must have been blown in the rental Pontiac G6 that I am driving. I searched hi and low for power outlets at Wrigley-to no avail. I was too tough it out.
There is no better pure baseball experience then to watch a game at Wrigley Field. How could I be upset? I would make do with what I had. The game was flowing nicely into the ninth at only 3:50 PM. It was a 2 hour 30 minute game at this point-and I was in decent shape. Then Kevin Gregg entered the fold. He loaded the bases, took forever in between pitches, and I was resorted to watch the game in the concession area-in the concourse near the exit. I had limited power in the cell phone to only videotape one of the TV’s playing in the concourse. Finally Gregg got the save-and preserved the win-despite giving up 2 runs. I guess I should thank him for not letting the Reds tie the game at least.
I had the gate security guard at the exit sign my log sheet-and I took off in a spring down Sheffield Ave, past the Sheffield House Hotel in no time flat.
It was 4:20 PM when the game had ended-and the Google map directions call for a 2 hour drive to MillerPark from Wrigley which is a joke! It is a Friday night, and I drove within the speed limits, but sped up and pulled lane changing maneuvers whenever it was warranted enough to have done my best. It was going to be close, I just could not tell with the construction, and what the foreseeable path was to be. I needed this Milwaukee game-but it would not have killed me to miss it. There was a Milwaukee make up date on Aug.15, one day after the Detroit game make up, but this would mean no margin for error from that point forward. I still have two more flight doubleheader-including a hard Cincinnati-Chicago double. Doing the streak is like a flush in playing cards. You want to give yourself enough middle cards so that you can add cards on either side from the middle, like having a flexible schedule for the 2nd game of the double header missed teams.
I made it to National Ave by 6:42 PM-MillerPark lot by 6:51 PM-and was extremely upset when the lot attendant directed me to the overflow parking- which more than a mile from the front entrance. I never ran harder-and out of breath under that tunnel up to the gate. People were calling me ‘Forrest Gump.” By the time I got to the security gate it was 6:58 PM. I was looking to get in by 7:03 PM, but still needed to find an employee to sign my log book-and acquire some sort of video or pictorial evidence that I was there. Enter Milwaukee staffer Rob.
Rob recognized me from the previous year-and led me through the gate-I was so happy to see the big guy I almost hugged him- instead I opted for him to sign my log-sheet and then I texted Ken Lee a picture of me at MillerPark at 7:04 PM. No sooner did I do that and hit the video recorder option on my cell phone—I was lucky enough to tape P.A announcing “Your Milwaukee Brewers.” I had made this double header by the skin of my teeth. I crumbled onto a nearby staircase and sent Ken my newest video.
My cell phone died after I called Ken-but my camera got my end of the game scoreboard pictures before giving out. The game was kind of not relevant at that point. I would not have to worry about weather either as Miller has a retractable roof. It had started to rain outside. The game ended up 6-3 for the Brew Crew.
I made this doubleheader-and am confident to have enough evidence to prove it. I actually got some sleep last night and my electronics are fully charged!
“These 2 games today make it 5 games in 3 days.”
July.25 and July.26-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
10:44 AM (PST) – Chuck is at MinuteMaidPark in Houston seeing the Mets vs. Astros (Hernandez vs. Moehler). He was excited to find a parking spot for $3, instead of the usual $18, so he treated himself to some “Gourmet” food at McDonald’s… got to love life on the road! He had a great 45 minute interview with CKNW Sports talk 980 AM, a station from his hometown in Vancouver on Saturday night.
Yesterday he was in Denver for the Giants vs. Rockies (Sanchez vs. De Le Rosa), which was an 8-2 Rockies win. He did get rained on though and at one point in the 4th it looked like they were going to have to bring the tarp out, but they got through it and he got another game in.
He heads to Oklahoma tonight, staying the night in Ardmore, then it’s on to Arlington for the Tigers vs. Rangers (Galarraga vs. Hunter) at Rangers Ballpark!
He’s now seen 7 games in 7 parks in 5 days!!
“Colorado did not come without a hitch as I had to watch the entire game in a threat of rain. That was not upsetting as the horrible service I received at ThriftyCarRental-DenverAirport as the Manager had refused to rent a car to me-citing my credit card was not authorizing it. It was a confusion of the new computer system confusing Canada’s CA abbreviation with CA- California. This time I was able to pay the $400 cash deposit after fighting with Thrifty’s Head Office. I am worried about the rest of the trip because I am in possession of 11 more free-car rental days I have amassed from renting from Thrifty Canada year round. I have never had a problem with Thrifty Canada but Thrifty America-you almost ruined a world record streak!
My interview with CKNW was a nice way to settle down after the day in Denver. I stayed at a Motel 6 right off of 49 Ave for $48. It was a mere 3 miles from Coors Field.
The next day I was so relieved when the car agent at the Houston Airport Thrifty said I was approved for the Car rental. It was essential to have a car this day as I have a game in Arlington tomorrow and have to drive there after the Minute Maid game.
The Astros were crushed 8-3 by the Mets. After the game I thought I was on easy street-just driving to the 5 hour drive to Ardmore when a multiple car pile up delayed me by another 2 hours. I am now up past midnight but will be able to sleep in this morning in the city or Ardmore, Oklahoma.”
“These 2 games make it 7 games in 5 days.”
July.27 and July.28-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
9:15 PM (PST) – Just talked to Chuck as he is in the great state of Texas. He made the game in Arlington-a 5-2 Ranger’s win vs. the Tigers, and is now on his drive back to Houston where he will catch a flight to Baltimore for Camden Yards and the Royals vs. the Orioles tomorrow night.
He sounds like he is really having fun. Last night he stayed in Oklahoma, though he was already in Texas, just so he can say that he has been to the state of Oklahoma… so he is knocking off states, as well as ballparks!!
The rain has been following him around though, first it was in the Bronx, then Denver and as he made his drive towards Arlington he was listening to the weather on XM radio and told me from the sounds of it, he honestly thought they were going to call this game before it even got started. Then the clouds parted just long enough to get the game in, with it actually starting to rain in about the 8th inning (I was watching on MLBEI and couldn’t believe he was getting rained on again!).
As we were talking he said it was starting to storm pretty good-and due to the lightning we were actually losing cell service. It doesn’t storm anywhere like it does down south!
He has had a few problems though, not just missing his flight in Pittsburgh due to a terrible sedan service and lots of traffic, but he has been double charged by rental car companies which have really made things hard on the bottom line as well. The way he is doing this trip he will be using several different rentals, so to be 2 times charged for even a couple of them are a nightmare. Worst part is that he is 3,000 miles from home so it’s not like he can just sit down and call the bank and rental company and say “HEY!” On his time schedule finding time, or the place, to use the internet is tough as well. He told me last night that he has even taken a few moments as he drove down the road to stop at a Best Western and feed off their free internet for a few minutes to do some banking to free up credit limits before hitting the road again… clever if I do say so myself 🙂
Oriole Park at Camden Yards tomorrow – Royals vs. Orioles (Bannister vs. Berken) – a look at weather.com shows 86 degrees, partly cloudy only a 10% chance of rain at game time… should be no problem getting this one in.
“It was the only real mistake I have made in booking tickets and plane fares in 2009. 2008 I had made way more errors. Due to changing my plane schedule at the last minute on www.cheapesttickets.now-I have scheduled the wrong flight day from Baltimore to St. Louis. I have known this since back in June though. I actually have found a better alternative—which made life easier for me. Since I am in Cincinnati tomorrow, I found a flight courtesy of Air Tran Airways, for $39 that landed me in Dayton, Ohio flying in from Baltimore early. Since I have my free car rental days-I will use one of them at Thrifty and only pay a $23.32 charge of arriving in Dayton, Ohio before returning the car to CincinnatiAirport the next morning. I will have to switch cars at ‘CVG’ because of the 24 hour time limit for the rate, but it beats my original design for Baltimore-St. Louis-Cincinnati.
I was going to fly into St. Louis-catch the Hilton Shuttle downtown for $17(despite not being a hotel guest), and watch the game at Busch before taking an all night Greyhound Bus to Cincinnati for that same $39. The next day I have would have 90 minutes to make it to The Great American Ballpark once the Bus arrived. The Greyhound Bus leaves at 3:30 AM in the morning though, so at least I will miss that.
However I called the ticket agent today on a hunch. Part of that 4 trip fare I purchased while making this mistake-included 3 more trips after the 1st trip-which I am going to miss tomorrow. I am going to be in the air to Baltimore tomorrow when I will supposed to be flying out-little did I know that if you miss the 1st fare of your itinerary-that the rest of your flight itinerary is automatically cancelled. I thought I was immune to the other three plane rides because all of them were with different airlines. Apparently whatever air carrier holds the 1st leg of your multi-airline-multiple flight bookings is the airline that is the rights holder of the whole trip. If you no-show they have the authority to cancel you out entirely in the next plane trips. I had American Airlines rip me off in the 1st year by having to not to-show for a flight in which they cancelled two additional plane rides. That was a result of that Houston rainstorm that forced me to stay an additional day in Arlington
This set me off today and I spent half of the day arguing with Continental Airlines. In the end, I was charged $150 for changing my flights. Fortunately for me, the flights I am exchanging this for are cheap because of flying out of just Phoenix and Minnesota. It is still amazing to me how the airlines put the charges on you. Suddenly I am not disappointed in my self for using that layover-walk-off maneuver. Again I had to let the money go.
The game in Arlington went for the home squad 5-2. I was happy there were clouds-and that it had stopped raining-to make it tolerable to watch a game all the way outdoors at ‘The Ball Park in Arlington.’ It is always hard to take picture evidence of Texas’s scoreboard because there are many places where you can’t view it in the grandstands.
The Ballpark In Arlington has one of the fairest parking modules on the outside. The closer you are to the stadium the more the parking goes up. It is more like $1 increments rather then $5 or $10 though. The Park is very spacious and big. The area past the center field is massive, with the white grandstands ranging all the way up to the corporate offices. The bullpens along the right field fences are amongst the best sightlines in baseball. The concourse is gigantic-and there are poor sightlines for standing room only viewers. I always get energized when I hear the ‘Natural” theme song when a home run is hit. I also never get tired of ‘The Stars at night song.’ The heat is unbearable at times but you have plenty of indoor facilities to avoid the heat-and get into the air conditioning buildings for a couple of minutes of refuge.
I made it back to Houston’s Airport despite a scary gas station fill in the outer city limits-and caught the early flight to Baltimore.
When I arrived in Baltimore I could not believe how hard it was raining! For three hours (while I am in a Marriot in Linthicum, MD) I watched in disbelief, I was sure this game was not to be played tonight. I was going to make plans to switch my Aug.12 game of Atlanta to Baltimore, and then move Baltimore to Aug.15. I know my schedule so well I have a contingency plans for most of the trip. My Aug.12 flight was placed well from Minneapolis. It starts Minnesota and stops off in New Jersey for a layover and continues onto Atlanta. With it only being A.M hour’s when I land in Jersey-I can take a train to any Eastern city in time for game time. Each date had a depth chart similar to what you see in sports.
At 4 PM-it was still threatening rain-but you could see it slowly dissipating. I took a cab to the game-promptly ate a barbeque rib sandwich with coleslaw and French fries, and it was totally outstanding. I have resisted eating much ball park food up to this point out of affordability and credit issues, but now that I have been paid my monthly salary from work-I have credit to spend again. I have started a string of spending at every concession stand for the next three weeks-with McaFee Coliseum being the only park I plan to miss.
What a brutal game-(that did not need extra innings-the Royals won the game 1-0.) Going back to the hotel tonight-I had no idea where I was and decided to take the light rail service all the way to the airport-that way I could print off my morning boarding pass to Dayton as the hotel’s printer was out of ink. Also because of this idea came another-to take the free shuttle back to the hotel which was a better thought then trying to find the hotel in the area where I am not too familiar with. I always tip every shuttle bus driver for the airports and hotels. These workers have a tough job and deserve a couple of bucks.”
“These 2 games make it 9 games in 7 days.”
July.29-Kennneth Lee’s Blog:
9:40 AM (PST) – Just got a message from Chuck, he is on I-70 heading towards Indy on his way to St. Louis after having flown into Dayton. No surprise to him, as things have gone, he is getting rained on! That rain seems to follow him wherever he goes! A look at weather.com says 78 degrees with a 10% chance of rain at game time, then again it said that in Baltimore also and there were t-storms right up till game time! (Side note: the irony of this rain for him is that here in Western Washington and up in Vancouver, his home town, it’s been freakin’ hot lately! It was 104 here in Olympia yesterday!)
So, Dodgers vs. the Cardinals tonight at Busch Stadium (Kershaw vs. Pineiro) then it’s an all night drive to Cincy after for the Padres vs. Reds (Stauffer vs. Cueto) before hopping a flight bound for Milwaukee, which has a stop in Chicago where he will walk off the plane and use a sedan service to get to U.S. Cellular in time for the Yankees vs. White Sox (Pettite vs. Colon) game. He mentioned how, since he will have time, he is going map out the drive from GreatAmericanBallPark to airport and drive it a few times, just to make sure he has it down and knows alt routes if needed.
When he makes the doubleheader tomorrow, that means the worst he could do is tie the record set by Josh Robbins at 30/26 barring any PPD’s!
“I was happy my credit card has worked at a Thrifty two times in a row! The Airport Thrifty Car Rental was off site-and I was worried about not renting a car-because I would have to take the shuttle back to the airport and rent a car from someone else-only to pay brutal fees for last second rentals and an even higher one way drop off fees. It was a tense few seconds at the rental counter.
Once I got the Hyundai Accent (thanks Thrifty-these cars are horrible on gas)
I was able to hook up my satellite radio-and listen to baseball chat for the drive to St. Louis. The one benefit of driving more than 300 miles in your trip is you can take the car back on empty to exercise that re-fuel option!
There is nothing like a 15 inning game to end the night either!
“This game today makes it 10 games in 8 days.”
July.30-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
12:20 PM (PST) – Rain, Rain go away! And stay the heck away! Got a message from Chuck and about 1 hour into the game today at Great American Ballpark, Padres vs. Reds (Stauffer vs. Cueto), it started raining cats & dogs! He said he was actually very surprised that they didn’t call the game, but they got through it as it cleared up in the 8th inning. That game is just now in the bottom of the 9th with a score of 7-1 Padres, with the park almost cleared out, which works great for Chuck with less traffic to deal with plus he has a great parking spot for a quick getaway. His flight from Cincy to Chicago is at 5:54 PM (EST), so he should have plenty of time to make that flight as the game should be over any minute now.
12:34 PM (PST) – Game is over in Cincy, 7-4 Padres, after the Reds put 3 on the board in the bottom of the 9th… too little, too late… and he is off on his way to the airport, bound for Chicago and the Yankees vs. White Sox (Pettite vs. Colon).
Last night he was in St. Louis at Busch Stadium and saw a 15 inning, 4 hour and 53 minute, marathon that ended when Pujols singled in the winning run off Jeff Weaver (former Cardinal no less). Needless to say, on the drive to Cincy this morning he was using all of the tricks he could think of to stay awake.
5:20 PM (PST) – Chuck’s flight actually made it to O’Hare on the north side of Chicago about 20 minutes early, however they didn’t have a gate ready so there they sat! Once he deplaned, grabbed a cab and told the driver he needed to get to U.S. Cellular before game time, the cabbie laughed. He finally got close to the park, thanks to some great driving by someone that obviously knows the streets of Chicago well, and got out of the cab at 35th street and start his run in (with duffel bag and briefcase in hand) towards the gate. As he was running, he could hear the National Anthem being performed.
After a quick deal with a guy at the gate to let him in to a section he shouldn’t have been in, he got in to get his picture at 7:09 PM, just 2 minutes before the scheduled 1st pitch!! However, as he saw the field he saw it covered by a tarp still and found out the game has been delayed about 20 minutes, so he was good to go! What is it with all this rain lately??
In the morning it’s back to O’Hare for a flight to San Francisco, then it a short drive to Oakland for the game tomorrow night and San Fran on Saturday with a flight to Miami looming on Sunday.
“I made it to the Cincinnati airport in no time flat after the game. Driving the route before hand was the way to go. It was a tense few minutes in Chicago. The Cincy-Chicago doubleheader is unique in that you actually use negative minutes when you factor in the time change from Eastern to Central for the plane ride. If it wasn’t for O’Hare being so slow-I would have had no problem at all. Chicago is the hardest airport to fly in and out of because of the wind and plane traffic. While I would not make it a habit of flying out of ‘CVG’ due to high plane fares, the security line-ups are minimal when you need to race to a gate fast!
“These 2 games today make it 12 games in 9 days.”
July.31-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
Interesting morning for Chuck, as he sat on the plane, on the tarmac in Chicago at O’Hare for 2 1/2 hours waiting to take off for SFO! Because of that he barely had time to make it to the Oakland airport to pick up his girlfriend and get to the ballpark by 5:30 PM (PST). Had he opted for a little more rest and taken the 12:00 PM (CST) flight out of Chicago, he would have missed this game because of the delays! “Always take the first available flight!” he says, which makes perfect sense, especially after this.
7:06 PM (PST) – He was looking for blue skies, especially no rain, and he found it in Oakland on the first night of Ricky Henderson weekend. Kind of cool to be there when they salute one of the newest Hall of Fame members.
Oakland Coliseum – “Whatta dump!” Parking cost $17, which was twice the price of his ticket! The Blue Jays are in town to play the A’s (Richmond vs. Braden), so he even got to hear the Canadian National Anthem tonight.
Tomorrow he just has to cross the BayBridge into San Francisco for the Phillies vs. Giants (Blanton vs. Lincecum). He missed seeing Cliff Lee’s Phillies debut by 1 game, but he does get to see the wonder kid, 11-3 Tim Lincecum.
Sunday he hops a non-stop flight to Miami for the Marlins vs. Cubs game at 5:05 PM (EST) (Dempster vs. Nolasco).
“It was another day-and yet another flight-delay in Chicago. Really, I am now surprised when there is not a flight delay from there. Just another observation-“can we get some new carpets at ‘LAX’-this airport rates as one of the worst for cleanliness!
“This game today makes it 13 games in 10 days. “
August.1-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
5:00 PM (PST) – Chuck has made his way across the bay to AT&TPark…
8:54 PM (PST) – “AT & TPark is the best ball park anywhere, especially with that scenery. I must have taken 70 picture of the park tonight” is what Chuck told me tonight on the phone, with some really happy Giants fans yelling in the background. He didn’t get to spend much time there as this was the fastest game so far on his trip. The game, a 2-0 Giants win in 2 hours and 14 minutes, saw Lincecum get his 12th victory by only giving up 7 hits in 8 innings and striking out 8! He was part of a crowd of 42,694, which included about 300 dogs in the bleachers taking part in the “Dog Days presented by Milk-Bone and Kibbles ‘n Bits”. They even had a pregame doggie costume competition. That must have been a sight to see!
Tomorrow he jumps on a plane bound for Miami for the Cubs vs. Marlins game (Dempster vs. Nolasco), where hopefully he will be able to meet up with Bob DeVries, who is also on a Quest to see all 30 this summer and Land Shark Stadium is #26 for him. He then heads for Tampa via Greyhound, for the Royals vs. Rays and a great pitching match-up of Greinke vs. Kazmir at Tropicana Field.
“This game today makes it 14 games in 11 days.”
August.2-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
4:22 PM (PST) – Got a call from Chuck in the bottom of the 9th, with the game tied at 1-1. As we talked about the ballpark, he told me that Jake Fox jacked a shot to put the Cubs up 2-1 and we figured this game was over. We kept talking about his upcoming schedule, with a 1:30 AM greyhound ride to Tampa, then it’s off to WashingtonDC for NationalsPark, with 3 doubleheaders in 4 days looming in the not so far off future. As we talked it hit us both that Land Shark stadium is the 1/2 way point for him, he has now officially seen full games in 15 parks in 12 days!!
Shortly after we got off the phone I saw where Gregg gave up back-to-back jacks to Ross (his 2nd of the game) and Uggla to win it in the bottom of the 9th! Whatta finish! on to Tampa!
“This game today makes it 15 games in 12 days.”
August.3-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
9:00 AM (PST) – Chuck is at Tropicana Field for the Royals vs. Rays game… Although he almost did not make it……
“Like I have said a few different times before, a trip such as this magnitude can send you off on roller coasters of emotions. Sunday night at 9:00 PM EST I was driving back to the rental car outlet in Miami when a circus of events transpired that almost made me miss the nooner at the ‘TROP’ on Monday. 1st off my car rental did not have an interior light which made it hard to navigate the directions back to Miami Intl’ airport. Some of you also may know that the car rental outlets for MiamiAirport are located in the suburbs.
Well, it took me an hour plus to arrive back to the car rental center. I was on the shuttle back to the airport to take a cab to the Greyhound Station-when I realized I left my sunglasses clip to my prescription glasses in the rental car!
I went back to the car rental place-but they were gone when the vehicle was re- rented. You have to move on when stuff like this happens. Stuff is lost during a record chase, plane trips are eaten, advances in payments to car service and hotel deposits still come off your credit card. So I took a cab to the Greyhound station, but the cab driver did not understand English-and took me to the bloody bus service main station for repairing and servicing and NOT THE actual bus depot! I was going to miss my bus-and have to go rent a car from the airport. I had a contingency car rental in the event of a late game-but at a 65 dollar cost plus gas.
If you book with www.expedia.com-you can actually make reservations without even using a credit card, but just by using an email address-just don’t put your frequent flyer choice rewards preference in the column in case you decide to tank it! Most cities I have alternative car rental plans that were just contingency rentals in case. I have always planned to tank them but they are good to have in case of need.
The supervisor at the bus service center then told me that I was in ‘luck’ because the driver of my 2nd connection bus from Ft.Lauderdale to Orlando was in the back lot picking up a new bus to take. They bent the rules and allowed me on board without screening my luggage. The driver could not have been cooler because he was a fellow ‘Yankees Fan’. I made my trip to TampaBay-and then realized that I needed the ST. Petersburg bus terminal and not just the TampaBay terminal.
This meant I would now arrive at 11:30 AM in downtown St. Pete for the 12:08 PM game in downtown St. Petersburg. Thank god it was only a five minute walk, but I had luggage.
Again, Greyhound came to the rescue and allowed me to leave my luggage until after the game. I made it to the game at 11:45 AM. This just shows me once again some of the easiest travel plans can be disrupted.
I will now sleep for 12 hours-before I fly to Baltimore for noon tomorrow and then drive to NationalsPark to take in a Nat’s game. After the game, I will drive to New Jersey-where my brother lives-to stay until the morning hits. It is a NY Mets/Philly double header on the 5th of August, and after the game I will get another quick snooze before driving back to Baltimore for an early morning flight to Cleveland on the 6th.
I will be using the subway to and from Progressive Field for quick transport. That game in Cleveland on the 6th is at 12:10 PM-and I have a flight at 5:07 PM to Kansas City, so let’s hope for a fast Indians game! It is a 26 minute subway ride to the airport from the park. I will arrive in KC at 6:12 PM-where a sedan driver will pick me up and drive to Kauffman Stadium. On Friday I have a game in San Diego-and then it is the doable doubleheader of LAA at 1:10 PM, and LAD AT 7:15 PM on SAT, what a nice doubleheader to have in the same city for a change. I will need 2 out of the three doubleheaders to break the record with a 30-25 finish, (Provided all other games are played on time and I make it there on the one off days) If I make all 3 it will conclude the 30-24 streak. Even if I collect only the LA double header I will tie the record.
I have 3 games in a row after that are in domes or retractable roofs in, (SEA/ARI and Minnesota) as these were strategically planned as well. Having domes for stadiums are better to have later in the streak because the later you are in the streak-you are not as flexible with re-scheduling games due to inclement weather. The other dome stadiums-MillerPark, The Rogers Center, Minute Maid and Tropicana Field were either only ‘suitable’ games based on geography (Houston was before Texas-and Tropicana was after Land Shark Stadium or part of doubleheader).
The streak is then followed up with Atlanta on the 12th, Boston on the 13h and the last game scheduled currently is the 14th in Detroit. I like my chances.”
“This game today makes it 16 games in 13 days.”
August.4-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
1:53 PM (PST) – Chuck has made it to our nations capital. Got a quick text saying he got in at 1 PM (EST) and had time to check out the town a bit, go see the White House, and then head NationalsPark. I told him he better have a “Chili Half-Smoke” for me at Ben’s Chili Bowl. It’s “Free T-Shirt Tuesday” and he got a free t-shirt for the 4th time on this trip… got to love free clothes! 🙂 Tonight’s game is Marlins vs. Nationals (Johnson vs. Martin).
7:45 PM (PST) – Just got a really excited voice mail from Chuck. He said that the game he was at Nationals Park was awesome and between that and the 25K+ that was there the overall experience was great and that he’s going to have to move National’s Park up on his overall list now.
He is currently driving towards NJ, where he will meet up with his brother for a doubleheader tomorrow…
It is Citi Field for the Cardinals vs. Mets (Lohse vs. Niese) in the morning (the last of the current parks he needs to see to have seen them all) and then a train ride to Philly puts him at Citizens Bank Park for the nightcap of the Rockies vs. Phillies (Del La Rosa vs. Happ). After the doubleheader he drives back to Baltimore to drop off the rental car before hoping a 6:59 AM flight to Cleveland for an afternoon game, Twins vs. Indians (Blackburn vs. Carmona), then its a quick ride to the airport for a flight to MCI in Kansas City where he will have less 53 minutes to make it to Kaufman Stadium for the nightcap of the Mariners vs. Royals (Vargas vs. Chen).
The Cleveland/Kansas City doubleheader is the one I personally felt will be his toughest. When he nails it, he’s got this thing in the bag baring any PPD’s!
“Due to a stupid construction detour on the Beltway, I lost my course for over an hour on the side streets of the Maryland State Limits trying to had back to the Beltway Highway. You always have to carry a U.S Road Map with you at all times-and not depend solely on online direction websites!
“This game today makes it 17 games in 14 days.”
August.5-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
11:02 AM (PST) – Chuck has made it to Citi Field in Queens for the Cardinals vs. Mets game… he has now seen all 30 current MLB Ballparks! CONGRATS CHUCK!
1:50 PM (PST) – Chuck just called from the Amtrak Station on his way to Philly, having got there in time, he should be in to Philly at 5:55 PM (EST), which gives him 1 hour and 10 minutes to make the 25 minute drive with his brother to Citizens Bank Park. As for Citi Field, he felt it was ok… most certainly an improvement over Shea Stadium, but in his opinion a step down from Yankee Stadium. He still ranks it in the top 10, but not as high as AT&T or Busch Stadium. The game he saw was kind of a bummer, as the Mets won going away 9-0! It took 1 hour and 15 minutes for the first 2 innings alone! But it sped up after that and he got out of there in plenty of time as we know.
Worst off, he is now fighting a pretty nasty cold, or so it sounds like on the phone, and he did say that he is sick… and with a couple more doubleheaders coming up too… UGH!
3:44 PM (PST) – He has made it to Citizens Bank Park with plenty of time to spare… stay away from the Crab Fries man, they ain’t worth it! 🙂
6:51 PM (PST) – The Phillies won 7-0 (Happ tossed 8 innings of 4 hit ball and even had a double that had the crowd going crazy!), which gave Chuck 2 home team shutouts today! Not only that, the home team has won the last 8 straight games he said. He loved the Phillie Phanatic and says that he is one of, if not the best, mascots in the majors… I totally agree, even though I am partial to the Mariner Moose lol 🙂 As for food, he had a cheese steak and called it, “The single best ball park food.” Other places might offer a better selection, but the Philly Cheese steak is the best single item anywhere. I didn’t get to ask him, but I am assuming he is referring to the “Campos” cheese steaks there in center field. Ironically, I saw Campos on “Road Tasted” with Paula Dean’s boys today, and man they did look awesome!!
He’s headed back to Baltimore for a flight to Cleveland tomorrow, then on to KC and yet another doubleheader.
“The Philly game was the most important game as flexibility was concerned. The only thing I could have done is re-do the Philly game on the 7thth and pay top dollar to fly out to LAX on early Saturday the 8th’s date. I would have to move Seattle to the 15th at end of the streak-and pay a lot of money to fix that situation up with all penalties financially.
Even the Kansas City miss will not kill me-as I could retroactive the streak to the 21st of July and make a 30-25 record count. The Philly game was a record clincher if I can make the easy Dodgers/Angels doubleheader.”
“These 2 games today make it 19 games in 15 days.”
August.6-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
8:55 AM (PST) – Chuck has made it to Progressive Field aka “The Field Formerly Known As Jacobs”. He’ll be seeing the Twins take on the Indians (Blackburn vs. Carmona).
4:42 AM (PST) – Kansas City, Kansas City here he comes… Chuck is in KC and getting ready to see the Mariners vs. Royals (Vargas vs. Chen). We had a great chat about the game in Cleveland, a 2-1 Indians win, in 2 hours and 37 minutes, where Kerry Wood shut down the Twins in the 9th for his 15th Save. After the game he had to sprint darn near a full mile to get to the subway station in time, he barely made it, to ride the train out to the airport for his flight to Kansas City.
In KC, he had no problems making it to the park and after sending me his pix, he called and we chatted about things, ball park food and his upcoming schedule. Tomorrow he flies to San Diego for the Mets vs. Padres game (Perez vs. Correia), then it’s a bus ride to Los Angeles for a doubleheader that includes Dodger & Angel Stadiums.
“Doing that Progressive to the airport via light rail station terminal practice run served me well as I nailed the timing of it coming out of the Indians game. Kerry Wood is my favorite all time closer now! He is a perfect 3-3 in the last two years of saves that I have needed in the afternoon of a day-night doubleheader. The Mariners being pulverized 8-2 did not even wreck the night.
Massive props to limo driver Timothy Cates in KC-by far the best sedan service of all time. He was waiting for me in front of ‘MCI’ with a name placard, had a water waiting for me, and had a pre-arranged deal with a parking lot attendant in order to have me closest he could (legally) to the park by driving. Awesome work Tim!
“These 2 games today make it 21 games in 16 days.”
August.7-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
10:12 PM (PST) – Chuck is on the West Coast….he had a pretty uneventful day today. His morning flight to San Diego went as planned, he checked into a hostel which is 1 block from the ballpark and got to the game early. I got my call in about the 8th inning with the Mets leading 2-1. Chuck said it was actually a pretty boring game, figured the crowd had a lot to do with that… even if they were celebrating Rickey Henderson’s HOF Induction there in San Diego this weekend (the 2nd time on his trip he got to take in a celebration for Rickey, the last time was in Oakland a few days ago).
He also told me that this is the 4th straight year he has caught a game at PetcoPark and it’s kind of lost its magic. He said he honestly thought that it might have something to do with the caliber of team on the field as well, but either way, Petco has dropped some in his rankings!
Tomorrow he heads to Los Angeles for a battle of the top 2 teams in the AL West in the afternoon game at Angel Stadium, Rangers vs. Angels (Millwood vs. Weaver). Then he heads across town for the night cap at Dodger Stadium for the Braves vs. Dodgers (Kawakami vs. Kershaw).
As I am typing this, his game in San Diego just ended… whatta finish! The Padres came back to tie in 2-2 in the bottom of the 9th with no outs. Then they loaded the bases, which included an intentional walk, and Everth Cabrera took a 3-2 pitch, the 10th of his at-bat, and jacked it for a game-winning grand slam!! Don’t get much better than that and keeps his streak of home teams winning alive for another game!!
This game today makes it 22 games in 17 days.”
August.8-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
7:52 AM (PST) – A few interesting stats: With San Diego’s walk-off win last night, Chuck has now seen 3 walk-off wins on his trip. The other 2 were in Pittsburgh (his 1st game of the trip) when Brandon Moss hit an HR to win 8-7 and in Florida where Cody Ross and Dan Uggla went back-to-back for the tie and then the win. The Padres win also continues his streak of home team wins to 11 straight now with an overall home team record of 16-6.
8:16 AM (PST) – Chuck will be on CKNW 980AM in Vancouver at 10:40 PM (PST) TONIGHT!!! He will be live from the parking lot of Dodger Stadium.
11:31 AM (PST) – In La La Land… Chuck has made it to the land of Halos… Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Should be a great game, Millwood vs. Weaver… national TV at that! 🙂
4:30 PM (PST) – Got a call from Chuck around 4 PM, he was on I-5 headed to Dodger Stadium after a quick game at Angel Stadium. He told me he got a tip on some free parking that was close to the interstate and only about 1/2 mile walk to the park. He gave it a shot and it worked out great! As it is, he had just over 3 hours till the night game and I told him he had plenty of time to go to Disneyland if he wanted lol 🙂 He didn’t want to take the chance with the LA freeways… I don’t blame him!! 🙂
This was the last doubleheader of his trip! He nailed it! Tomorrow it’s Seattle for the Rays vs. Mariners (Kazmir vs. Rowland-Smith). I was hoping to join him for the game, but will be unable to do so, sadly. However, I will be here to update everyone 🙂
11:05 PM (PST) – Just listened to Chuck’s interview on CKNW via www.cknw.com. If you missed it, he was on his cell phone still at the Dodger game because it was a long one as it went into extra frames. He was live on the air as he told us that the Braves won it, and broke his streak of 12 home team wins by beating the Dodgers. It was a really good interview.
“These 2 games today make it 24 games in 18 days.”
August.9-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
12:43 PM (PST) – “Home Sweet Home”… Chuck is in Seattle at Safeco Field and ready for game # 25 of his trip, the Tampa Bay Rays vs. Seattle Mariners (Kazmir vs. Rowland-Smith). The end and World Record is in his sights now with Arizona, Minnesota, Atlanta, Boston and Detroit left on the schedule in the next 5 days.
2:17 PM (PST) – Got a great call from Chuck just a few minutes ago… he’s at Safeco and was justifiably excited about getting parking a few blocks from The Safe for $7 to go along with his $7 bleacher seat and his amazing Garlic “Rally” Fries! We talked about the Mariners and how Ichiro always has a great game when he is there.
But let’s back up a bit… last night at the Dodger game, he finished his interview with CKNW and ended up falling asleep in his car in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.
Much to his surprise nobody came by to wake him up and tell him to move along. Luckily he woke up in time to get to JohnWayneAirport at 6:20 AM for his 8 AM flight. He made it but never anticipated the full hour it would take to get through security!! He made his flight, which was slightly delayed, and he got to Seattle, a bit late, but with his buddy waiting at the Denny’s across from Sea-Tac airport with a meal ready for him, he had a bite to eat and headed for the ballpark.
After the game tonight he heads home for a bit and with some clean clothes he will head to Phoenix tomorrow for a game at Chase Field, Mets vs. D’Backs (Pelfrey vs. Davis). Minneapolis and the Metrodome await him on Tuesday…
“This game today makes it 25 games in 19 days.”
August.10-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
6:37 PM (PST) – He’s made it to the desert! He was scheduled to make it to Chase Field in Phoenix a couple hours before game time, but thanks to flight delays (yet again!) and being thankful he wasn’t picking up a rental car (cause it would have taken too long), he arrived at the park via cab with only 10 minutes to spare! Had he needed to get a rental car, he would have been toast!
Thankfully he had done his homework and knew it would be better to just cab it… being prepared and knowing the lay of the land pays off yet again!
Tonight’s game is the Mets vs. D’Backs (Pelfrey vs. Davis). He has certainly been getting his fill of the Mets as this is his 4th or 5th time seeing them on his trip.
Chase Field is ballpark # 26 in 20 days! Tomorrow marks the 3 week mark of the trip and he will be at the Metrodome for the Royals vs. Twins (Davies vs. Blackburn).
“Unfortunately this date was always a risky proposition as I needed to be back in Canada between Aug.7th and Aug.11. I needed to cash my work pay-cheque in person, and it was another strategically placed time frame where I ran out of clothes. A week or so back my girlfriend had met me in the BAY area with a duffel bag full of clean clothes and she was able to check it because I flew her down to Oakland with Southwest Airlines-the only airline that does not charge for baggage.
Clothes considerations ran rampant throughout the trip:
July.17-20 I was in Las Vegas, Atlanta, Milwaukee and Chicago, I checked two bags at Amtrak baggage service July.19-(1 dirty-1 clean.)
July.21-July.24-I had three sets of disposable clothes as to enter the RogersCenter with my briefcase-with a change of clothes for the next day only. The clothing I wore on the 20-21-22 was thrown out. The clothes I wore on the 23rd had been washed at the hostel in Chicago on the 20th.
July.24-I was able to do laundry at the hotel in Milwaukee-I now had 6 days worth of clean clothes.
July.25-July.29-I had a car each day-and did not have any doubleheader attempts so I was able to have clothes in cars when they were not in hotels.
July.30-I have one clean set of clothes-and had the other dirty day of clothes is in my briefcase. I even threw out a vacation bag with 4 days worth of clothes before my flight to Chicago.
July.31-My girlfriend showed up with a nice sized Duffel bag with 4 days worth of clothes. I had no double headers again until the 5th. I gave her 2 days worth of laundry to take home.
Aug.6th-I washed all of my 5 sets of clothes at my brothers and only took 2 days worth of clothes-(1 on me and 1 in briefcase.)
Aug.07-I took 2 loads at 2 separate times to have clothes for the 8th and 9th clean.
Aug.10-I will fly to Arizona with only one extra set of clothes that I am able to have clean when I go home to Canada for one night on the 9th.
Aug.11-I will wash my aug.10 clothes in Phoenix.
Aug.12- I will do another load of laundry in Atlanta. I will buy another day’s worth of clothes from EWRAirport.
Aug.13-I will do a load of laundry in WilliamsportPA. I am driving the rest of the way and make it back to New Jersey or another hotel to do the 2 sets of clothes I will have with me.”
“This game today makes it 26 games in 20 days.”
August.11-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
6:38 PM (PST) – Chuck’s World Record Attempt has him in the Twin Cities tonight for a game at the Metrodome, Royals vs. Twins (Davis vs. Blackburn), where he will be seeing the Royals for the 4th time in 3 weeks (plus he will see them in Detroit on Friday to complete the trip).
He had an easy flight in, finally. He took the light rail from the airport to the game, and will take it back as well. He was able to get a cheap seat for the game, $10, out in the home run porch. He’s got an early flight out in the morning headed to Atlanta for the Nationals vs. Braves (Stammen vs. Lowe) game.
Speaking of the light rail (public transportation), he told me that he has found so far that for less than $10 R/T you can take public transport to and from the parks in Minneapolis, Cleveland, Arizona, San Diego, Baltimore, Oakland, Pittsburgh and for both parks in both New York and Chicago. Got to appreciate that, much cheaper than getting a rental car, and more than likely faster as well…. plus no fee for parking at the game!
On his trip so far the home teams are 19-7. With a quick look at the Twins game right now, it’s the top of the 4th, and the Royals are up 9-1… Twins got a long ways to go if they are going to give Chuck another home team victory.
“This game today makes it 27 games in 21 days.”
August.12-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
3:37 PM (PST) – Chuck made it to Atlanta just after 3 PM (EST). After having issues, yet again, with trying to get a rental car from Thrifty (some problem about his credit card being used too much, too many times, with the difference between CA meaning Canada and CA meaning California… whatta hassle), he grabbed a cab and headed into town. With a quick stop at the nearest Best Western to use their internet for free, he made it to Turner Field for tonight’s game, Nationals vs. Braves (Stammen vs. Lowe). He got his tickets when he got to the park and was able to pull 2 upper deck seats, behind home, for $11! Day of game tickets can be an awesome way to go…
After talking to him for a while I got to thinking about a few things, so I asked some questions. There are things that he has to deal with that most of us, meant American citizens, and wouldn’t have to deal with on a trip like this, such as: When booking cars or hotels online as a Canadian citizen you have to deal with the exchange rate. So if you book something in advance, the price you pay when you use that reservation may be more than when you booked it… talk about a pain in the wallet! This is why he has booked as much as he could on Priceline and prepaid for it, the problem with that is if your schedule changes, you’re out. But if everything goes smooth, your set and you don’t have to worry about the exchange rate.
Another issue is that after tomorrows game in Boston, Tigers vs. Red Sox (Verlander vs. Bucholtz), and he has to drive to Detroit. It’s not the fact he has to drive, as it’s the way he has to drive. Most of us would just go the quickest route, which takes you from Boston to Detroit, via Buffalo and into Canada. No big deal, right? However, as a Canadian citizen, he can not drive a U.S. rental car into Canada. So he has to take a different route that, according to my mapping software, adds just over 2 hours of drive time!! It really makes you think about how hard this trip would be for anyone to do, yet when you add to that the fact that there are things that he simply can not do, it makes it that much more difficult as well as much more impressive!
“The whole Thrifty-crap cost me an additional $125 last night because I had a free rental day. Instead of driving around comfortably to my hotel in the city outskirt-you left me at the Car Rental Facility-3 miles from Atlanta’s airport! I called a cab at my own expense and made the guy an offer. I did not need transportation hassles. I had an early flight to Boston today so I gave him $125 for-Four cab-rides-over 12 hours-that included transportation to and from Turner Field.
Robert, the cabbie from Atlanta, you saved my bacon yesterday day pal! He waited outside the exit of Turner Field for me after the game-and I made it to the hotel in no time.
I learned too many times never to take anything for granted while traveling. I can only imagine now that had I not made the right decision to fly back to Seattle for that Aug.09 game-and risk that 5:42 PM Phoenix land on day of game-in order to line my pockets with some extra cash for the last few games of the trip-I would have been in Atlanta yesterday without money to spare. I would have been risking public transit. Once again, thanks a lot Thrifty! You can bet I wrote your customer survey up very negatively back to you when you sent it me your satisfaction survey! You will make novel history for the worst car rental place in America!
“This game today makes it 28 games in 22 days.”
August.13-Kenneth Lee’s Blog:
10:49 AM (PST) – A Yankee fan in Beantown… Chuck has made it to Boston Tigers vs. Red Sox! It is going to feature-(Verlander vs. Buchholz). This was originally scheduled to be game # 30 in 23 days, but is now # 29 in 23 days. He had been worried about the weather and so far so good. He is under cover in case it starts raining, sitting in the right field grandstands.
He got to see an interesting pregame ceremony as today is “Tickets for Troops” day and they saluted the military with over 1,000 tickets being donated to members of the armed forces by both regular fans and season ticket holders. I got to watch the ceremony on TV here at home and it was quite touching, including having the father of a local soldier that was killed in Afghanistan throw out the first pitch.
After the game he has to get outta town right away and head to Detroit for # 30 in 24 days. He had a decent drive ahead of him, just over 850 miles or so to do in about 25 hours or less. The World Record is in reach now… as long as the rain holds off in Boston!
2:00 PM (PST) – The rain held off, thankfully, and the game is over, # 29 is in the bag and Chuck is on his way to Detroit for # 30 and the World Record. He was able to get his rental car, a Toyota Yaris, without any issues this time and will be making a stop tonight in Williamsburg, PA, home of the Little League World Series, which puts him right about 440 miles outside of Detroit.
Next up: Game #30 – Comerica Park, Royals vs. Tigers (Greinke vs. Washburn)… history will be made!!
9:45 PM (PST) – I just got a call from Chuck and he is in Wilkes-Barre, PA, about 70 miles from Williamsport. He called to let me know that he will be on CKNW Sports Talk Radio at 10:10 PM (PST). So in just a few minutes you can go to http://www.cknw.com and listen to Chuck… maybe even call in and ask a question!!
“That Boston game still scared the crap out of me because I had no recourse of action if the game was called today. Boston was not playing at home again for a while. It was always a hard game to get out of the way in Beantown. I liked this particular option because I was done the game at 4:30 PM-and if I needed to drive anywhere left in the streak I could have. I could have even made it to Milwaukee if I had to make up that game by car. I had pre-purchased a car for a four day rental in Boston-as that was where I would end this streak either way(fail or succeed) and I can take a flight back to Vancouver from Boston on the 17th.
I was in touch with the guys at CKNW back home while I was driving last night but I was not sure if I was going to find a good enough phone line to be interviewed for the spot at the right time. I found a gas station that had a payphone with decent reception.
It was good to hear from Dan Russell last night, as he had been on vacation for the first few interviews this summer but his fill in host Stu Walters has done a great job setting up every interview I had ever had with 980 AM Sports Talk Vancouver for the last 2 summers. I informed Dan that I thought it was poetic justice that I was staying in Williamsport PA for the night-during the time the Little League World Series is being played-before driving to Detroit today. After I finished on the radio I made it to the Best Western here in Williamsport for one of my 5 hour stays.
“This game today makes it 29 games in 23 days.”
August.14-Kenneth Lee’s Blog;
12:18 PM (PST) – The day is finally here… today Chuck Booth will make history as he becomes the fastest person to see a home game at all 30 Major League Ball Parks. I can only imagine how he is feeling as the game draws near…
I did get a call from him a few minutes ago. He let me know he was about 25 miles outside of Detroit and would be meeting up with some friends there to hang out before time and then head to the game together.
Funny story is that this family, the Salter’s’, met Chuck at a game last year when he made this attempt. They had read an article about him in the Detroit Free Press last year and then saw him at a game and introduced themselves. They have been big supports of his on both of his attempts. What’s really interesting is that they were all supposed to get together for game # 2 on Day # 1 of the trip, but after missing his plane in Pittsburgh bound for Detroit, he reluctantly had to tell them he wouldn’t be there. Now, because of that, the Salter’s family gets to be with Chuck as he attends game # 30, at Park # 30 on Day # 24!! You really got to love how things all work out like that.
Game time is 7:05 PM (EST) at ComericaPark, Royals vs. Tigers (Greinke vs. Washburn). As soon as I get confirmation he is at the game, I will post it!!
3:11 PM (PST) – With just under an hour to go until game time, I have confirmation that Chuck is at the ball park with the Salter’s…
6:27 PM (PST) – CONGRATS CHUCK BOOTH!! You are the World Record Holder!! With a walk-off HR by Brandon Inge in the bottom of the 9th, the game has ended in Detroit and thus Chuck has officially seen 30 games in 30 MLB parks in 24 days!!
Just got a call from Chuck, he is celebrating! What a way to end your World Record breaking trip with your 4th walk-off if the trip! He and 35,000+ Tiger fans got to see an awesome 2 hour and 20 minute game that ended 1-0 thanks to Brandon Inge.
“Thank you to the Salter’s for enjoying this record breaking last game with me. Ken summed it all up there. Fireworks in a 1-0 walk off homer for the home team to end the streak-is priceless!! This game makes a historic 30 games in 24 days-and officially makes me the World Record Holder!!
This game today makes 30 games in 24 days which sets a new world record by 2 days-and beats my 2008 best attempt by 5 days.
DCB FINAL WORDS OF THE WORLD RECORD 2009 TRIP:
“While this 2009 record trip did not have as much fan fare or publicity-it was fun to enjoy the baseball games for what they were. I chose to write about the 2008 more because it was way more entertaining-and carried much more drama!
It was also pure luck that on two double headers, (being saved by rain delays) in my favor to help attain the record. I also had the knowledge of being to each of the stadium before hand-so I was well prepared.
I have applied to the folks at “Guinness for my 30 games in 24 days submission”-I was tentatively accepted—provided I give them some more documented evidence on the Milwaukee and Chicago doubleheader. I have since re-submitted the claim-and will know if I am the Guinness Book of World Record Holder very soon-for now I will be happy enough being the ‘World Record Holder.’
If I can steal a line from the movie ‘Rudy’ that always resonated with e in all of the stadium chasing- “In this world you have nothing to prove to anybody but yourself.”
My family and friends thought I was crazy in trying a second attempt-but I knew I could break the record in my heart. Even if I would have failed what an incredible experience to have done this journey 2 years in a row. Having only gone to 11 games throughout the whole year in 2010 I recognize how lucky I am to have done what I did in the summers of 2008&2009.
My advice to you is to chase your dream and don’t let other dissuade you from them-they are your dreams and not theirs! Another saying I came up with during the chases is-persistence is not only an option it is the only option!
Of course I always have quoted the great Vince Lombardi—“The Quality of One’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to Excellence.” Yes I wrote this exact quote in another book it always applies to life
Thanks and happy baseball park chasing!!
BALLPARK RANKINGS 1-30
- 1. AT&T PARK-SAN FRANCISCO, CA
- 2. FENWAY PARK-BOSTON, MA
- 3. WRIGLEY FIELD-CHICAGO, IL
- 4. PNC PARK-PITTSBURGH, PA
- 5. COMERICA PARK-DETROIT, MI
- 6. SAFECO FIELD-SEATTLE, WA
- 7. BUSCH STADIUM-ST. LOUIS, MO
- 8. CITI FIELD-FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY
- 9. COORS FIELD-DENVER, CO
- 10. NEW YANKEE STADIUM-THE BRONX, NY
- 11. MILLER PARK-MILWAUKEE, WI
- 12. ORIOLE PARK AT CAMDEN YARDS-BALTIMORE, MD
- 13. CITIZENS BANK BALLPARK-PHILADELPHIA, PA
- 14. TARGET FIELD-MINNEAPOLIS, MN
- 15. THE BALLPARK IN ARLINGTON-ARLINGTON, TX
- 16. DODGER STADIUM-LOS ANGELES, CA
- 17. MINUTE MAID PARK-HOUSTON, TX
- 18. GREAT AMERICAN BALLPARK-CINCINNATI, OH
- 19. US CELLULAR FIELD-CHICAGO, IL
- 20. PETCO PARK-SAN DIEGO, CA
- 21. NATIONALS PARK-WASHINGTON, D.C
- 22. TURNER FIELD-ATLANTA, GA
- 23. CHASE FIELD-PHOENIX, AZ
- 24. PROGRESSIVE FIELD-CLEVELAND, OH
- 25. ANGELS STADIUM-LOS ANGELES, CA
- 26. ROGERS CENTER-TORONTO, ONT, CA
- 27. KAUFFMAN STADIUM-KANSAS CITY, MO
- 28. TROPICANA FIELD-TAMPA BAY, FLA
- 29. SUN LIFE STADIUM-MIAMI, FLA
- 30. MCAFEE COLISEUM-OAKLAND. CA