In early 2012 I had this plan to venture out on a full season voyage of watching a game in all 30 MLB Parks.
What I ended up doing was breaking my own record for being present for every pitch in all games during a 30 MLB Parks odyssey in just 23 Calendar Days during April of 2012.
I had taken 7 full weeks (3 weeks after, and 1 week before) off of work to not only do this, but to rest up after a bad vehicular accident in 2010, in which a douchebag hit my car going 60 MPH while I was waiting to turn left into a shopping mall from – not moving at all.
From late 2010 until late 2011, I embarked on a brutal path to gain my senses recovering from a concussion.
It was the 8th one of these I had come across, but the 1st in nearly 15 years.
I had 7 concussions before my 19 birthday, and it forced me to not pursue a scholarship opportunity for NCAA baseball.
I am not one to talk about personal injuries, and I don’t ever ask a question of “why me” or anything, but it a part of my life.
As a writer after the 8th one happened, I seriously couldn’t cobble two lines together.
I never missed work, which is a 363 days out of the year grind no matter what kind of weather is out there, but it takes a toll on guy trying to shake out the cobwebs.
So in the 18 months following this ordeal I was struggling with lots of bad headaches, dizziness and so forth.
What brought me out of the doldrums??? Baseball baby!!
Just like it has always been there. I finagled through my 2011 autobiography outlining my previous record Baseball quests, and then began writing for this website back in December of that year.
When an awesome schedule presented itself to challenge my World Record of all 3o MLB Parks in 24 days (established in 2009) I decided to go for that, and curb my baseball game for the whole year strategy.
It was a decision I made based on the fact I was awaiting an insurance settlement for the 2010 car incident, and simply couldn’t afford to travel abroad for 7 months.
In May of 2012, just a few weeks after setting the new mark for ballpark chasing, I thought I was done with big baseball trips.
I continued to write for this website, and started back at work as a courier.
I was fine at work in the next few months because I had just finished taking 7 weeks off.
By late 2012 I started having the post-concussion symptoms again and knew I really would need a prolonged spell of non action in order to fully heal.
I bought this website in that same time frame, and was still awaiting a payout from the insurers.
In July of 2013, I was finally compensated financially for the Sept 2010 crash, that has seen me press my physical limitations over the last few years.
A routine visit with my doctor confirmed that I will have symptoms as long as I work everyday as I am right now.
It was recommended I take 6 – 7 months off to completely heal from inactivity.
In fact, in the report given to me by the insurance agency, it was felt that the normal person would take that amount of time off after having a similar occurrence.
I have learned to live with symptoms from head trauma because I don’t let it beat me mentally.
I am working harder than ever, with my full time job as a courier working 75 Hours a week.
In that itinerary I have several hours of down time waiting for jobs to do. That is when I accomplish the MLB Reports work.
It is only 10 months from the start of the 2015 year. Yes it is 2014 still, but I will have a great basis for my trip once the Master MLB schedule comes out in mid September of 2014.
Here is what I am going to do
-Attend all 30 MLB parks for at least 3 games each (preferably a continued series).
-Go to a full game for every single day of the MLB calendar (is the 2015 Regular Season. excludes the ALL – Star Game, and playoffs).
-In some cases, I will visit ballparks for more than 3 games.
– Doubleheaders are a definite must for this trip as well.
– Depending on sponsors and finances, I may choose to chase my record of 30 MLB Parks in 23 Days – or the ground (land) record of all 30 MLB Parks in 26 Days.
I am less likely than ever to shoot for this considering the time of games these days – and also with the launching of metal detectors in each stadium now, it is a time adder for visiting each of these venues.
The other night in Safeco Field, it cost me an easy 5 minutes extra – and I use the season ticket holder entrance in Right Field.
– I will start out in California for the 1st month of the year – and probably make Texas, Houston, Atlanta, Arizona, and the 2 Florida teams heavily slated on the May docket.
– I will spend June ,July and August on the Eastern Seaboard, before trekking back to the midwest in September.
– With a likely start of San Francisco and Oakland in the 1st week of the year, it will require flying back from whatever park MLB picks for the Opening Day of the season.
– The majority of the travel will be by land means, but if I can save money by flying, I will certainly do this.
– http://www.mlbreports.com will be a busy site with being able to write a lot more, and lead the life of a journalist for real. I intend to update my trip – and still cover the entire league like we have been the last few years.
– The MLB Reports is lucky in that we have Sully posting a 20 minute daily podcast everyday with us all year, and also giving us his “Who Owned Baseball’ daily list for every single day of the regular season and playoffs.
Going to a game for all days of the calendar will take a huge amount of effort on my part. In the end of it all, I should be symptom free of the ailments that are a minor bug now.
It is going to add another feather in my cap in the ballpark chasing ‘Gondola’.
With the Doubleheaders running freely throughout the year, I expect the end game total to hover well over 200 games for the whole campaign.
-Social Media may run supreme during this bonanza. I am throwing down for an expensive tablet in which I can text, post blogs, and chronicle the entire trip.
-A huge thanks to National Car/Enterprise Car Rental for locking in an incredible rate through the end of 2015 for me.
This kind of help has awesome ramifications. It enables me to accrue 30 free days of rental cars to use at my leisure, when I am not driving the main car.
Last quest involved some serious help from Southwest Airlines, Air Tran and Best Western Hotels, so I am hoping they all hop aboard for another go around.
Listed as my reasons for this trip, among the ones I have already stated, I intend to help raise awareness towards head injuries.
In the next few months, I will be contacting “The Sports Legacy Institute in MA” to inform them I plan out on campaigning on their behalf for this endeavor.
This Institute has been instrumental in brain trauma research. It hits home and I am fully wishing to be involved with their team.
As being part of a network of ballpark chaser, added to the countless people I have had the privilege of meeting throughout the landscape of baseball fandom, I am generally fired up to hit the road and meet up with all sorts of people.
In the coming weeks and months I am posting much more content information about the whole schedule itinerary and on how others may become involved in the best ever fan voyage to all the MLB Parks.
Thanks to all of the people that have already offered help in forms of housing, lodging, food, sponsorship etc…..
While I never go in asking for assistance with any of that sort of thing, it is incredible to see the baseball fan community step up in all facets when you plan something like this.
at 60% of my goal of saving cash for this pending trip, it is in sight, and it is a motivating factor to wake up and attack each day with a head of steam.
The next 10 months should workout for the remainder 40% and then some.
I just have one thing to say