Monday, April 23, 2012

Ballpark Chasers

I've been a part of this group on Facebook called "Ballpark Chasers" for some time now, and it's been a great resource for me.  I've found out a lot about various ballparks I didn't know, and it is really great to share stories and ideas with people who share the same passion as me of trying to see a ballgame in as many stadiums as possible.  I recently also came across this article on ESPN that chronicles a few extreme ballpark enthusiasts.  I doubt that I will ever be in the same class as any of these people, but it's something to aspire to.  Not mentioned in the article is this guy Chuck Booth, who blogs on and holds the world record for fastest to see a ballgame in all 30 stadiums.  He did it in 24 days in 2009 and this year is doing the same trip x6 laps.  Another similar story came out in Milwaukee this past weekend about a 25-year old Brewer fan who has battled leukemia and a brain stem transplant, and the team is sending him to all 162 Brewer games this season, home and away. 

On the surface I might be jealous of all of these people who seemingly get to live the dream without monetary or time restriction, but deep down I am just proud that I can call myself a part of this special fraternity.  As of June 29th of this year in Miami, I can once again say that I belong to that elite group of fans who have attended a ballgame in all 30 MLB stadiums.  Some people might say that ballpark chasers are just wasting time and money, or that they don't have a life.  But who are we to judge what people do in their free time, as long as it's legal?  Erik and I have created so many great ballpark memories over the years, and for me it doesn't get much better than sharing a baseball game with friends.  We can only hope to continue visiting ballparks as our ballpark brethren, and I continue to feel grateful and lucky that I get to live such a dream with each passing year.

Speaking of which, these articles recently made Erik and I aware that neither of us had any idea how many ballparks we've actually been to.  We tallied our results from memory and E came up with 91 parks, and myself 99, including 77 together.  I'm so excited that my next ballpark will be my 100th!  I have several ideas of which park will put me at the century mark, but it will most certainly be in June sometime before we visit Marlins Park.

Brewers 7-9 (3 v. Astros, 3 @ Cardinals)
Reds 7-9 (3 v. Giants, 3 v. Astros)
Twins 5-11 (3 v. Red Sox, 3 v. Royals)

Erik - 2
Peter - 5

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