Everyone has their bucket list. And mine has typical things like skydiving and visiting where my dad was born in Italy. However, numero uno on my list is to attend a game at every Major League Baseball stadium. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love baseball. I, like 16% of national adults, am a Yankee fan. I have been since I was a kid. But, it wasn’t until a once-in-a-lifetime undergraduate internship at the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003 that I became a true fan of the game. Sure, I liked baseball, but it was truly a pinstripe-centric affair. I liked going to games (Yankee games), and I liked watching games on TV (Yankee games).
However, in a short 3 months surrounded by interns from across the country and a great Hall staff, I learned to appreciate what the game of baseball has to offer, not just the Yankees. Through my own research for projects, information that was taught by Hall of Fame staff, and an opportunity to interact with baseball greats, I started to realize that baseball was about so much more than cheering for one team. Baseball is one of the greatest history books one can “read.” So much of history is mirrored on the diamond and is a testimony to American life. From Jackie Robinson joining the Brooklyn Dodgers which broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier to the emergence of social media and its impact, baseball reflects the times in which we live.
After my internship at the Hall, I was not only a Yankee fan but a true baseball fan! In fact, that summer I attended my first Major League game in which the Yankees were not one of the competing teams! And, so my quest for 30 began!
I have been to the following ball parks:
- Yankee Stadium (both old and new) (Yankees)
- Shea Stadium/Citi Field (Mets)
- Veterans Stadium (old Phillies stadium)
- Jacob’s Field (Indians and now called Progressive Field)
- Ballpark at Arlington (Rangers; At one called AmeriQuest Park and now called Rangers Ballpark in Arlington)
- Tropicana Field (Rays)
- Pro-Player (old Marlins stadium; Still home of the Miami Dolphins)
- Camden Yards (Orioles)
- Wrigley (Cubs)
- Nationals Park (Nationals)
- Roger’s Centre (Blue Jays)
- Safeco Field (Mariners)
I try to plan vacations to places that have baseball stadiums I have yet to see. And when a business trip comes up, if there’s a baseball team nearby, my first stop is to their website in hopes they will be home when I am visiting. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t, but I always try!
So, now here I am in 2012. I’m still plugging away trying to take in a game at all the parks, but this is my dilemma……
I plead to all MLB teams….please, stop building new ballparks!!! Two of the stadiums on my list are no longer the home of a baseball team. In 2004, the Phillies opened Citizen’s Bank Ballpark and this season the Marlins will call Marlins Park home. I’m sure the Trop won’t make it much longer either. So, with each stadium I cross off, I fear that before I get to all 30 parks, I will have no choice but to start again!
Sure, one could argue, “just go by the team and not the stadium.” But, that’s not gonna cut it! If I had unlimited time and resources, I would take in all 30 in one season. But, until I hit the lotto, my quest will continue. And as new baseball stadiums are built, I will just have to find a way to visit again! As they say in A Field of Dreams, “if you build it, they will come.”