Monday, August 04, 2008

Midwestern Baseball Trek

It's hard to believe it was four years ago that I last went on a true baseball park trip, visiting five stadiums I had never been to: Jacobs Field (now called Progressive Field) in Cleveland, Comerica Park in Detroit, Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, and PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

Following that trip, I had visited a total of 23 Major League parks, including 16 of the current 30. I set a goal after that to increase my total by at least one a year, until eventually I had visited them all. The trick would be that, in a year that a stadium closes, I would have to notch two new ones in order to keep up the pace.

Well, in the three seasons that have passed since, I've been to a total of zero new parks, while one of my 16, the old Busch Stadium, closed. So, now I'm down to 15. In a couple weeks, though, I'm going to hit four new ones: Miller Park in Milwaukee, the Metrodome in Minnesota, Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, and the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis. This will bring my current total to 19, essentially making up for my three idle years.

Next year, however, I'll have to hit three new ones, as both Shea and Yankee Stadiums are closing their doors. These shouldn't be too difficult to make up, though.

While I'm on the subject, here are the lists of current and closed stadiums I've attended games at. I actually had to look up several of the current ones to learn what their corporate sponsors of the moment are.

Fenway Park (Boston)
Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees)
Shea Stadium (New York Mets)
Camden Yards (Baltimore)
Rogers Centre (Toronto)
PNC Park (Pittsburgh)
Progressive Field (Cleveland)
Great American Ball Park (Cincinnati)
Comerica Park (Detroit)
Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs)
U.S. Cellular Field (Chicago White Sox)
Safeco Field (Seattle)
McAfee Coliseum (Oakland)
AT&T Park (San Francisco)
Chase Field (Arizona)

Veterans Stadium (Philadelphia)
Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
Three Rivers Stadium (Pittsburgh)
Municipal Stadium (Cleveland)
Comiskey Park (Chicago White Sox)
County Stadium (Milwaukee)
Busch Stadium (St. Louis)
Candlestick Park (San Francisco)

For my upcoming trip, I've purchased advanced tickets for three of the four games so far. Minnesota is the game I don't have tickets for yet, but they're not in much danger of selling out. It was asked of me, what happens if a game gets rained out? The answer is, I'm pretty much out of luck, but fortunately Milwaukee has a retractable roof and Minnesota is a dome. I have been lucky that none of my past efforts to expand my ballpark horizons have been rained on. So, I'll simply have to pray for Missouri to show me some good weather.

More to come on this one...


  1. US Cellular Field?!?! That is terrible.

  2. I believe they were still calling it Comiskey II when I visited in 1998.

  3. The better half and I never made it to Candlestick nor Memorial Stadium, but we saw games at Riverfront, Tigers, and Olympic Stadium along with the other closed stadiums you've attended.

    PBR on tap at County Stadium tasted so good - loved singing "Roll Out the Barrel" after "Take Me Out To The Ball Game."

    Great story from Municipal Stadium - we're on our way back from a friend's wedding in Dayton (wife's alma mater) and stop in Cleveland for a game. We have the two daughters in tow, and we grab 4 bleachers. No sooner do we find our slab and a beer vendor appears below and bellows out: "Yo! Alcohol!" The bleachers in Cleveland are not the family section.

    Haven't been to PNC, Comerica, or Chase yet. The wife has been to Great American; I haven't. Daughter number one is going to Xavier in two weeks, so I should get a few chances for that venue. We've been to the others.

    Wrigley is probably my favorite. How long has it been since you've attended a game at Wrigley? Is the Cubbie Bear still open across the street? Great bands. Love Tractor was playing there the last time I saw a Cubs' game. We were on TV once during the 7th inning stretch - yes with Harry leading us on.

    We've been to the stadium formerly known as Enron.

    We saw Bo Jackson playing for the Royals at Comiskey. He was friggin' awesome - a frozen rope strike from the warning track in lc to 3b. We gave him a standing ovation.

    Our stadium tour has taken a back seat to following our daughters' aspirations, but we will reconnect soon.

  4. Sounds like we're pretty much in the same league when it comes to number of major league parks visited.

    I've been to Wrigley twice, in 1989 and 1998. I honestly don't know about the Cubbie Bear, but if I'm there again, I'll consider that a recommendation. Thanks.