MLB Parks Tour

tourMy Minnesota Twins played their first spring training game last night. It was an exhibition game against the University of Minnesota. And, wouldn’t you know it, those professional experienced baseball players managed to beat the college kids. That hasn’t been the case for some other teams (the Philadelphia Phillies lost to the University of Tampa Bay last Sunday, for example).

In about three hours the Twins begin Spring Training games for real by hosting the Boston Red Sox (who beat two different college teams in a double-header Tuesday).

To celebrate, I thought I’d share my MLB Parks Tour plan.

A few years back I started thinking it would be fun to spend a summer traveling to all 30 MLB baseball parks. The financial realities of taking early retirement have put that a little out of reach. (It’s doable — especially if I drove — but I realized that doing it alone actually wasn’t that appealing.)

But I did create a plan, and it turns out that you can actually make a neat loop going from ballpark to ballpark. The outline of that loop vaguely resembles the outline of the USA itself:

MLB Tour

Around the USA to all 30 MLB baseball parks. [click for biggun]

It’s kind of interesting how nearly all the ballparks are near the edges of the country. The only exceptions are the Rockies, the Royals, the Cardinals, and the Reds. (What are the odds that three of those four teams start with the letter ‘R’?)

calif

California: the only state big enough to have five teams!

The route also takes into account side trips to Cape Canaveral and New Orleans. Not shown, but certainly worth a side trip, is a visit to the Grand Canyon while visiting the Diamondbacks in Arizona. For that matter, a side trip to Las Vegas might be fun, too — I’ve always liked that town.

And, of course, cities like Chicago, Boston, New York, Washington D.C., and all three cities in California, involve considerable sight-seeing in their own right. (One more reason going alone would be dull.)

The baseball season is six months long, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy the trip and sight-see. It would be cool to schedule it so as to see the Twins play in as many away games as possible, but I suspect the planning logistics would be nearly impossible.

That’s about all there is to say, so here’s the itinerary:

Ballpark Location Team Lg-Dv
Pack your bags for a road trip!
Target Field Minneapolis, MN Minnesota Twins AL-C
Miller Park Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Brewers NL-C
Wrigley Field Chicago, IL Chicago Cubs NL-C
U.S. Cellular Field Chicago, IL Chicago White Sox AL-C
Sight-seeing in Chicago!
Great American Ball Park Cincinnati, OH Cincinnati Reds NL-C
PNC Park Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh Pirates NL-E
Progressive Field Cleveland, OH Cleveland Indians AL-C
Comerica Park Detroit, MI Detroit Tigers AL-C
Rogers Centre Toronto, ON Toronto Blue Jays AL-E
Fenway Park Boston, MA Boston Red Sox AL-E
Sight-seeing in Boston! (Sam Adams brewery!)
Citi Field New York, NY New York Mets NL-E
Yankee Stadium Bronx, NY New York Yankees AL-E
Sight-seeing in New York!
Citizens Bank Park Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia Phillies NL-E
Camden Yard Baltimore, MD Baltimore Orioles AL-E
Nationals Park Washington, DC Washington Nationals NL-E
Sight-seeing in DC!
And now a long, leisurely drive down the east coast…
Side trip to Cape Canaveral to ride on a rocket!
Marlins Park Miami, FL Miami Marlins NL-E
Tropicana Field St. Petersburg, FL Tampa Bay Rays AL-E
Turner Field Atlanta, GA Atlanta Braves NL-E
Side trip to New Orleans!
Minute Maid Park Houston, TX Houston Astros AL-W
Globe Life Park Arlington, TX Texas Rangers AL-W
Chase Field Phoenix, AZ Arizona Diamondbacks NL-W
Side trip to Grand Canyon! (Possible side trip to Las Vegas?)
PETCO Park San Diego, CA San Diego Padres NL-W
Visiting old friends in San Diego!
Angel Stadium Anaheim, CA Anaheim Angels AL-W
Dodger Stadium Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles Dodgers NL-W
Visiting old friends in Los Angeles!
AT&T Park San Francisco, CA San Francisco Giants NL-W
O.co Coliseum Oakland, CA Oakland Athletics AL-W
Sight-seeing in San Francisco! (Anchor brewery!)
And now a nice drive up the west coast…
Safeco Field Seattle, WA Seattle Mariners AL-W
Long drive over the mountains…
Coors Field Denver, CO Colorado Rockies NL-W
Kauffman Stadium Kansas City, MO Kansas City Royals AL-C
Busch Stadium St. Louis, MO St. Louis Cardinals NL-C
And then we go home!

I haven’t entirely given up on doing this someday. I am seriously considering a long vacation down in Florida next year to watch Spring Training. That would be nice after a long winter!

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

14 responses to “MLB Parks Tour

  • Brenda

    Greetings from an old friend. I love your trip plan. It is a nice dream.

  • Doobster418

    I would love to visit all 30 baseball parks one summer. I’d offer to accompany you on your journey, Wyrd, but (1) I’m not yet retired, and (2) a homicide might ensue before the end of the road trip.

    Where I am it’s a few minutes past 4:00. That means your Twins and my Red Sox are about to get underway. Unfortunately, it’s not televised here in San Francisco. But may the best team — the Red Sox — win.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Well, maybe — although we do fine with baseball — but I had someone with different curves in mind. 🙂

      First inning went to the Twins, score is 0-2, but ball games are often like cigars. The first third really doesn’t tell you anything, and the last third is where it gets really interesting. (Bo-Sox took two quick outs top of the second as I was writing this, but Gibson is having a hard time getting that third out… full count, lots of fouls… D’oh, and he walked him.)

      Say, do you know about MLB.com GameDay? It’s a Flash app that lets you monitor ballgames in progress.

      (Double D’oh! Fourth batter put out, but not before the run scored. It’s 2-1 middle of the second.)

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