My 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: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’?)
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:
|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!
March 5th, 2015 at 5:29 pm
Greetings from an old friend. I love your trip plan. It is a nice dream.
March 5th, 2015 at 6:27 pm
Wow, yes — blast from the past! How’s life treating you?
March 5th, 2015 at 6:02 pm
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.
March 5th, 2015 at 6:36 pm
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.)
March 5th, 2015 at 6:45 pm
I don’t blame you about the curves. I don’t got any. Yes, I use that MLB Game Day app. I love it.
March 5th, 2015 at 7:05 pm
Looks like the Sox, after being down 4-1, are battling back. Now tied. Woo hoo!
March 5th, 2015 at 7:36 pm
[snort] 8-6 after three-and-half innings. Well, I do like a game with some hitting. (Damn Twins pitching… Four years of throwers instead of pitchers… looks like they’re shooting for five. 😥 )
March 5th, 2015 at 8:17 pm
All tied up at 8. A real pitchers dual.
March 5th, 2015 at 8:21 pm
And now 8-9… new Twins pitcher, so I assume it won’t stay that way for long.
A “pitcher’s dual”… that’s funny! XD
March 5th, 2015 at 9:31 pm
Wow, color me “Very Surprised” (it’s kind of a greenish-purple)! I didn’t think they’d pull that one off. I do believe that’s the first time I’ve seen a game end with a pick-off at first!
March 5th, 2015 at 10:01 pm
I missed that, but hey, someone had to win the game, given they way both teams seemed to be trying so hard to lose it.
March 5th, 2015 at 11:20 pm
The Bo-Sox will have their chance. The announcers mentioned the Twins and Sox have nine S.T. games this month.
March 5th, 2015 at 11:29 pm
Nine! Wow, that’s a lot of spring training games!
March 6th, 2015 at 11:28 am
Yeah, it is, and it made me wonder if I’d misheard them. I checked the schedule, and sure enough: nine games. I was wrong to say “this month,” though. Four of the games are on the first four days in April. They play nine times during Spring Training. It does make sense when you know that Fort Myers hosts Spring Training camps for two teams: My Minnesota Twins and Your Boston Red Sox. The other 13 teams in the Grapefruit League are scattered around other parts of Florida.