I Haven't Been to Every MLB Park, But It's On My List

Ben and I both grew up avid baseball fans, although our geographical differences and proximities to major metro areas with MLB teams naturally led us to different team allegiances (me in Charleston -> Atlanta Braves, him Virginia -> Baltimore Orioles). We've shared a love for America's favorite pastime ever since our early dating days - in fact, catching one of our local Triple-A team's games was our second official date. Somewhere along the way, we formed a goal, a bucket-list type of thing, to eventually see a major league baseball game in every ballpark.
We went to our first MLB game together in 2009, by virtue of the fact that we had recently moved to Tampa, Florida, home of the Tampa Bay Rays. Not a favorite, second-favorite, or even top-10 favorite team for either of us, but it was fun to be able to go to games (and even though we haven't made it to every ballpark yet, I think I can go ahead and proclaim Tropicana Field the worst. park. ever.). We had another opportunity to see a couple more games together in 2011, when Ben's work took us on a short jaunt to Atlanta (Go Braves!) and then to Houston.
So, in 5ish years, we'd made it to 3 out of 31 parks. Not bad. But when it came time to plan our summer vacation in 2012, we started to think a little bigger. Some friends of ours had invited us to spend some time with them in New Hampshire, so we started thinking...how many MLB games could we hit on a road trip up the East Coast?

It was 6, friends. The answer is 6.

First stop: Baltimore, MD. We left early on a Friday morning for an Orioles game that night.


Despite living a short 4 hours from Baltimore and being a lifelong Orioles fan, Ben had never been to Camden Yards (I'd been when I was younger on a baseball trip with my dad - this wasn't my first, rodeo people). I wish we had taken a picture of the back of our shirts. Even though we're wearing different teams, the backs both say "Jones, 10". I'm wearing the original of course - Chipper Jones, #10 on the Braves for literally as long as I've been watching them play - and Ben is wearing Adam Jones, the Orioles' Chipper copycat.


Next stop: NYC!


We hit up a Saturday afternoon Yankees game. I don't hate the Yankees as ardently as I used to, but they're still not my favorite team by a long shot. With that said, as much as I wanted to hate Yankee Stadium, it was basically impossible. It was huge and state-of-the-art and however many millions of dollars well spent. We sat in the nosebleeds in front of some Australians who apparently knew nothing about baseball rules and spent the whole game talking to each other and asking confused questions about what was going on. Loved them!


Onward to Boston!


Going to Fenway Park in Boston has been my biggest baseball dream for as long as I can remember. I don't care what team you root for, Fenway is a baseball institution. Granted, I do have a soft spot for the Red Sox, but Fenway has always stood out to me as the most iconic ballpark in history. Even though we didn't have tickets to a game until a few days later, our first stop in Boston was a tour of the park - it was probably the only opportunity I'll ever have to sit in the Green Monster!



We did some exploring around Boston before leaving (don't worry - we'll be back) for New Hampshire, the impetus for this whole trip in the first place.


We stayed in NH at Squam Lake for a couple days of a break from baseball. We went to a drive-in and a swimming hole for the first time!


Our plans in New Hampshire the next day fell through, so we went back to Boston (let it be known that this is the trip we came back from and wanted to immediately pack up all our belongings and move to Boston) to tour the Sam Adams brewery and go to the planetarium at the Museum of Science. We also made a completely unplanned detour to New Haven, Connecticut, where we saw two of our favorite artists in a teeny tiny basement show at Yale. I remember it being very fun, and also very sticky. A hundred people in a little room with no ventilation in July is as gross as you'd imagine.


Next we were on the road again, back to Boston (again), to finally see the Red Sox play. We saw the most perfect game we could have ever dreamed of, complete with Joan Rivers in attendance and a game-winning home run right into the Green Monster in the bottom of the 9th. I left that game with stars in my eyes straight up cartoon style.



 After Boston we started our trek back south, with our next stop in NYC again, this time to see the Mets play. Then it was on to Philadelphia for a Phillies game. Seeing as both of those teams are in the NL East with my beloved Braves, their games weren't my favorites, but at least I got to check off Citi Field and Citizens Bank Park.


And then...we reached the end of our baseball road. We finished in Washington D.C. at a Nationals game, where they played my Braves. My parents came up to meet us in DC for the game, since it was the last opportunity my dad or I would have to see Chipper play (he retired at the end of the 2012 season). With that last swing of the bat, we headed home. Nine days and 1915.5 total miles later we made it back to Virginia!

What's the best road trip you've ever been on?

21 comments :

  1. Omg! That sounds like so much fun. I grew up loving baseball, but I'm basically the only one in my family who cared. (Michael isn't a huge fan either.) I wish I had someone around here who loved baseball too. :P
    I grew up loving the Braves, of course, and then I fell in love with the Red Sox. I've dreamed of going to Fenway! It just hasn't happened.

    Also, I'm curious as to who you saw in that teeny tiny basement show. :)

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  2. Oh my gosh! What a fun trip! 6 different games! How fun, and what a great way to spend a road trip.
    I've never been much on baseball, but the games are pretty fun! I was able to go to the World Series when the Rangers were in it a few years ago. It was pretty awesome.

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  3. What fun! My cousin and his wife are trying to do the same thing, they're huge baseball fans. Me - not so much. I like going to the games for the people watching and the food, but that's about it. My husband used to play in high school, and so likes baseball a little more than I do. I'm surprising him with tickets to a Twins game at the new Target Field next month for his birthday. Should be fun, and I know he'll love it. I've already started scoping out all the food stands!

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  4. That sounds like an awesome trip!! I have a similar goal of collecting all the NFL stadiums. I only have a handful left and we are planning a west coast trip this fall to knock out a few more. Good luck collecting the rest of your stadiums...looks like you guys had a blast!

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  5. That is a lot of baseball!!! If you ever come back down to Atlanta for a Braves game...let me know!!! I can easily sneak over to the ATL for the day :)

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  6. oh my goodness, love this! I have only been to 2 real baseball games. My first was the Washington Nationals in DC - and although I was the typical Australian who knew nothing about baseball, I pretended to and cheered when everyone else did. Haha. The next game I went to was in Cincy and it was mine and KC's first date :) I've been to a couple Louisville Bats games but they don't count. I have been to Wrigley Field but it was for a concert, not a game. I would love to go to Fenway but KC hates the Red Sox and most Boston fans (completely ridiculous, I know) plus he's already been. Boo. But anyway. Cincy is fairly close to me, just saying!! Like, short road trip away. I have never been on this epic a road trip, I'm jealous!

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  7. SO much fun!!! I know a lot of people who are trying to see all the ballparks- what a fun goal! I'd love to see a few more, but my REAL goal is to see game in every NFL stadium :) I've only checked off 3 so far but hoping to add at least one more this year!

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  8. What an epic road trip! I honestly haven't road tripped very much, but I have been to the new Yankee Stadium and it was pretty awesome.

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  9. You threw that New Jersey sign in there just to make me smile, didn't you? Thanks :P and though I wish we could agree about the Yanks, I'll settle for "not hating them enough to burn down the stadium" if that's all I can get, haha! ;) Love that you guys took this trip and set this goal together. Looks like it was a wonderful experience through and through!

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  10. I'm not a big baseball fan so I didn't understand some of what you said - green monster? - but this sounds like an awesome road trip!! It made me think about how many soccer stadiums I've been to…a whole 2 haha. I should work on that! Since my dad lives in Georgia we went to a few Braves games and I have some pretty rad pictures of me as a little kid decked out in Braves gear…aka matching shirt, shorts and hat haha. I'll have to post it for #tbt!

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  11. Real question: Are you actually a fan of baseball or the experience of going to a ballpark? Like, would you watch baseball on TV, glued to the game for every second? I personally think baseball is the most boring sport in the history of sports (wait - golf wins. Baseball is #2) BUT I love going to ballparks because 1) I like to drink beer 2) I like to day-drink 3) I like to people watch 4) I like to be outside. So in the 5 minutes of the three hour game that *something* actually happens I can watch the field and the rest of the 2 hour 55 minutes I can be doing other things!

    But hey. I know some people just really like baseball ;)

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  12. Fun! One of my friends is also doing that.. .she may be done. What is next on your list? My favorite road trip was in NZ - my first one. We took a weekend trip to a place called the Coromandel Peninsula (may have seen pics on my blog). The drive and views were spectacular.

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  13. How fun, my husband would love this! We are hoping to get to Fenway soon - just had a few friends move to Boston and we would love to go visit!

    Ps have you seen Baseball Lacelets? (http://www.baseballlacelet.com/) May be right up your alley!

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  14. That sounds so fun! I want to do a long road trip but taking that much time off of work at once is SO hard!

    I'm going to my first MLB game at the end of May in Minneapolis when the Blue Jays are there. I'm not a baseball fan at all but I'm really excited about it. Mostly for beers at the stadium than the actual watching baseball part! haha

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  15. Camden Yards is a beautiful ballpark! I've been there. But, I haven't been to any of the others shown, so thanks for letting me live vicariously through you :)

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  16. I am SO JEALOUS of this trip!!!!! Baseball is amazing, and I have sadly only been to ONE of those stadiums--my goal is all 30, obviously. It's definitely a challenge but it's a fun one!! I think I am going to Baltimore later this year to visit Camden Yards so that will be fun. I think the best road trip I've ever been on was to St. Louis in 2012 (good year!) with my dad--we drove 9 hours to see the Indians play the Cardinals and had such a fun time!

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  17. This is SO cool! What an awesome trip! Jordan is a huge Yankees fan, and I know he would love to go to YStadium some day. The only MLB parks I've been to are Wrigley, US Cellular, Milwaukee, Colorado, Busch, and Rangers. And.... I totally mixed teams and park names. I'm sure you'll know what I mean ;)

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  18. Im not a MLB fan but I think this is the coolest thing ever! Who wouldn't want a road trip to see live games with their favourite person?!

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  19. What a road trip and thanx so much for sharing all these photos!! Huge stadium fan!!! My claim to fame back in 1997 was 6 baseball games in 5 different cities over 7 days. Milwaukee, Chi-Town, and Colorado while living in San Diego. Have seen a number of MLB stadiums, a few Triple A stadiums and now Rookie League Parks because our local Colorado Rockies Rookie League is located here in Grand Junction. I love the atmosphere and love traveling. Cheers

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  20. I live in Baltimore about a mile from Camden Yards. It's such a beautiful stadium. You can get tickets pretty cheap so it always makes for a great summer outing!

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  21. I love this idea-- what fun memories associated with each park and each trip-- your trip to New Hampshire and all the stops sounds like it was epic! My husband is a huge O's fan too, and I've kind of adopted them as a second favorite-- if you ever make it to Michigan, Comerica Park is really nice in my opinion :)

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