As children, every person has an interest in which they wonder about at a young age. I was no different except my interest was more like an obsession that consumed me. For me, my 2 passions were traveling and baseball. Growing up in Osburn, Idaho often I would sit on the sidewalk looking at the street and would think, "That very street could take me anywhere in the country." Back then I knew someday I would have to visit every corner of the United States starting at the street that was right in front of me.
As a child, never in my wildest dreams did I envision myself traveling to all the lower 48 states. The free spirit in that little boy knew as an adult he was destined for this even though his parents and family couldn't understand his need to experience and discover what was at the end of that road.
The other fascination I had at an early age was with baseball. In 1968, when the St. Louis Cardinals played the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, I was hooked on Major League Baseball. In the future years I desperately wanted to see a professional baseball game live rather than on a television. After the first World Series I watched, my favorite team was the St. Louis Cardinals for years. Then once Seattle was an expansion team I jumped on the Mariners bandwagon and remained an M's fan until I moved to Wisconsin and eventually fell in love with the Milwaukee Brewers.
In 1977 when Seattle was awarded a Major League Baseball franchise, I finally got my wish to pursue my 2 greatest passions, traveling and professional baseball. At that time I'd barely been out of Idaho. Thus, that same year at the Kingdome, home of the Seattle Mariners, I got to attend my first MLB game watching the Mariners host the Boston Red Sox. As the future years unraveled I attended more and more games and decided I needed to make it to every Major League Baseball ballpark. So in 1977, my destiny was set in place. Now, 41 years later I find myself going full circle from starting at the Kingdome in Seattle to ending this amazing trek in the same exact place with the city's newest stadium, Safeco Field. Along the way I visited 40 stadiums total along with every current stadium.
Oh the baseball cities the kids and I visited, along with those priceless memories. How could I ever forget my first live podcast and the road trip from New London to Philadelphia with Michael. The dilapidated cottage in Iron Bridge, Ontario where Megan, Sam and I stayed on our way to Montreal or the lemonade vendor who Sam heckled at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City are a couple. Or perhaps asking for one towel, two towel or three towel at the hotel at Arlington, Texas hits my funny bone at any given time. Visiting Yankee Stadium and watching Michael eat his words about Aaron Judge still makes me laugh. I know the speeding ticket on my way to Baltimore with Megan and Sam didn't make me laugh in the least.
Now that the impossible dream is a recent memory of the past, the only way for me to fully describe this quest is, it's still very surreal, but is a dream come true. Throughout the years, even after I considered attempting this journey, there were times when I considered giving up. The baseball strike of 1994 was one of those times. To this day, I refer to that season as, the year baseball attempted to commit suicide. But on the positive end, I've gained several lifelong memories. Some of the players I've met and visited with are, Luis Tiant, Elrod Hendricks, Mike Sweeney, Freddy Garcia, Dan Wilson and Frank Howard.
"I finally got my wish to pursue my 2 greatest passions, traveling and professional baseball."
"Now that the impossible dream is a recent memory of the past, the only way for me to fully describe this quest is, it's still very surreal..."
"I'm often asked what's my favorite stadium I've visited. That's such a difficult question."