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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Leitch: 30 Stadiums in 30 Days

Given unlimited money I’d not only do this but drag other people along with me. I’d definitely just use a private jet, though.

Thursday, April 10: Minnesota. Red-eye! It’s impressive it has taken us this long to hit a red-eye flight. The next couple of days are going to be exhausting, so hang in with us. Because there are again no Western games today, we’re going to zip over to the Twin Cities real fast for an afternoon game, then zip right back out. If you’ve made it this far, you know you don’t need to sleep or shower. The cold of Target Field will wake you up anyway.

11 p.m. TAXI: Cab from Safeco Field to Seattle airport $30.
12:50 a.m. FLIGHT: Delta from Seattle to Minneapolis, $169.
6 a.m. TAXI: Cab from Minneapolis airport to Target Field. $34.
1:10 p.m. GAME: Oakland A’s at Minnesota Twins, 212 Home Plate Terrace, $40.
6:19 p.m. FLIGHT: Frontier Airlines, Minneapolis to San Diego (via Denver), $169
10:15 p.m. TAXI: Cab from San Diego airport to Petco Park. $20.

Friday, April 11: San Diego. Yes, that’s right: You just went from a game to an airport to a game to another airport without ever stopping at a hotel to sleep. You’re a gamer. Here’s your chance to get some sleep, though. You powered through what was essentially a 36-hour day in three different time zones, and once you check into the hotel by Petco Park, you can pass out until first pitch. You’ve earned it.

Midnight. HOTEL: Hotel Indigo Gaslamp, $143.
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP
7:10 p.m. GAME: Detroit Tigers at San Diego Padres, Bleachers, $20.
11 p.m.: HOTEL: Hotel Indigo Gaslamp, $143.

[/quote}

The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 18, 2014 at 12:47 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mlb, road trip, stadia, stadiums

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   1. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: January 18, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4641471)
Wednesday, April 16, Cincinnati. Of all the flights I've put together for this, none are more expensive that travelling from Detroit to Cincinnati. Obviously. That's surely what you would have guessed.


You might want to consider taking a bus for some of the relatively short journeys. Greyhound leaves Detroit at 10:30pm and arrives in Cincy at 3:30am, for example. (Exhausting, yes, but you save about $400, and that'll buy a lot of nachos...)
   2. Chris Fluit Posted: January 18, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4641476)
Given unlimited money I’d not only do this but drag other people along with me.


Definitely. Though I'd be inclined to turn it into a road trip, rent a car, drive from town to town and stretch it out to 40 days or more.

   3. McCoy Posted: January 18, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4641482)
Planning it is a lot harder than it looks.
   4. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 18, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4641516)
The real challenge would be to see how quickly you could get to all 30 stadiums with no means of transportation but your car. Of course either of these quests would be a sign of complete insanity, but what of it?

   5. McCoy Posted: January 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4641519)
I'd have to wait until I get into the office to print out schedules but theoretically this would be a lot cheaper for me than for the writer. Hotel rooms would either be free or deeply discounted. Throw in some bus tickets instead of train tickets and some plane tickets and I could very well be looking $3000 to $5000 cost. I kind of want to plan it just to see if I can pick a better trip than the writer. There appears to be some chokepoints where you have to plan really well leading up to it and choose wisely at the point or else you're hopping all over the country at different times.
   6. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 18, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4641526)
The trip can definitely be optimized, but I think it is fairly difficult. And buses will be pretty hard for anything outside of the east coast. I'm surprised there isn't a rail option from Detroit to Cinci, though.
   7. McCoy Posted: January 18, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4641536)
You have to go from Detroit to Chicago and then from Chicago to Cincinnati.
   8. McCoy Posted: January 18, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4641538)
You can take a bus from Detroit to Cleveland and then either watch the game in Cleveland if it is available and then hop on a bus from Cleveland to Cincinnati.


Greyhound runs in California so you could do a bus there as well.
   9. esseff Posted: January 18, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4641561)
Vicarious fun. Thots:

-- The nearly $11,000 spent includes not a bit of food. Nor laundry, other activities, etc. So the real cost is going to be considerably more.

-- He painted himself into a corner and ended up with 30 ballparks in 33 days. I wonder if 30 in 30 would have been possible, if he had been willing to fly in and out of Atlanta at an intermediate point in his trip.

-- I'm another who would do this as a true road trip, drop the 30-day constraint but still try to be moving continually in the shortest possible time frame. I'd also blog it as I went by sharing the driving, meaning at least one other person along. More fun to do it with others anyway. As a first step, I want to take some time with the schedule to see how it can be done.
   10. PreservedFish Posted: January 18, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4641580)
By the end of the trip you would have hopefully racked up some nice rewards points on hotels or flights.
   11. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: January 18, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4641588)
For fun, I've tried planning a drive-only trip like this, and the shortest amount of time I've managed to plan it for is 43 days.

--I put a limit of 500 miles driving in a day, although I'd stretch it a bit if it got me within 100 miles of a ballpark. Obviously, with multiple drivers, that limit isn't necessary.

--The two problem children are Seattle and Denver.

--You have to time your trips into places like SF/Oak to hit them when one team is leaving town and the other is returning from a road trip. Nothing screws up you schedule like getting to LA to find out the Dodgers are opening a 10-game homestand and the Angels have left on a 10-game road trip.

--Now that the NFL has made Thursday night games a weekly event, it's also possible to hit all 32 NFL cities for a game in the course of a season if you drive the whole time. But it's not as easy as you'd think, even with 17 weeks to play with.
   12. Monty Posted: January 18, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4641591)
--Now that the NFL has made Thursday night games a weekly event, it's also possible to hit all 32 NFL cities for a game in the course of a season if you drive the whole time. But it's not as easy as you'd think, even with 17 weeks to play with.


Do you have to see both the Giants and the Jets, or is one trip to the Meadowlands enough?
   13. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: January 18, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4641594)
Do you have to see both the Giants and the Jets, or is one trip to the Meadowlands enough?


My goal was to see each team at their home venue once, so I did it twice.

EDIT: In 2013, The Jets and Giants both played home games during Week 7. The 49ers and Raiders both played home games during Week 5.
   14. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: January 18, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4641630)
If I'd worked on it longer, I might have tightened it up, but I managed to get 30 teams in 39 days, driving no more than 500 miles/day.

May 7: Mets @ FLA
May 8: O's @ TB
May 9: Cubs @ ATL
May 10:
May 11: Astros @ BAL
May 12: Mets @ NYY
May 13: Angels @ PHIL
May 14: Yankees @ NYM
May 15: Indians @ TOR
May 16: Tigers @ BOS
May 17: Mets @ WASH
May 18: A's @ CLEV
May 19:
May 20: O's @ PITT
May 21: Yankees @ CHC
May 22: Yankees @ CWS
May 23: Cards @ CIN
May 24: Rangers @ DET
May 25:
May 26: O's @ MIL
May 27: Rangers @ MIN
May 28: Astros @ KC
May 29: Giants @ STL
May 30:
May 31: O's @ HOU
June 1:
June 2: O's @ TEX
June 3:
June 4: D-Backs @ COL
June 5:
June 6: Braves @ ARZ
June 7: Nationals @ SD
June 8: White Sox @ LAA
June 9: Nationals @ SF
June 10:
June 11: Yankees @ SEA
June 12:
June 13: Yankees @ OAK
June 14: D-Backs @ LAD

A few too many Yankee games for my taste, but it works.

EDIT: It's that far from Atlanta to Philadelphia? Who knew?
EDIT 2: All better.
   15. Monty Posted: January 18, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4641632)
June 7: Nationals @ SD
June 8: White Sox @ LAA
June 9: Nationals @ SF
June 10:
June 11: Yankees @ SEA
June 12:
June 13: Yankees @ OAK
June 14: D-Backs @ LAD


That part looks like a lot of fun. I hope you like I-5!

(EDIT: I'm not being sarcastic. I've driven up and down the west coast a lot!)
   16. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: January 18, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4641634)
I used to live off I-5 in northern California, so I know what you mean.
   17. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: January 18, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4641657)
I did this as a road trip with a friend, in 1998. It tok us about 2.5 months. We were in no hurry, but when I planned it I generally tried to do it as efficiently as possible. But we did spend a few days in various places, seeing sights or visiting people. I think we drove around 20,000 miles altogether.

As was noted above, planning around homestands made things difficult. We are from Seattle, and our first few weeks had games in this order: Oakland, LA, Arizona, SF, Anaheim, SD. So much driving, but it saved us time. We did the US roughly counterclockwise.
   18. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: January 18, 2014 at 09:56 PM (#4641729)
-- He painted himself into a corner and ended up with 30 ballparks in 33 days. I wonder if 30 in 30 would have been possible, if he had been willing to fly in and out of Atlanta at an intermediate point in his trip.


I'm guessing I cold convert my 39 day car trip into 30 days if I could include flight. Where he really painted himself into a corner is picking the month of April as his travel time. I'll bet there's at least one rainout among those games.
   19. morineko Posted: January 18, 2014 at 11:46 PM (#4641751)
Why on earth would you take a taxi from MSP to Target Field? The light rail is $2.25 rush, and $1.75 non-rush, and it's usually full of airport traffic.
   20. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:12 AM (#4641794)
1) More than 30 days is cheating.
2) Flying is cheating.

I won't be voting for Leitch for the Baseball Fan Hall of Fame.
   21. Russ Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:30 AM (#4641801)
May 18: A's @ CLEV
May 19:
May 20: O's @ PITT


Seems like a waste to burn an off-day between Pittsburgh and Cleveland when they're 2 hours apart.
   22. eddieot Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4641859)
I sat next to man at a Phils-Mets game at Citi Field last year who was doing this as a 70th birthday gift for himself. He was mostly flying but doing some bus legs and was going home every few weeks and taking a week or two break before continuing. He was on his 27th park and it had taken him all summer. He said when he proposed it to his wife and his adult son they both shot it down figuring he wouldn't go alone. He did it anyway. He kept a notebook to jot down his observations on each park and also logged what it cost to buy a hot dog and a soda at each park. He was originally from Cleveland but had retired to Colorado so he rooted for the Indians and the Rockies. We chatted baseball the whole game. He said Pittsburgh was the nicest park he had seen and that fans in the Northeast -- particularly Boston, New York, Philly and Baltimore were the most welcoming and "most knowledgeable about baseball beyond their own teams." His least favorite park was Tampa but he liked the area and stayed an extra day to do some fishing. He was finishing his trip in Anaheim, LA and Arizona. He was utterly charming and is a personal hero of mine. May I be so lucky when I'm 70 to pull that off.
   23. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: January 19, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4641882)
May 18: A's @ CLEV
May 19:
May 20: O's @ PITT



Seems like a waste to burn an off-day between Pittsburgh and Cleveland when they're 2 hours apart.


Only five games on the 19th, and I'd scheduled three of those parks already (CLEV, ATL, WASH), and the other two weren't practical (KC and LAA).
   24. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4641996)
I suppose there is something to be said for overcoming the logistical challenges to see all 30 teams in the shortest time possible, but it's a bit rushed for my tastes. I'd prefer something more like the season long journey noted in # 22, or more realistically, just taking in a road series when my favorite team visits a city or region that I'd like to vacation in for (at least partially) non-baseball reasons. Tampa would seem like a good deal for spring or fall (and summer if you were tolerant of the heat). Looking into it this year since tickets seem to be fairly easily available.
   25. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: January 19, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4642075)
Tampa would seem like a good deal for spring or fall (and summer if you were tolerant of the heat). Looking into it this year since tickets seem to be fairly easily available.


Tickets for the Rays are always available. Ask YR and he can explain it to you.
   26. Greg K Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:28 PM (#4642174)
I remember a friend of mine and I had a plan to travel around one summer and stop at as many minor league parks as possible. We mapped it out once using the schedules for that year and I think we had about 70 parks in 100 days or something like that. He was in film school so he was going to make a documentary and I'd write about it. Would still like to do it one day.
   27. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: January 19, 2014 at 10:22 PM (#4642303)
We mapped it out once using the schedules for that year and I think we had about 70 parks in 100 days or something like that. He was in film school so he was going to make a documentary and I'd write about it. Would still like to do it one day.


You can see all AAA, AA and A venues if you give yourself a full season. I doubt you could fit in MLB and short-season teams.
   28. Shibal Posted: January 19, 2014 at 10:49 PM (#4642380)
It's a nice little hook to say 30 stadiums in 30 days, but you sure would be missing out on a lot if you don't stop and smell the roses along the way. Go to Chicago without having the time to grab a pizza? Kansas City without the BBQ? Denver without smoking a legal joint?

Pass. Baseball is supposed to be relaxing, not a Cannonball Run sequel.
   29. McCoy Posted: January 19, 2014 at 10:57 PM (#4642410)
If you're young enough 30 games in 30 days gives you plenty of time to do crazy things. Of course most of them would be drug or alcohol related.
   30. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: January 19, 2014 at 11:08 PM (#4642419)
I think it could be done by a team of three, but not less, in a vehicle that can comfortably sleep one or two. Some of those distances between western teams are pretty long. Also, as I said above, one rainout could kill the whole plan.
   31. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 20, 2014 at 08:43 AM (#4642490)
Greyhound leaves Detroit at 10:30pm and arrives in Cincy at 3:30am, for example.
Or just rent a car. It's a four-hour drive. This ain't Miami to Boston or Dallas to Minneapolis.
   32. McCoy Posted: January 20, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4642734)
Well I figured out an itenary that would do 30 straight days of games from opening day through the 28th of April. I used Seatgeek to get the cheapest possible ticket price, mainly used Southwest (which it doesn't look like Leitch used at all), and used by company's travel plan for the hotels. Cost comes to $5,000 and that doesn't include any ground transportation so throw in about $1,000 for that and it comes to about $6,000. The only spot where I might miss the opening pitch is the Cincinnati game because neither Baltimore or Washington offers a direct flight into Cincinnati that doesn't take forever. I would have to fly into Dayton and then rent a car to get to Cincinnati. Most expensive flight was Toronto to Denver since I needed a direct flight to get to Colorado for the 1:10 start time. 11 day games and you get to see a Cardinals-Cubs game and not much else in terms of big rivalries.


City Opposing Time
30-Mar San Diego Dodgers 5:05pm
31-Mar Oakland Indians 7:05pm
1-Apr Texas Phillies 7:05pm
2-Apr Houston Yankees 7:10pm
3-Apr Miami Rockies 12:40pm
4-Apr Tampa Bay Rangers 7:10pm
5-Apr Washington Braves 7:05pm
6-Apr New York Reds 1:10pm
7-Apr New York Orioles 1:05pm
8-Apr Boston Rangers 6:10pm
9-Apr Philadelphia Brewers 7:05pm
10-Apr Atlanta Mets 7:10pm
11-Apr Baltimore Blue Jays 7:05pm
12-Apr Cincinnati Rays 1:10pm
13-Apr St. Louis Cubs 1:15pm
14-Apr Milwaukee Cardinals 7:10pm
15-Apr Chicago Red Sox 7:10pm
16-Apr Minnesota Blue Jays 7:10pm
17-Apr Detroit Indians 1:08pm
18-Apr Pittsburgh Brewers 7:05pm
19-Apr Cleveland Blue Jays 1:05pm
20-Apr Kansas City Twins 1:10pm
21-Apr Chicago Diamondbacks 7:05pm
22-Apr Toronto Orioles 7:07pm
23-Apr Colorado Giants 1:10pm
24-Apr Los Angeles Phillies 7:10pm
25-Apr Arizona Phillies 6:40pm
26-Apr San Francisco Indians 1:05pm
27-Apr Seattle Rangers 1:10pm
28-Apr Los Angeles Indians 7:05pm
   33. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4642771)
A few years ago, without even trying, I hit 12 stadiums in one month during normal business travel. The schedule worked out by chance. It's kind of easy to hit about 10 quickly. So Cal (3), N Cal (2), NYC (2), Chicago/Milwaukee (3). The rest get a little more challenging.
   34. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4642783)
The only spot where I might miss the opening pitch is the Cincinnati game because neither Baltimore or Washington offers a direct flight into Cincinnati that doesn't take forever. I would have to fly into Dayton and then rent a car to get to Cincinnati.


Or, drive/train to PHL from Baltimore for a early morning flight to Cincy, which can be done. It would suck but you'd make first pitch.
   35. McCoy Posted: January 20, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4642808)
The flight would also cost about 5 times as much as flying to Dayton. It would be pretty tough to take the train from Balitmore to Philly and then take a plane to Cincinnati. The earliest train is 3:40am and it gets in at 5:10am. The latest flight you can take is a 6:25am flight that gets in at 11:31am. It would be pretty much the only time you had to pull an all nighter and you run the risk of missing your flight with any kind of delay/traffic.
   36. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 20, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4642818)
The issue with tight schedules is that if you are going to catch a game there, rainout will screw everything up.

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