A New GWR Record and Many New Ball Park Chaser Friends
Posted by chuckbooth3023
The Streak ended at 30 MLB Parks in 23 calendar days!!
I broke my old record of 24 days by being-Fastest to see all 30 MLB parks in 23 days from April 6th to 28th!
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MLB Park # 30 Day # 23
OAK 1 @ BAL 10
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- I am going to do this segment in reverse. I am jumping right ahead to the last game of the streak. Sure I have eight other recaps (besides this one) to still post that were technically before this game, but I need to write about this game first. I will post parks 22-24 on Wednesday and 25-29 on Friday. I will also have the Expert Interviews for Chase Field, Miller Park, US Cellular Field, The Great American Ball Park, Busch Stadium and PNC Park updated by the week’s end. Eventually all of this information will be available on my website at www.thirtyballgames3021.wordpress.com. The game had wrapped up in Busch Stadium for what was game #29. My wing-man Ken Lee, had done some great driving work to help me with 2 straight double-header even before heading to St. Louis. As we left the city on I-70, I took on the duties of driving. Ken had exhausted himself in the process of helping me. I started the 1st 8 hours of driving towards Baltimore. This would be park number 30 in only 23 days. For me I knew this would mean another world record. In the back of my mind it was a long time between cities so I was gearing up to face the challenge. I was rested up as much as I had been in several weeks. The driving was actually a nice change from being a passenger.
I have driven the same stretch of highway several times in my life. I was thinking about the entire trip thus far and how it had tested both of my mental and physical fortitude like no other trip in my life ever had. I was earning this last game with an 840 mile car ride. Ken and I switched seats after a hearty breakfast at a Waffle House right outside of Columbus Ohio. We were monitoring the weather report for Camden Yards through Ken’s phone. It looked more and more like rain was to play a factor at the park. I had been so lucky up to this point of the trip, because only 4 games out of the 29 games had come under rain alert and 2 of those parks had dome’s(TOR and SEA).
Ken Lee and I made it to Camden Yards at 5:20 PM and we were immediately greeted with a monsoon of rain. We were soon joined by Lori Martini and Roger Ratzenberger. We all watched the pregame ceremony that honored the Baltimore Orioles greats of Earl Weaver, Eddie Murray and the guest of honor: ‘Frank Robinson.’ The clouds still persisted on and rain flooded down on us. At times I was becoming a little unnerved by it all. A rain out would be devastating. It meant I could only tie my Guinness Book of World Record. Or…. If the game had started and then was suspended, I would be disqualified if there was not a final. The only way I could avoid this was if they resumed the exact game the next day and even that would mean I just would tie the record.
The game started under crazy rain. Thank goodness that Ken Lee had received a free umbrella as a giveaway promotion at Target Field, otherwise we would have all been soaked. Lori and I had purchased food from the restaurant closest to the Warehouse building. I ate a BBQ pulled pork sandwich with bacon and fries, while Lori ate a crab cake sandwich. Roger and Ken both made purchases from Boog’s Barbecue pit in right center, with Ken eating a Turkey Sandwich and Roger buying a double meat BBQ pork sandwich. Our seats were in the 1st row of section 96.
I love the national anthem at Camden Yards because the crowd yells ‘O’ when the song goes, ‘o say’. It was really nice to see 26000 fans at this park. If the Baltimore Orioles maintain their early start-then the fans should come back to this beautiful baseball cathedral. The pitching matchup was not a good one with Tyson Ross of the A’s hurling against Wie-Yin Chen of the Orioles. The 1st few innings were just painful to watch because of the rain and slow pitching. All I needed was the game to hit the bottom of the 5th inning with the Baltimore Orioles winning and the record was mine. Baltimore amassed a 6-0 lead heading into the 4th inning for which I was very happy. I keep telling for all to hear, that a home team win saves about 10-12 minutes because they don’t have to hit in the bottom portion of the inning when the game is over.
The rain finally let up in the middle innings and we all started to breathe a little easier. Once the bottom of the 5th hit people were texting me and tweeting me congratulations. I was happy for this but Baltimore was leading 6-0 at the time. As funny as it seems, the game was not entirely over. If the A’s scored 6 runs to tie the game before a postponement, the game would go down as a no-contest and thus I would be disqualified from my streak. I had a similar occurrence to this is 2008. Flashback: (I was watching a game at US Cellular in my second game of the trip when the Sox blew a 9th inning lead and the game was tied at 5-5. The rains came down with a feverish ferocity. If I was an umpire, I would have called for a delay. I couldn’t watch or listen as the Sox batted in the bottom of the 10th. Enter A.J Pierzynski to the game. He swung at the 1st pitch offered and crushed a thunderous blast into the mezzanine at US Cellular Field to end the game. It was a scene out of a movie. I never saw where the ball landed but the crowd went beserk while my streak was preserved,) but let’s get back to this game though.
There was not much else that would stop me and the game ended with an Orioles 10-1 win. I beat my old record of 2009 by 1 day. I saw a MLB game in each of the 30 MLB Parks(for every single pitch of each contest) in only 23 calendar days from April.6th to April.28th. I have traveled 55000 miles in the air and about 10000 miles on the ground by car, train, bus, Subway, Taxi’s and walking. I endured 3 mechanical plane delays that cost me a chance to attempt 3 more double-headers, but that it the way it goes. I told most people, I thought I would bring in a 30-23 attempt anyway. This is a record I think that will never be broken. This schedule was unique this year in that more clubs scheduled matinee’s because the season ends on October 3rd and the clubs all like to give themselves every chance to complete a game should there be a delay. I have looked at the MLB schedule for 4 straight years and never even an attempt that bested 30-23.
While chasing down this record, it was my goal to prove to Major League Baseball that the best marketing tool they have is watching games live in person. I wanted to show them that by going to all of the parks and using Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, that I could create a buzz. Yes, it also helps that I write for this website here. That is why I can’t thank Jonathan Hacohen enough for his fandom of baseball. Jonathan and I first met when I was interacting with last year’s MLB Fancave guys Mike O’ Hara and Ryan Wagner. I sent him a copy of my novel chronicling the last streak I went on in 2009. From there, he wrote a great review for it and a follow-up interview. I then wrote a guest article for the World Series and then by January, I was writing full articles on a weekly basis. At the end of January, floated the notion to him that I was thinking about another record trip. I explained to him that I wanted to do a 93 article series with previews, expert interviews and post-game write-ups for each park. He was game for the coverage. I finally met Jonathan in Toronto for a game. His passion for the game is unlike any other I have seen. I am happy to be writing for this website because Jonathan embraces fandom like his. We are pleased to say that we will be chronicling baseball journeys with a dedicated page always at the Reports.
So from the time I bought my first tickets and plane fares on February.26 until now, it has been an incredible ride. A lot of people thought I was crazy in going for this record again, and for this I understand. I was lucky enough to have some help from Southwest Airlines, National Car Rental, Best Western Hotels and Air Tran Airways. These four companies are simply the best travel companies in the country and their dedication to customer service is a big reason why I was able to pull this off. Southwest not having bag fees or change of flight fees saved my life when I had to change 5 game dates and flights during a hard travel night in San Diego. It was a night where I had to think fast on my feet and my rescheduled plan worked out perfectly.
Now it is time to thank the people who helped me. It is a countless amount of ballpark chasers around the country. I will start with the chasers that attended games with me. Ken Lee went to 9 games with me and was my driver for the last third of the trip. Bob Devries was with me for 3 games. Roger Ratzenberger was with me for 2 games including the finale. Ben Fallon, The Salter Family and the Narry Families were with me for games in San Francisco and Detroit. I visited with Meg Minard in Colorado and Doug Miller joined Ken Lee and I in Seattle. I also met RJ Breisacher in New York for the Yankees game and he was able to pass along the news of how awesome the Cleveland Indians franchise was in hosting him and celebrating his own baseball journey. I also met Steve Fekete in Angel Stadium, who was not only there with me until last pitch in LA but called me to alert of a traffic jam at near midnight when I was driving back from San Diego for an over night flight from Los Angeles. Had Steve not phoned me with this information I would have missed this flight to Dallas that night.
Then there is Lori Martini. This incredible baseball fan really brought my level of enthusiasm up for this streak like no one ever has! Lori has been to 41 MLB Parks in history (including all 30 current MLB Parks and 11 defunct parks). I had asked her in 2009 to be part of my featured profiles for my baseball book that came out last year. Inever knew her last name or information so it wasn’t to be but ironically enough, she replied to that message I left her on the same day the novel went live in 2011. Last June we sent a few messages back and forth and agreed that it would be awesome to meetup in Miami for a game when her Mets were to first visit New Marlins Ball Park. We thought that a meeting amongst some of the most extreme ballpark chasers would be a good way to really nail down a review of the new park. (Lori has since written a review of the New Marlins Ball Park that is amongst the highest viewed online and can be found here)
Lori sent me a message this last February that she would be unable to attend the Mets game in Florida because her short film ‘CAUGHT’ was playing in the Women’s International Film Festival in late March. She would be attending an exhibition game during that weekend. I sent her back a message explaining I was probably going to have to cancel because of my streak pursuit. Lori was so fired up about the prospect of my streak that she fully had me pumped to finally pull the trigger 100% on the trip and make it epic. As I continued to relay messages back and forth with this lifetime Mets Fan (funny because I love the Yankees), I realized Lori was adamant about wanting to do this streak herself one day and set the record for Females. I told her about the parameters of such a streak chase and what it entailed. From that point forward it has been an incredible wave of sharing baseball knowledge and working as a team on my trip, with a look forward to Lori’s impending trip in 2013.
Since March.15, Lori and I have been on a media blitz. We first were interviewed as top ballpark chasers by the Miami Herald Newspaper. Since then, we have done countless interviews for the streak in the form of Radio, TV, Newspaper, Podcast and blogging networks. Lori has been on a roll with her music and film career as well in addition to finally receiving recognition as the top ‘Female Ball Park Chaser’ of all-time. Lori attended 7 ballparks with me on this journey. She was part of two successful doubleheader attempts. I say that she had brought ‘lady luck’ to this attempt. It was a good demo sample for her to see the entire scope of what one of these trips brings forth. Lori has since joined this website as a writer and we are fortunate to have her. She is pretty, smart, witty and is the most talented person I have ever met.
So to Lori Martini I write: “I simply can’t thank you enough for your dedication in helping me achieve my dreams once again. Your exuberance, energy and loyalty through this entire process helped keep me level, focused and striving towards my goal. You are the only one that I have ever met that has chased their-own dreams with as much determination (or more than me.) With my trip being officially over now, I now pass the torch over to you for your baseball record attempt in the summer of 2013. Just like you were there for me for this trip in 2012, I will be there for you in 2013, sharing my wisdom and expertise with this category so that you can finally see the recognition you deserve!
***Thank you to our Baseball Writer Chuck Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports. To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book please click here ***
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About chuckbooth3023I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker . In 2015, I will be watching at least one game in all 30 MLB Parks for the entire schedule, spanning about 215 - 220 games. Follow that at http://mlbreports.com/183in2015/229sked2015/
Posted on April 30, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged a's, Air Tran Airways, aj pierzynksi, baltimore, ben fallon, Best Western Hotel, bob devries, boog powell, busch stadium, cardinals, chicago, Chuck Booth, Cleveland, columbus, Doug Miller, earl weaver, eddie murray, fastest thirty ballgames, frank robinson, great american ballpark, Guinness Book of World Records, indians social media suite, ken lee, Lori Martini, Los Angeles, Mark Shapiro, marlins, Meg Minard, mets, mike o'hara, minnesota twins, mlb, National Car Rental, New Marlins Park, new York, oriole park at camden yards, orioles, pittsburgh, pnc park, progressive field, RJ Breisacher, roger ratzenberger, ryan wagner, salter family, San Diego, short film caught, Southwest Airlines, Steve Fekete, target field, tike narry, tyler ross, us cellular field, waffle house, yankees. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.