By Josh Robbins (Special Guest Writer And Co – Creator for The Factor12 Rating Pitching Metric.)
The Factor 12 (F12) is an analytic measurement utilizing league average performance to compare the value of all MLB pitchers on 60ft6in.com.
My grandfather was a traveling salesman for most of his working life. Frequently, he recalls stories about selling his wares in exotic places such as Keokuk, Iowa, Hannibal, Missouri, and Cairo, Illinois.
However, the real Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) asks this question: “Given a list of cities and the distances between each pair of cities, what is the shortest possible route that visits each city exactly once and returns to the origin city?”
Applying this computation to all 30 MLB stadiums is more complex given the nature of the regular season schedule. A handful of metropolitan cities host two clubs enabling for travel to occur in the same city more than once.
Without using a complex algorithm or formula based system, google maps will be utilized to determine the shortest distances between each city/stadium to determine the most logical route.
Extreme ballpark chasers are often left to the mercy of the schedule eliminating a perfect directional path.
After optimizing the mileage breakdown between stadiums, this is the shortest possible DRIVING route discovered:
30 Ballparks in 30 Days Documentary
30 in 21 chance by Jake Beham
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @mlbreports
2 days later he flies to Chase Field – and has scheduled a Doubleheader with Angel Stadium For DH #2. I am assuming he is planning on taking a Southwest Airlines flight that arrives at John Wayne Arpt. The flight leaves Phoenix at 455 PM.
That is 4 hours and 15 minutes after 1st pitch. The flight that arrives in SNA at 605. If he makes the flight, he could make this. However it is about a 67% chance. Most NL games last about 2 hours and 35 minutes.
The airport is close enough to the park in PHX – as is SNA airport. Any extra innings though, and it is over.
On FRI, Sept.6th, he has scheduled a Wrigley Field and Kauffman Stadium doubleheader for DH #3. This one is impossible. The game starts at 120 PM local Chicago Time.
The closest flight I saw that leaves ORD or MDW in time for Kansas City, leaves at 441 PM. That is 3 hours and 21 minutes from 1st pitch at Wrigley Field.
Ballpark Chaser definition: Someone who is actively pursuing quests to view Baseball Parks.
Guys talked about in this Article: Completely Insane!
By Josh Robbins (Special Guest Writer And Co – Creator for The Factor12 Rating Pitching Metric.) Factor 12 (F12) is an analytic measurement utilizing league average performance to compare the value of all MLB pitchers on 60ft6in.com.
MLB Expansion Makes Ballpark Chasing Possible
Twenty years ago, the course of history changed for ballpark chasing. In 1993, the Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins debuted in the National League, increasing the total number of MLB teams to twenty-eight.
The two new franchises created positions for fifty players and expanded the pursuits for ballpark chasers.
In prior years, the nearest connection between a west coast team and the mid-west was Anaheim Stadium to Royals Stadium, a 23-hour drive covering 1,619 miles.
As a result, it was impossible for fans to attend games in consecutive days at every MLB stadium during one concurrent driving trip. Consequently, the only method to complete the entire circuit was to combine land and air travel.
The new league structure dramatically altered the traveling landscape by adding Mile High Stadium in Denver, a 14-hour, 1,011-mile drive from Anaheim Stadium.
Reggie Deal’s- 30 Day. 30 Park Compilation (A Blind Fan Who visited all 30 MLB Parks in 30 Days last year)
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Wednesday January 16th, 2013
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer): Follow @BernieOlshansky
The 28th pick of the first round in the 2007 Amateur Draft, Ben Revere was regarded as one of the Minnesota Twins’ top prospects. He made his Major League debut in 2010 at age 22 and played in 13 games for the Twins that season. The next year, Revere spent most of his time in the Majors playing in 117 games and hitting .267. With Revere, the Twins had some speed at the top of the lineup. On December 6th, 2012, Revere was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May. After trading Shane Victorino to the Dodgers and Hunter Pence to the Giants, the Phillies had some gaps to fill in their outfield, and Revere was just the right guy.
Ben Revere 2012 Highlights: Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is advised
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Chuck Booth “I broke my old record of 24 days by being- The Fastest to see all 30 MLB parks in 23 days- from April 6th to 28th in 2012! If after you read all of these updates and you want to see the rest of the 63 Articles that were part of the trip (Including 30 Park Previews and 3o Park Experts) Please click here to take you to the table of contents at my own personal website.” Or if you just want to read about the game day journeys click here .
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
From time to time, I will post a book excerpt from my book “The Fastest 30 Ballgames.” The book chronicles my journey to all of the MLB Parks – in order to set a Guinness Book Of World Record in the summers of 2008 and 2009. I used the 2008 streak to talk about the parks themselves. MLB Parks are the best way to advertise the game of baseball. All of them are unique and have traditions. This excerpt happens for my first trip to Citizens Bank Ball Park (2nd time there overall). It was a game that should have lasted 3 hours, instead it lasted over 8. How you ask? I guess you will have to read it.
Game# 6 Day# 5
Citizens Bank Ball Park
On the drive back on the Hwy-76 W from the Philadelphia Airport (PHL) I started to become too confident about this whole trip to break the Record. My dream of all 30 MLB Ball Parks in 26 days was on track. This day upcoming I had scouted more than any other doubleheader scenario. It was 8 AM-and I was driving back to my brother Trent’s in N.J for a visit and breakfast, before returning to the Sports Complex Area. I planned to park at the 30th Street Amtrak Station station with my rental car – and then take a cab to Citizens Bank Ballpark afterwards.
From there I was going to see a game between the Mets and Phillies. Around 4:30 PM, after the first game ended, I was going to take a cab back to the ‘Amtrak Station’ on 30TH ST, before going to New York City.
I was slated to take a 5:10 PM train that would get me to ‘New York Penn Station’ at nearly 7 PM. From there I could take the subway to Yankee Stadium. It was a Sunday night game so the starting time on the New York game was 8:05pm. Using Amtrak was the way to go—the previous year my brother Trent and I did a doubleheader with ‘Shea Stadium’–and ‘CBP.’ You are able to skip the traffic and Tolls for a little more money- however it is way more convenient. Read the rest of this entry
Note from Chuck Booth: I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.) Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of my archived articles here.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024-The Phillies have had an incredible run in the last decade of baseball. Most of that time has been spent at Citizens Bank Ball Park which is a very hitter-friendly park. The management was smart enough to draft a whole bunch of offensive talent like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, Scott Rolen, Jimmy Rollins and even J.D Drew(who never signed in 1997 with the Phillies and went back into the 1998 draft.) They also traded Scott Rolen for Placido Polanco. These guys have all taken advantage of the new baseball cathedral. Ryan Howard leads all active players in HRs per AB in the Major Leagues with hitting a HR per just a little over 13 AB. There is still a long way to go to chase down Michael Jack Schmidt. His 548 Career HRs and 1595 RBI lead the ALL-Time totals on the Phillies by quite a big margin.
Criteria for being put on this list was quite simple. You had to be a player of significance on the Franchise. Great watermarks are: 1000 hits, 100 HRs, 1000 games, if you led the league in any category for a few seasons or batted .285 or higher for the duration of your time. This is what I was looking for to include the players on the list. It has taken me a lengthy period of time to siphon through 130 years of baseball to bring you this list. From Ed Delahanty and Billy Hamilton, to Richie Ashburn and Dick Allen, to Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinki, to Von Hayes, to John Kruk and Lenny Dykstra, to Bobby Abreu and Scott Rolen-to finally get us to the gentlemen aforementioned in the first paragraph. I want this study to be as interactive as I can with the readers. If you feel that there is someone worthy of being included in the list for hitters, please feel free to comment or send me an email to email@example.com. I would be glad to edit this post and add to it. After all, if you are reading this, chances are you are a Phillies fan, I am just a baseball historian.
For Part 1 of The 4 Part Phillies Article Series: The Franchise- click here
For Part 3 of The 4 Part Phillies Article Series: The Pitchers- click here
For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series: Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here
Ryan Howard Highlight reel
Thursday April 19, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)- Doug Miller is another Pacific West guy that exemplifies what it is like to be a ball park chaser. Living on the this side of the mountains forces you to exercise every single one of your travel tricks to make it to all of the MLB Parks you can. Doug has made it to the majority of the current parks. He is knowledgeable, a class act and it is a shame that the baseball world does not hire this man and use some of his skills. Today Doug is our Safeco Field Expert and the subject of our featured article.
CB: “Welcome to the MLB Reports Experts Interview Doug. Please tell us about yourself and then give us a bit of background information on your life as Mariners ticket fan?”
DM:You bet, thanks for having me! It’s funny, but I wasn’t a baseball fan when I was a kid. I played some Little League for a while, but was awful at it. Right Field all the way. Ha-ha. I had some friends that were on the baseball team in high school and I really started getting into the game in a different way. This was back in 1988-1992 –- I didn’t know this interview was going to make me feel old! I knew a few guys from school that got drafted, so I paid more attention because I thought I could be watching these guys in the Kingdome someday, whether with the Mariners or the couple of other teams they got drafted by. My enthusiasm was ramping up, I’m in college and watching games at WSU, I’m hitting a handful of games in Seattle during break and then BOOM, the strike. I was happy when it started back up, and by the time I got out of WSU, baseball was just a way of life for me. Since then I’ve hit close to 50 ballparks, but Safeco Field is my home away from home.”
CB: “You have been to nearly all the baseball park. Besides Safeco Field, what has been your favorite other ballpark so far?”
DM; “Definitely Fenway, with Wrigley as a close second. One of the things about the game that I really love is the history. It’s hard to argue with the history of the franchises and these parks. I had my first games at Petco last year and was really surprised at how much I liked it. I thought it was going to feel kind of forced, you know, with the whole retro vibe so many parks have gone for, but I really liked it. There are a ton of parks I like for different reasons, like Citizens Bank in Philly. Without a doubt the best smelling park in baseball! I could talk ballparks all day long, I know you’re the same way!” Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Today’s expert is Kurt Smith. Kurt will be the interview subject of the following parks: Tropicana Field, Turner Field and today’s featured expert Article of Citizens Bank Ball Park. Kurt is highly respected in the ball park chaser community for his BallparkEGuides. After you are done reading this article I implore you trust in Kurt to deliver up tips and suggestive idea’s on how to make your stadium visits affordable and pleasurable. I had a chance to ask some questions of the man recently.
DB: “Welcome to the MLB Reports Experts Interview Kurt. Please tell us about yourself and then give us a bit of background information on your life as a Phillies Fan?”
KS: “For most of my life I have lived in South Jersey, which is unquestionably Philly sports country, and currently I live about a 20-minute drive from Citizens Bank Park. I grew up an Orioles fan, though, and while going to games at Veterans Stadium was fun, as a kid I absolutely lived for the two or three trips the family made to Memorial Stadium every year to see our Birds. It was much more fun being an O’s fan back then and Memorial was a great ballpark. I still miss it. But in recent years it’s been great to see the Phillies rack up division titles and a World Series championship, especially in a city that hadn’t seen a championship in 26 years. Citizens Bank Park is such a great improvement over the Vet and the Phillies and their tremendous pitching staff have become a great team to watch. I wouldn’t say I’m a Phillies fan yet, but when my daughter is old enough to go to games there she may change my mind!”
DB: “Describe the whole idea behind your website www.ballparkeguides.com?
KS: “Many baseball fans, myself included, go to ballgames and maybe don’t get a good seat, or pay too much for tickets and parking, or they aren’t aware of some of the great food items at the ballpark. The Ballpark E-Guides website gives a few pointers on seating, getting there and food, and tells you which games on the team’s schedule are likely to be low demand. And if people like what they read, I’ve thoroughly researched 14 major league ballparks to create the actual E-Guides. For $5 you can download a PDF-format illustrated guide to any of 14 major league ballparks, and I like to think you’ll easily get much more than your money’s worth with the information contained in them, from getting tickets, to seating, to getting there and all of the food items. I couldn’t believe how much I was missing out on doing the research for them!”
DB: “Citizens Bank Park has been over 102% for the last several years, tell people what they should expect about buying tickets in Philadelphia?”
KS: “Philadelphia is a city that is so weary of the Eagles underachieving in grand fashion every year that they will embrace a winning team religiously, and so every Phillies game sells out. The Phillies don’t offer a lot in the way of deals or discounts…most northeastern teams don’t, for some reason…so going through StubHub or another third-party works probably just as well. Whatever tricks you have will be helpful…probably the easiest games to get a deal on would be games against West Coast opponents, and if you go on StubHub on a really hot, muggy day you could possibly land a pretty good deal. There aren’t many bad seats at the Bank, but certain ones do have advantages; for example, seats down the third base line are closer to McFadden’s which is better for adults looking for a post-game hangout, and seats down the first base line are closer to all of the kid-friendly areas. The upper level seats can be way up there, so if you have a vertigo problem you may want to avoid them. But the view of everything from up there is tops.”
DB: “Citizens Bank Park has some of the better access entry points for the elderly and handicapped in the Majors. So how is it their park staff did not rank high? How do you rank their staff?”
KS: “Well I haven’t seen the ranking that you mentioned and the basis for it, so I can’t really speak to that. As far as accessibility in ballparks, so many of the newer ones have really gone the extra mile with it…Comerica Park in Detroit is a good example…so my guess is that if Citizens Bank Park doesn’t rank high in that area, it may just be because the competition is actually pretty strong. I can’t think of any accessibility problems, even the Phillies Hall of Fame has a ramp to access it. As far as the staff, I think they’re great, I’ve never had a problem with any of the ushers…and I can tell you that I couldn’t say that about when the team played at Veterans Stadium. Teams everywhere have really improved their customer service, and the Phillies are a great example. They’ve been very good about everything in my experience.”
DB: “I did a survey about 3 years ago when Citizens Bank Park had the best voted singular food item with a Cheesesteak at Tony Luke’s, what are your thoughts on this?”
KS: “Well the Tony Luke’s cheesesteak with Cheez Whiz is pretty good, especially considering that local items in a ballpark don’t often live up to the original location. It’s great for people who are only going to a ballgame in Philly and want to see what this cheesesteak business is all about. But as far as the best food item in any ballpark, I wouldn’t rank it that high. I don’t even consider it the best food item at Citizens Bank Park…Chickie’s and Pete’s fries, the Campo’s Heater sandwich, the Schmitter and Bull’s BBQ Bulldog are all better in my opinion. But that’s just my opinion.”
DB: “What is your favorite method of transportation to and from Citizens Bank Park?”
KS: “It depends on whether I’m going by myself or with a group of people. There’s really only two common ways to get there—you can drive your car and park or take the SEPTA Broad Street Line subway to the AT&T Sports Complex Station. From nearby PA suburbs you can use SEPTA’s Regional Rail to the subway. Both methods are fine and work equally well, but coming from South Jersey by myself I would rather pay about $8 round trip to take the PATCO high-speed line and then the Broad Street Line than pay $15 for the parking and $5 to cross the bridge, not to mention the gas and traffic getting out afterwards. If you’re going with three or four people though, driving and parking is fine. There’s plenty of parking in the complex and you can persuade everyone to chip in. You can save $5 on parking if you’re willing to walk a bit.”
DB: “What advice would you give for somebody experiencing Citizens Bank Park for the very first time?”
KS: “Get there as early as possible, for a couple of reasons. First, traffic is much easier to deal with if you’re driving, and second, you’ll want to check out Ashburn Alley before the park starts to fill up, because it gets very congested and stays crowded throughout the game. The Ashburn Alley gates open an hour before the rest of the ballpark does, and you’re definitely going to want to check out everything there. The Philadelphia baseball timeline is great, and the Phillies Hall brings back great memories for fans. Lots of interactive games for kids too. There’s a lot going on at the ballpark and a lot of things to see, but honestly, you can focus on the Phillie Phanatic all night and never stop being entertained. There is no mascot in sports so willing to cross the line of acceptable mascot behavior. And don’t worry about Philly fans. They’re not as bad as everyone says. There are some jerks but most of them are perfectly nice people.”
DB: “Other than cheesesteaks at Tony Luke’s, how is the food at CBP? What is your favorite ballpark food there?”
KS: “The food as Citizens Bank Park is all great; I’ve never gone wrong with anything I’ve tried. Bull’s BBQ may make the best turkey sandwich I’ve had at a ballgame, and I don’t require much persuasion to share a bucket of Chickie’s and Pete’s crab fries. I haven’t tried it, but I’ve heard nothing but great things about the chili at Harry The K’s as well. I could go on all day. My favorite food item is the underrated Schmitter, which was actually not named after Mike Schmidt. The Schmitter is a sandwich from a local tavern called McNally’s. It’s sort of a cousin to the cheesesteak, with meat, cheese, salami, tomatoes and secret sauce on a Kaiser roll. It’s a little hard to find the Schmitter stand…it’s tucked underneath the stands near the Left Field Gate. Well worth the search though. There’s just something about tomatoes and thousand island style sauce on a steak sandwich.”
DB: “What is your favorite all time game that you have been in attendance for at Citizens Bank Park?”
KS: “Wow…I have to think about that one. You know, I’m going to go out on a limb here and actually pick a hockey game, the minor league game between the Adirondack Phantoms and the Hershey Bears, which took place after the recent Winter Classic. My sister and I lucked into tickets and braved the cold for the game; and it was really cool seeing the ballpark set up for ice hockey. The Phantoms tied the score with just 20 seconds left in the game, and then won it in overtime. One of the most exciting hockey games I’ve ever seen. The crowd just went ballistic, and it was great to hear 45,000 Philly throats going nuts. So okay, not a baseball game, but I have to say that was the best time I’ve had there.”
DB: “Thank you very much Kurt.”
***Thank you to our Citizens Bank Ball Park Expert- Kurt Smith for participating in today’s article. to learn more about Kurt Smith and his website click here***
***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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