The End of a Baseball Journey in 2012(30+6)
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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Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- The road baseball games are done for the year. Sure I will still see about 5-6 more games at Safeco Field, but nothing beats going to games on the road! It is has been 10 days since I officially broke my own Guinness Book of World Record by going to all 30 MLB Parks in 23 days. After the streak, I decided to slowly wane myself off of baseball by watching another 5 games in 4 Parks during 8 days. Those parks were Citizens Bank Ball Park, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field for 2 games. We are talking about 4 awesome places to watch baseball. Lest we forget the Season Opener I also went to at Citi in case of a retro-active decision.
Ken Lee and I continued our journey together by watching a game at Citizens Bank Park in Philly. I have this parked rated about 13th in the Major Leagues. It was a hot sunny day after we had experienced a bunch of rain in Baltimore for the finale of the streak. Ken is seeing all 30 MLB Parks himself this year and I promised him to accompany him to Philadelphia, Boston and New York if I was done the streak in time. I was thankful that it turned out that way. Really, as if fate stepped in, I was able to hold all of my promises with fellow chasers in the midst of still reaching my goal. We witnessed the Philadephia Phillies continue to struggle to the anemic Cubs club. It was the first time I had left a game early all year, however there were no Guinness Rules to adhere to. Ken and I made out way to Wethersfeld CT. We would stay in the same hotel for 2 nights in a row, as the place was almost perfectly in the middle of New York and Boston.
At Fenway Park, we had Upper Deck Roof tickets. Half of the fun this day was driving to the game. Ken and I picked up his nephew Sean from the next town over from our hotel. We dined at a local fast food restaurant in order to save a few dollars. On the way to the game, we drove right up to the vehicle of Carl Beane several times-(he is the voice of Fenway Park-and has a spare tire cover that features a baseball). In a trip that seems to have been all determined by fate, it was a sign of things to come. We parked at the closest spot to the right field bleachers. Yes it cost $50, but all 3 of us were tired of fighting Boston traffic. Thankfully our tickets were bought at less than face value. We made it to the right field upper deck roof level and met up with Brian. Lori Martini and I had met Brian a few weeks prior on Patriots day and it was nice to see him once again. He is a real character in person. About 3 minutes later, and I am not making this up because we have pictures, team president and partial owner Larry Lucchino is standing right behind us. Ken motions for me to turn around. I graciously extended my hand to Larry and told him of my story. He congratulated me on a job well done and thought my record was cool. Ken is the biggest Red Sox fan I knew and it was nice to see him meet Larry as well. The whole game was secondary but the Boston Red Sox won 11-6 over the Athletics. Brian had purchased three of my books “The Fastest Thirty Ballgames” and I signed them for him. Brian introduced us to all of the people at Fenway who work in the area. Whenever I come back to Fenway Park,(even as a Yankees fan) I will always buy tickets for the RF Upper Roof Deck.
Next on the docket was Yankee Stadium. I was happy to see the Yankees as I had only seen them once during the streak. I missed my only chance to see them in Baltimore when my flight was delayed in San Diego. Ken and I stopped for lunch before heading to New York. We were picking up Lori before going to the game at Yankee Stadium. That is when chaos ensued. We had stopped in Brooklyn for something to eat and misread the parking signs. We exited the place we were eating at to find the rental car was gone! To make it a bullet style point here, the car was towed to the Brooklyn Navy Lot and it cost an arm and a leg to get it out. There was a wait time that fully jeopardized us from making first pitch in the Bronx. We finally were released the car and picked Lori up. I am happy to say that we made it through the turnstiles with 3 minutes to spare before opening pitch. Again with no real rules on the line here, Ken and I still preserved our own streaks of making 1st pitches at games we have attended in MLB Parks. I am about 150 games into this streak and Ken has never missed a 1st pitch to my knowledge. We met up with Roger Ratzenberger for the game, thus began another baseball game for us 4 chasers to attend.
5 days later we would all met up in Citi Field for my final game. In some what dramatic fashion due to a New York Cyclist race, we were pressed to make 1st pitch. Lori, Ken and I walked through the special Delta Sky Box entrance to gain access to the building at 1:09 PM. Talk about leaving everything until the last-minute. Lori and I had gone to the Mets game the previous day as well and met up with Marc Smilow and his family. Again, I must say that the best part of this entire baseball journey is all of the friends and new people I have met. Haley Smilow is Marc’s daughter and she has done some interviews of Major League players. Marc also brings his wife and son out to different ballparks and they all talk about their experiences on their dedicated website. It is a great idea and I hope to see them all at the yard next year when Lori establishes the new Guinness Record for Females attending all 30 MLB parks in the least amount of days.
Back to Sunday’s game. The Mets won the contest 4-3 and I am officially 4-0 for the home team in games attended at Citi Field. Maybe they should hire me to stay in the States and watch all of their games? Despite being a Yankees fan at heart, I would gladly take any other opportunity to watch baseball. For the third time in 9 days, Roger, Lori, Ken and I were at a different ballpark together. Maybe we can all see some more baseball next year. So now that my huge journey is over I will avert my attention back to the baseball that is played on the field a little more. The adrenalin of making first pitch or catching that method of transportation will be put on the back burner for a while The good thing with baseball is that there is always tomorrow to look forward to and another season!
***Thank you to our Baseball Writer- Douglas “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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Posted on May 7, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged baltimore, boston, boston red sox, brian savage, brooklyn, Chuck Booth, citi field, citizens bank ballpark, cubs, fenway park, Guinness Book of World Records, haley smilow, ken lee, larry lucchino, Lori Martini, marc smilow, mets, mlbreports, phillies, roger ratzenberger, the fastest 30 ballgames, wethersfeld, yankee stadium, yankees. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.