Confessions Of A Ball Park Chaser: 2013 Edition
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By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
Last year at this time, I was embarking on an all 30 MLB Park Trip in just 20 Calendar Days. I was attempting to best my own World Record of 30 MLB Parks in 24 Calendar Days in 2009. I managed to put forth a 30 – 23 Record Streak, plus than celebrate with attending another 6 games the next week. You can read about that here.
I initially planned to do a similar trip this year – however I decided to invest my baseball time and money into this website instead. It is a choice I have wondered about for the last 4 months.
Last Sunday I boarded a flight from Seattle to Oakland – and then proceeded to hit Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles. The whole purpose of the trip was to witness the Season Opener at Dodger Stadium on April Fools Day.
Dodger Stadium Opening Ceremonies:
I work in a business where I work 360 days (only off Stat Holidays) if I am in Vancouver B.C. Canada. The reason why I work all of the time is that I have paid for rental cars for each of those days. If I do not work, I end up losing mega money.
My reward for the wayward lifestyle is the ability to take 6 – 7 weeks off in any summer I want. I have taken off that time in 6 out of the last 7 years.
This will not be an option this year. I am working around the clock to make a living at my real job – than work at this website. But you want to know something…..I am cool with it because of the baseball journey that this website is providing me as well.
Having said that, lets us return to the topic. I gave myself a budget and itinerary. Rather than rant on for minutes, I will show you the Timeline and Cost of this wicked fiasco.
100 PM- Cross the Border into Blaine, Washington with my rental car (2013 Dodge Avenger) and into the dedicated FAST LANE that we call NEXUS up here. This is a dedicated travel lane – for pre-screened folks how take an hour crash course. Saves 30 – 45 Minutes every time I border jump.
4:30 PM – After buying a new computer ($800 exemption rate for being in the USA for 48 hours), my girlfriend Cat and I park at SeaTac Airport. We pay $34 to park for 3 days.
730 PM – We board our Southwest Airlines flight to Oakland. It is Easter Saturday and I only paid $105 per ticket for this plane ride. I could have packed 2 bags for free – but it was not necessary. Had I cancelled my flight, there is no fee, plus I have one calendar year from the purchase date to use the cancelled fare total.
9:40 PM – Cat and I touch down in Oakland’s Airport and I board the shuttle bus to National Car Rental. Since I rented from National for about 200 days last year, I accrued 10 free car rental days. I am able to invoke a 24 HR Airport rule in which I can pick up a car at one location – and drop it off at another within a day to avoid a drop fee.
I used this rental to return to San Diego the next night. My total for the rental was $27. We went over the Bay Bridge (Toll $5) in order to hit up the Fisherman’s Wharf for last-minute shopping. At a 7 Eleven, Cat and I both purchased SF cotton jackets for $10 each – easily $40 anywhere else. We tried to make it Boudin Sourdough at Pier 39, but they had already closed.
12:00 AM (Sunday) we pass AT and T Park on our way out-of-town. Best park in the Majors IMO.
07:30 AM – Cat and I took turns driving the brand new Nissan Altima from National Car Rental. As an Executive Elite Member, 4 other people can drive my rental car and are covered. We also roamed the airport for the best possible car we could select ourselves. This car only had 898 Miles on it.
We drove through Disneyland and took a Left onto Orangewood. Wouldn’t you know we ran into Angel Stadium!!
09:30 PM. Cat and I spent the day at SeaWorld, the night in Old Town for Dinner, before fighting through the terrible drivers and poor signage to end up at San Diego Airport. I switched cars and ended up with another car for our drive to Los Angeles the next day. It was a 2013 Toyota Camry. The rental cost $6 and included a one way rental to LAX.
Before we ended up at the Airport – we decided to drive to Petco Park!!
0730 AM – (Monday April.1st) Fresh off of staying at our Hotel we spend only $35 to stay at – Kings Inn (2 Miles from Sea World and Old Town) – we were on our way to Dodger Stadium. After a scenic stop in Oceanside, we were on our way to Chavez Ravine!!
10:30 AM ( 160 Minutes till game time) I am cursing on Highway 5 about 30 Miles out from the park. I knew the traffic would be crazy. It wasn’t a World Record Streak so I wasn’t going to cut out sleep just to arrive in time at the yard, should it come down to it.
12:40 PM Cat and I finally made it to the booths of the Parking Lot at Dodger Stadium. I purchased a LA Dodger hat for $10 because my other hats were completely ruined by the winter in Canada.
1:05 PM We enter the LF Loge Pavilion with 5 Minutes to Spare. I bought these tickets for $80 each. Yes it was more than I spent for last years Season Opener at Dodger Stadium ($55), however I only booked the flight 2 weeks in advance. The seats were great.
Cat and I were totally watching the entire Blue Nation run rampant over their Dodgers – and completely rail on anyone one wearing a San Francisco Giants. It was a lot of fun for us to watch this game within a game. Clayton Kershaw smashed a HR to break a 0 – 0 tie in the 8th. Cat took some great pictures for the game.
For a full game recap of what we witnessed, you can see an article written by our Dodgers Correspondent Eriq Rivera here ,
The game was over at 345 PM. I parked strategically near the edge of the parkade (cost $10). We beat the crowd by driving up 1 mile East on Highway 110 – before pulling a U-turn the other way. They close some of the turn – offs coming out of the Park, which punishes the ballpark folks.
Cat and I ate Mexican food for dinner near LAX – before we made our Southwest flight back to Seattle. It was another $105 flight per person deal. I fell asleep once we were wheels up.
At 11:30 PM, we arrived in Seattle. At 145 AM on April 2nd, I arrived back in Canada and ready for work at 230 AM. It was a lot of work for 1 Baseball game….but so worth it. I am already planning a similar trip in August – with a similar schedule. The things we do to feed our habits.
My name is Chuck Booth – and I am addicted to baseball. Testimonials will brought up and shared from time to time here, however you will have to supply your own coffee!!
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***
Chuck Booth – Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames: To learn more about my “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” and how to purchase it, click here . You can also follow my Guinness Book of World Record Successful Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 Days – click here. I am happy to be part of such an awesome Magazine-Style Baseball Website and am looking forward to talking to all of the fans of the MLB. You can reach me on Twitter here Follow @mlbreports
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Posted on April 5, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @chuckbooth3024 on twitter, Cathie Ellis, Chuck Booth. fastest 30 ballgames, clayton kershaw, Disneyland, dodger stadium, fishermans wharf, jessica alba, Kings Inn San Diego, la dodgers, Los Angeles, National Car Rental, o.co coliseum, oceanside, petco park, San Diego, Seatac Airport, seaworld, Southwest Airlines. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Confessions Of A Ball Park Chaser: 2013 Edition.