Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and- @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- My step-mom is a retired executive from Air Canada. Back when I was a teenager, Nancy taught me how to travel properly, by how to pack, schedule and always be able to adapt when things go awry. I am pleased to say that she had an incredible influence on me becoming a travel expert now. Her slogan was always; “You gotta learn how to shake, rattle and roll when traveling.” My dad (Tom Booth), helped teach a proper demeanor for my 3 brothers and me while on vacation that I also implement. He said to us “You guys are going to encounter several things when traveling. “If you break, lose or-your items are lost for you, just replace them immediately and don’t let it consume you. After all, why should you be miserable on vacation?” These are motto’s I live by while traveling. I perpetually move forward and don’t look back. While I am glad this trip has generated a lot interest, really the passion here is baseball and traveling. If by some chance I don’t best my own record, I will have fun watching a baseball game in every city again. “You have nothing to prove in this world other to anybody but yourself!”
I have encountered numerous ways of being delayed in chasing baseball parks. Last night was no different. I sat in the San Diego Airport ready to embark on my flight to Cleveland that was supposed to be part of a Progressive Field/Oriole Park at Camden Yards day-night doubleheader. Out of all the 10 doubleheaders that I placed to attempt during this World Record chase, this particular one I would rank the second toughest. The only doubleheader I thought was tougher was the Angel Stadium/Petco Park double header. Ironically enough, I converted that doubleheader. So when the flight was cancelled last night-(due to mechanical failure) I knew I had to think fast on my feet. The Airline was offering up help to fly on other flight, or destinations within reason. Much to my dismay, the airline was not even able to fly me into the second half of the double header n Baltimore, thus creating a plane flight domino. Adding to the severity of the pressure, was I had to think of something fast because the airline needed to help me book a morning flight out of San Diego.
Whenever I plan one of these trips, I have a depth chart for each team. I am lucky that after a few hours of placing this schedule together, I also come up with many different alternatives. Missing the game in Texas the other night for a small delay was nerve-wracking, but maybe it was all meant to be. When I expressed to the airline that I wanted to fly to Dallas, they quickly were on board with that option. The other dominoes came to me quickly. I moved Cleveland to the 25th as part of PNC Park and Progressive Field Ground Transportation doubleheader. As part of my original streak attempt when I first dreamt up another run at this, the schedule had this exact doubleheader. Cleveland was the last team in the Majors to post their start times. When the Indians scheduled a matinee for the 11th of April, it opened up another doubleheader attempt for me by placing the Orioles with Cleveland. All I had to do was bring Detroit into the doubleheader chance with Pittsburgh instead. Now that I am not going to Progressive Field today, I am able to re-schedule the easier to attain doubleheader. Baltimore was switched to the date left vacated by Texas on the 27th of April. This left Detroit. I knew the team played on the 22nd of April.
One of the reasons I went to Chase Field last Friday, was to protect myself against something like last night. That Chase Field game is now the 1st game of the streak. I moved Detroit into their slot on the 22nd. All the teams have a home in the streak again. What is more incredible about this: is that by shifting these cities around and shuffling transportation costs this little maneuver is going to save me $300. I was dreading having to schedule the Texas game after the streak ended, whether it was driving 17 hours or flying, it was going to be costly and time-consuming, I managed to switch out all my flights and actually have a surcharge in my favor. Since I am flying to Denver from Dallas tomorrow, it was a cheaper flight from almost anywhere when you near a travel day fare. Now I am flying to Dallas for a plane fare I spent $160 to originally go to Cleveland for. This day of plane for to Dallas would probably be in the $500-$600 area.
By re-scheduling the trip this way, it also frees up more availability should I have to make up another game or two. That Detroit game doubleheader was risky. If I was running the streak near perfect, I could have risked it and then shuffled the Tigers to the very next day and forego the Cincinnati/Chicago White Sox doubleheader on the 25th. This was not the case and I need that 26th doubleheader. If I kept that doubleheader and missed the Tigers, the next date they were home was April.30th (or the 24th day of the streak.)
Moving Detroit to Sunday the 22nd is pretty decent too, I have a doubleheader for Chicago and Milwaukee on the day before. This is about a 7 hour drive to Michigan. Ken Lee will now attend at least 8 of my games with me for this streak. The Pittsburgh/Cleveland double dip is very doable. The Pirates game should end around 3:30. It is only a couple of hours drive to Progressive Field from there. I would give us a 80-85% chance to hit this game. If for some reason we don’t, the Indians play on the 27th- through the 29th. Other doubleheaders remaining are the TOR-NYY (Yankees play on the 27th-29 in case of miss) ATL-STL (Cardinals play on the 27th-29 in case of miss) CIN/CWS (The White Sox play a series on the 27th-29th). CHI/MIL (The Brewers do not play so I will need the DH). I also give us a 80-85% of making this. Finally I have the Boston/Washington DH (If I miss WSH-I can move them into the Marlins slot of the 17th and then re-do the Marlins from the (27-29 series).
So far I have had 2 missed doubleheaders in this trip that were entirely out of my control. Now a 30-22 schedule hangs in the balance. Whatever happens throughout the rest of the trip is up in the air. The 2009 streak of 30-24 seems even more impressive now than before. In a night where I have already logged 17,000 Air Miles for this trip and running on all fumes, I was able to come up with the best viable solution I could. So whenever I have a chance, I will sleep comfortably about my performance on this trip thus far. I go into tonight’s game looking for my 8th Ball Park in 6 days. Its been a tough 20 hrs-fighting airlines-car rentals not having cars and several doubters and haters-i made it 2 the ballpark-suitcase/briefcase and all-scoreboard says 8 gms 6 days parks 30/22 days
NEW SCHEDULE UPDATED APR 11
With a flight cancellation last night, it has caused me to reschedule several games for the streak. The Arizona D’Backs game now becomes the official game #1. If the game was changed from the original, it will be highlighted in red. I also changed the PIT/DET doubleheader to now be a PIT/CLE Doubleheader on the 25th ave. I lost one of my doubleheader attempts today, but at least I am not taking an a zero.
Game#1 Day #1 Friday April.06 Chase Field in Arizona 4:10 PM (Completed: Arizona wins 5-4)
Game # 2 Day # 2 Saturday April.07 Angels Stadium in Anaheim 1:05 PM (Completed LAA loses 6-3 to KC)
Game # 3 Day # 2 Saturday April.07 Petco Park in San Diego 5:35 PM (I Have 2 doubleheader attempts with SD as Game 2 of the day)( Completed: San Diego loses 6-5 to the LAD in 11 innings)
Game # 4 Day # 3 Sunday April.08 Minute Maid Park in Houston 1:05 PM (Completed: Houston wins 3-2)
Game # 5 Day # 4 Monday April.09 Citizens Bank Ball Park in Philadelphia 1:05 PM (Citizens Bank Ball Park Season Opener) (Completed: Philly loses 6-2 to the Miami Marlins)
Game # 6 Day # 4 Monday April.09 Citi Field in New York (NYM win 3-2 over WSH)
Game # 7 Day # 5 Tuesday April.10 Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles 1:05 PM (Dodger Stadium Season Opener) Completed: LAD wins 2-1 over Pit)
Game # 8 Day # 6 Wednesday April.11 The Ballpark in Arlington 7:05 PM
Game # 9 Day #7 Thursday April.12 Coors Field 1:05 PM
Game #10 Day # 8 Friday April.13 AT&T Park in San Francisco 1:35 PM (AT & T Park Season Opener)
Game # 11 Day # 9 Saturday April.14 Target Field in Minnesota 12:10 PM
Game # 12 Day # 10 Sunday April.15 Rogers Center in Toronto 1:07 PM
Game # 13 Day # 10 Sunday April.15 Yankees Stadium in the Bronx 8:05 PM
Game # 14 Day #11 Monday April.16 Fenway Park in Boston 11:05 AM
Game # 15 Day #11 Monday April.16 Nationals Park in Washington 7:05 PM
Game # 16 Day #12 Tuesday April.17 New Marlins Ballpark 7:05 PM
Game # 17 Day #13 WED April.18 Turner Field in Atlanta 12:10 PM
Game # 18 Day #13 WED April.18 Busch Stadium in St. Louis 7:15 PM
Game # 19 Day #14 THUR April.19 Safeco Field in Seattle 7:10 PM
Game # 20 Day # 15 Friday April.20 Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City 7:10 PM
Game # 21 Day # 16 SAT. April.21 Wrigley Field in Chicago 12:00 PM
Game # 22 Day # 16 SAT. April.21 Miller Park in Milwaukee 6:05 PM
Game # 23 Day # 17 SUN. April.22 Comerica Park in Detroit 1:05 PM
Game # 24 Day # 18 MON. April.23 O.co Coliseum in Oakland 7:05 PM
Game # 25 Day # 19 TUES April.24 Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay 7:05 PM
Game # 26 Day # 20 WED. April.25 PNC Park in Pittsburgh 12:35 PM
Game # 27 Day # 20 WED. April.25 Progressive Field in Cleveland 7:05 PM
Game # 28 Day # 21 THU. April.26 Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati 12:35 PM
Game # 29 Day # 21 THU. April.26 US Cellular Field in Chicago 7:11 PM
Game# 30 Day # 22 FRI April.27 Oriole Park at Camden Yards. 7:05 PM
***Thank you to our Lead 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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