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Chuck Booth’s 2015 MLB Park Historical Road Trip
The GOAL: 183 Straight Days (every single day at least 1 gm) Of ALL 30 MLB Parks Trip In 2015 (218 Games) view full year schedule.
The CAUSE: To Raise Money for Concussion Awareness (via Sports Legacy Institute. donate money here) Through Inspiring Others.
Games 5 – 11
So I made it through a week in one piece. The last 7 days have tested me as a traveler in ways I thought never possible. Again I remind people, going to a game live is not easy. Going on a massive Parks odyssey is almost a nightmare at tines. But worth the end result.
I left off just finishing a doubleheader in Chicago and Milwaukee, now I had 5 Doubleheaders slated for the next 7 days. While I don’t have to account for every pitch, making 5 innings on the home side it’s still applicable for credit.
I was driving from Milwaukee to Washington on the night of Wednesday April 8th going into the 9th. I chose the same route I used to attend cincy ‘ s openers a few days back. After not having my long term rental car (2015 Buick Verano), for the previous couple of days, it was nice to have AL of my stuff. I made excellent time to Columbus, now that I was a veteran of the area.
As I wheeled past Wheeling, WV. On I – 70, I hit a monsoon. Simply put, I came to find out it was a borderline tornado. Considering I hate driving in these conditions, I was relaxed and hopped up on coffee. I persevered through all night. I never rested, and was sitting pretty upon entering Washington. I missed a turn off and circled back in the wrong direction, ending up in Arlington, VA.
I called Ben Fallon, who was meeting me for the game. I had plenty if time to make 1st pitch. I found a parking spot near the 7-Eleven. . It was more than I wanted to pay..
The coffee I had in my hand quickly flung, when a firetruck blazed down my street. I wore an entire coffee on my lap and all over the seat Good thing I had clothes with me to changed. I relayed to Ben, I would be late to the game. This trip was exhausting. I made it in for the start of the 2ND inning. Originally,
I was going to bus into Philly, and cone back for the rental the next day. But now I just wanted to drive afterwards. It was god catching up with Ben.. We ate both fans of the Nats/Yankees, so we will see each other plenty this year. At first, I almost didn’t recognize him. Ben has lost a lot of weight. The game never went our way from the get go.
Matt Harvey dominated the Nats and Stephen Strasburg. Racing out of the park before it ends still feels foreign, but necessary. I used a combination of I 295, and I – 95 in order to make it to Citizens Bank Park by 720 pm.
Traffic was insane. . When I arrived at the yard it $1 hot dog night. I ate 4 of those, and took two home for later. Tiredness had not stopped me from attending this game.. The Red Sox made easy work of the hapless Phils.
It was time to drive to my brothers house. For several years I have traveled through Sicklerville. NJ. I was there 2006 – 2009, every year, and also in 2012 fir another week. I still got lost. The area had been developed.
Only a mile from his house I was driving in circles. I then blew a tire, barely grazing a foot median that was on the middle if s cul-de-sac. Flat tire. Yeah!. Trent came out to help me drive it off te road. We since have had it replaced. Chalk one up to the evil streets of NJ that seem to rig their sidewalks to puncture tires Costly day. but I can make up savings elsewhere to cover it.
Least it never was on a deserted highway. The next morning I felt better when I saw my nieces and nephew. Already I was plotting some save cash maneuvers to make up for the car. Luckily, I could make do with spare dingy tire. I was using Park and rides the next three days anyway.
No matter how great a traveler you are, venturing into the unknown is still scary. Going to Philly from north New Jersey is not hard. In fact, I found a car wash and laundromat within a half mile from the Park and Ride I was using.
The trip in is 45 MINUTES, to Philly Greyhound station. At a cost of $4.95 with a fare saver package. From there it is a half mile jaunt to the broad street line train to CBP.
Again, I bought a token saver, and will pay $1.80 per trip. So for about $13 RT, I can avoid paying $16 on parking, $5.80 in tolls, and $5 more in gas.. count me on for the savings. I have 35 Games at CBP
So it is worth it.
The Friday game was cold, and the Nationals were in town. It would be wicker for me to see them several times in the next few weeks.
The Phillies won the game. I bought no hot dogs this day. My lunch at Applebee’s was sufficient enough for me to last the whole day
We also frequented a dollar store, where I stocked up on water, snacks and health stuff for a buck a crack.
I was feeling tired at this point, but hoped some time in the same place would end that.
Since I am in the USA for so long, I bought a new android phone. Learning it wasn’t too complicated, but remembering passwords for everything always is.
Another thing that has been hard to find I’d strong Internet and keeping my battery power up, along with blogging and running a website.
I literally only straightened out these issues in NJ a few days ago.
Quite frankly, I am behind in my posting, and upkeep of the website. Add in a guy who has a tough time focusing in on a little phone, and you can imagine it is tough to keep ahead on social media.
There is so much more that I want to do, but cant. I also have found becoming angry at games when I am distracted by my device – rather than watching the game. I must find a balance.
The Saturday weekend date of Apr 11th saw me travel via Greyhound to NY city. I was late for the game in the Bronx.
It took me about 5 minutes to retrain my brain on the ny subway system.
I walked around Yankee Stadium happy though. I was watching my favorite team.
The weather was warm, and it felt like spring. It helps when they are playing the Boston Red Sox.
Unfortunately for me. This contest followed the 19 inning marathon the previous evening. The B squad was playing for New York.
Boston took a 8 – 1 lead, and I was out of there. I had s 500 pm bus from the Port Authority.
I arrived at CBP a new guy on the trip. Maybe it was just letting someone else do the driving all day, but I felt refreshed. I met my brother and nephew at the Park. I had arrived in the 1st inning, following a quick bus ride in, and hitting the Broad Street Line.
There is nothing like passing on the knowledge to the next generation of fans like my 11 nephew Jake.
We stayed for the remainder of the game, and then headed back to Sicklerville, The next day I was going to use a Park and Ride maneuver, take NJ Transit into Philly, and after a qualified game became a reality in Philly, I was taken the Greyhound Bus into New York again.
In a sign of the times, meaning dollars saved are better than 1st pitches, I made a stop in at McDonalds in New York, before entering the yard a couple of batters in. Saving money on food when hungry is paramount.
When I did make it in – the Yankees exploded for 7 runs in the first inning, keyed by a bases clearing double by Alex Rodriguez. I love the 8:05 ESPN Sunday Night Game starts.
My seats for the licensee deal in the Bronx, have me in section 427. There was plenty of room to take bad selfies. The game was a 4 hour marathon that ended after midnight, but I was happy with the Yankees winning 14 – 4. I was about to prepare for my 1st Megabus trip from NY city,
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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
St. Louis, MO
I never thought anything was going to equal the previous day. We had arrived back at my brother’s house to spend a quality morning with my nieces and nephew—and Trent’s wife Kristy before returning to the road. It was a quick trip from Philadelphia to St. Louis. It was going to cost us a fortune to all take the shuttle into the Hilton at $17 each-so I got us on the next transportation shuttle bus, and then negotiated a deal with Budget to give me an extra few hours head start on the 24 hour time line airport rule—so I would not have to return after the St. Louis game to pick up the Mini-SUV, which had been the original plan.
Budget was awesome to let me have this deal early. I am a Fast Break member with them-and have/had spent a lot of money with them. We got a Mitsubishi SUV. My brothers thought it was a little small, but for a $65.00 rental that started out in St. Louis and ended up the next day in Minnesota-it was a great deal. Yes we had a five-hour drive from St. Louis to Chicago tomorrow, but we were all tough guys. I once again told them-“welcome to my world.”
That day in St. Louis was myopic. My brother Trent knew a guy at head office St. Louis, and that gentlemen made a few calls and arranged for my dad and I too receive ‘Field Passes’-and to be interviewed by Fox-Sports Midwest. I was almost in disbelief of that option, but it was now going to happen later that day. This experience was even better because none of us had been to new Busch Stadium-so all of us were there for the first time. Overall it was my 29th stadium so I only had “The Ballpark In Arlington” for stadiums left to complete my active 30. Much like Coors, Safeco and AT&T Park, the red-brick around the whole Stadium at Busch Stadium is top-notch. Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- My brother Clint picked the greatest time to live in Dallas, Texas for half of a year in 2010. He moved to the Lonestar State to witness the Rangers make it all the way to the World Series that year. I was jealous of him for every minute he spent at The Ball Park in Arlington. I had a chance to talk with him recently about that stretch of games that he was in attendance a lot for. Also, I picked his brain to help my own when I wrote my baseball book last year.
DB: “Clint, I have made it a point to say that parking at The Ball Park In Arlington is the fairest system of all if you want to walk a little extra, however that might not work for some people, what are your thoughts on parking there?
CB: I don’t think most people want to walk in the 100 degree weather so parking close to the park is”EXPENSIVE! Show up early for a decent spot and pay the extra $$ to get in early -it’s not that you are “close” to the ball park, it is GETTING OUT AFTER -best to park close to the stadium and then make your way back to I 30. If you go too far into Arlington it will take you up to an hour to crawl out after the game. Some guys I know parked across I 30 and walked in-long walk both ways. Best bet: CAR SERVICE. For $75-100 each way from Downtown Dallas and back you can ride in a luxury vehicle, save the $25-40 on parking, and drink at the game without having to worry about driving home and you’ll be dropped off right in front of the ball park. During the ALCS Championship I would drive into Arlington and get as close as I could to the ball park. Good luck finding a spot but bless the Americans as they OWN their land so a guy let me park on his lawn for $20 while everywhere else was $75-100.
DB: “Where did you like to sit a the park?”
CB: “Best Seats: LEXUS CLUB -only level in the park where they serve hard alcohol… have a margarita there -AMAZING The Lexus Club also has the best vantage point in park for the game. The design of the stadium allows for every seat to be a great seat. Also, sit on the 1st base side as it gets bloody hot in Texas so stay out of the sun.
DB: “What about the food?”
CB: The best singular food is THE NACHOS (FULLY LOADED) in the main concourse -Texans don’t mess around when it come to TEX MEX! These are UNREAL. There are seats available in an American Classic “All you can EAT SEATS”… I never sat there but I hear it is a great deal…You can bring your own food into this park. I once sat beside a guy who used a beverage cooler to keep his 12 hot dogs warm…he killed all 12! I was pretty jealous. I took a picture of him when he was on #9.
DB: “What would you describe the park ambiance as?”
CB: It is a FAMILY PARK first and foremost-don’t call a guy a bad name (referring about a cat) for trying to bunt for a base hit. I had to learn that lesson the hard way. At Yankee Stadium ALL of the fans would have cheered me. Every time a Ranger Pitcher gets a Strike Out the Chic Fil A Cow has a picture that says “EAT MORE CHICKEN” and the “K” lights up. Funny.
DB: “In our conversations that year, you often referred to the ANTLERS/CLAWS phenomenon, can you explain this for people who may not know this?”
CB: “THE CLAW: if a player hits for POWER and reaches second or puts one-off the wall once they reach base they will lift an arm with an open hand over their head in a Monster “CLAW” motion and the players started this first and then the fans caught… One game I saw Kinsler reach first on what was supposed to be a Sac Bunt and Vlad made the kid do both the CLAW and the ANTLERS (see next). THE ANTLERS: Same deal as the CLAW but it is done when a player shows SPEED. Vlad Guerrero has long been my favorite player and I can tell you from experience that HE thinks he has ANTLERS. I told my fiance that “…I hope we get to see Vlad try to stretch out a double today…” well, we did, but it was better, he went for third and got gunned out by 6 feet. He then got up and threw his helmet in classic Vlad fashion. I was jumped out of my seat cheering and laughing sporting my Vlad Guerrero Jersey. Nobody “got” why I was so excited but I knew…
DB: What about nostalgia at the park, how do they treat the historical players of their team?
CB: “Awesome “old school” design of the park. The Front Offices sit over Center Field.Nolan Ryan goes to every game and sits behind home plate. The guy is a stud. Often you will see his good buddy George W. Bush sitting beside him. Texans love GW almost as much as Nolan Ryan. They also have big banners for any player that had significant value to the team at any point in Franchise History
DB: What can you expect for the total fan experience?”
CB: Well, you are in Texas so be prepared for it to get REALLY loud when the team is scoring or something happens like a strike ***smirk*** -Texans LOVE their teams. Great fans. All of the real estate behind Center Field is dedicated to kids… there is some really cool stuff for your little guys to do like batting cages and games so bring them with you. During the 7th inning stretch the sing “America The Beautiful” and “Deep in the Heart of Texas”. As with the National Anthem EVERYONE sings so you are best to learn the words if you don’t know them.
During the ALCS vs the Yanks in 2010 Vlads Mom cooked a goat stew for the Carribean players on the Rangers… They shared it with the Carribean players on the Yanks. Says a lot about that team’s culture , so this is a testament to Ronnie Washington…The”Kinsler/Vlad story was hilarious! They showed it on ESPN later. Also, the whole team has to “make” Michael Young do the “CLAW” because the guy is so humble.
***Thank you to our Ball Park In Arlington expert- Clint Booth for participating in today’s article. Plus thank you for being my brother, who with my other 2 brothers and family, have always had my back on these journeys, both emotionally and financially!***
- Clint Booth with his fiancée Dana Patraschuck in 2010
***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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