I’ve been doing this little blog of mine since the spring of 2015. As we approach the half way mark of the 2016 season, I got to wondering how many miles I have traveled for games since the spring of last year. I am no professional. Not like Ben, who runs Ben’s Biz Blog. He’s a trained professional and his travels are not for the faint of heart. Neither is the food he posts. Fortunately, he recruits stand in eaters (due to Ben being diagnosed with Celiac disease). I should probably look for designated eaters at some point. But I digress.
16,573 miles. And that’s a conservative estimate. It includes 5 round trip flights, a few car rentals, and a lot of miles on my Sebring convertible. And after my next trip, over the Fourth of July weekend, that number will be over 17,000. Not every outing has resulted in a blog post. The total includes some spring training games in Florida that I chose not to blog about, and a couple of Washington Nationals games that I attended just for the fun of it! But it all goes down as “research” and part of the baseball experience. And I wouldn’t trade a single mile for anything!
I am fortunate to live in an area with so many teams within a 4 hour (one way) radius. While this means plenty of late nights driving home, it has afforded me the opportunity to see a lot of great teams and stadiums. Not counting the plane trips, I’ve only spent the night on the road once (twice if you count this upcoming weekend). I am truly thankful for my MLB At Bat app so I can stream the audio of west coast games (go Vin Scully!) while I drive. I also couldn’t live without my music. And podcasts. And Starbucks!!
I won’t rehash all of my road trips. This isn’t another Superlatives post like I did at the end of last season. Although I plan on doing a second edition of my superlatives list at the end of this season. Needless to say, though, I have spent plenty of time on I-95 in the northeast corridor, and a few trips west along I-70, and both the Pennsylvania & Ohio turnpikes. During spring training 2016, I spent a few hours each day driving up and down I-95 in South Florida as well. I took a few side trips along the way, which I didn’t use in my mileage calculation. Like in LA, I did meander up the coast a bit to see the Santa Monica Pier before heading over to Dodger Stadium. Likewise, while in Toledo last year, I took a trip to Tony Packo’s to have some famous Hungarian hot dogs, and also ran in a neighborhood 5k the morning I left town. What a great way to get a feel for the town!
There are still quite a few teams within comfortable driving distance I haven’t seen yet. Greensboro, Durham, Richmond, Winston-Salem, Burlington, and Carolina are all just a long day’s drive away, as are Richmond, Pulaski, Danville, Salem, and Norfolk in my home state of Virginia. There’s even Delmarva, MD, which isn’t far away, but I have kinda ruled that out as the traffic heading to the Maryland shore on the weekends would be too frustrating to sit in! Other over night trips might include a trip to Myrtle Beach, or maybe north to Erie or Mahoning Valley. And while I would like to see Brooklyn, so far it’s been impossible to get tickets for a Saturday game!
To everyone who has read my blog, thanks! And keep reading, you never know where the magical mystery tour of minor league stadiums will take me next!