Man Trip Starts Tomorrow
11.08.2011 - 11.08.2011
In less than 24 hours, I will be on my first baseball "road trip" in almost two decades (with some apologies to my father.) For me a "road trip" has at least five major stops. My dad and I hit Kansas City and St. Louis a few summers ago and a bunch of Presidential Libraries and Museums. While that was a great trip, I have a feeling that this one will top it. Wayne, Ron and I will hit the road tomorrow for our first stop, Toronto.
Okay so seeing a game in Toronto is nothing special for a bunch of Canadians, but the Jays happen to be home and we need to head that way anyways. I was not the least bit excited about seeing the Blue Jays play, but now that the team has called up Canadian Brett Lawrie, I am looking forward to it. My brother Geoff and pal Ryan will be joining us for the first game in Toronto. The Rogers Centre (formerly known as the SkyDome) is overpriced for the product and there is nothing terribly appealing about the atmospehere. We can only hope that the dome will be open, otherwise it will be like watching baseball in a shopping mall.
After Toronto, we will be heading to Cleveland and continue through several middle U.S. states along the way. All told, we will visit nine Major League stadiums and one minor league park over 10 consecutive days. We will head to a new city each day with the exception of a two-day stay in Chicago to watch both the Cubs and the White Sox play. Other than Toronto, the two stadiums in Chicago are the only ones that I have visited before.
Ryan and I were in Pittsburgh almost 15 years ago. That stadium is long gone, so I am looking forward to visiting the new ballpark. That road trip saw us head to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York City (both stadiums). Of the ballparks we saw that trip, only the one in Baltimore is still in use. That was 1997, we also took in some action at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, ate at Mickey Mantle's restaurant, and watched the press coverage of Princess Diana's death.
Lawrie is going to be one of the many Canadian ballplayers that we will see on our trip. We will also see Russell Martin (Yankees), Ryan Dempster (Cubs), George Kottaras, John Axford, (both Brewers), Justin Morneau (Twins), Joey Votto (Reds), Jesse Crain (White Sox), Blake Hawksworth (Dodgers), Mark Teahan (Blue Jays), and possibly some minor leaguers when we are in Indianapolis. With all of the CanCon on our trip, I tried to find a Canada baseball jersey to take along.
Another highlight of this trip will be meeting up with Scott, one of my roommates from university. Scott, who lives in Winnipeg, will be meeting us in Minneapolis and follow us to Chicago.
My wife is calling this my "Man Trip". It is basically my 40th birthday present to myself. It is also her gift to me, because she is allowing me to leave her alone with our kids for so long. I am sure that I will pay for it when I get back home. But I am not going to worry about that now. I am just thrilled that it is finally here. Let the Man Trip begin.