The planning of my first road trip of 2012, which you can read about here, is going well. But instead of telling you about going to the passport office, contacting the teams I’ll be visiting and planning other minor details, I thought it’d be fun to go over a list of goals I’ve got for this road trip. I’ll break this list into at least two installments, so watch for a blog entry on the second group of goals in the near future.
1. Get tours of five of the seven ballparks
Last year, I was lucky to get a tour of Fort Wayne’s Parkview Field from TinCaps GM Mike Nutter. It was great because it gave me extra insight into the park that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, which was useful in writing Parkview Field’s guide for my website. This year, I’m going to contact each of the seven teams and see if I can arrange a ballpark tour during my visit.
2. Get 10 baseballs
I’ve been able to get more than 50 balls since I first started traveling for TheBallparkGuide.com, and I hope I can add at least 10 more on this trip. I hope at least one of those balls is a foul ball.
3. Get a game-used item
Over the course of my travels, I’ve accumulated some cool game-used items, including a New Hampshire Fisher Cats warmup jacket:
A Randy Ruiz bat:
And a Ryan Skube bat:
On this trip, I’d like to add a jersey or another bat to my collection.
4. Get autographs from Wally Backman and Ryne Sandberg
Both former MLBers are currently International League managers. Backman manages the Buffalo Bisons and Sandberg skips the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. If possible, I’d like to get each of them to sign a ball. I just missed Backman last summer when I saw him in at Prince George’s Stadium, home of the Bowie Baysox:
5. Find a food item that gets into my top 10
A while back, I blogged about the 10 best items I’ve eaten on my travels, and the blog post got a huge response. As things stand now, Classic Park‘s pulled pork nachos sit 10th on the list. Will I find something that knocks them off?
I mentioned it on Twitter yesterday, but if you don’t follow me there, you might not know. MLBlogs released its April leaders and this blog ranked 15th among fan blogs! In February and March, I was 18th, so I’m climbing slowly. It’s all thanks to everyone who reads, so please know how grateful I am. Please bookmark me and keep checking back and let’s crack the top 10!
I can’t resist giving another Jeremy Nowak update. If you don’t already know, he’s the player I’m hoping to meet when I’m in Frederick, MD on May 23. Anyway, he’s now hitting .307 and leads the Keys with 23 hits. No home runs yet, though. Hmmm, I wonder if the stars will align and he’ll hit his first when I’m visiting!
If you plan on attending any of the games that I’ll be at, feel free to get in contact with me and perhaps we can meet up and say hello.