… From Bucket Lists


#30Parks60Days

As the New Year approaches us, resolutions are being put into place. I should exercise more this year. I should eat healthier. I should try to make new friends. Etc. etc. etc. I’ve tried doing resolutions in the past, but they’ve never come to fruition. Like many before me, it lasts about a month or so, and then one day I decide I don’t really feel like carrying through. Then that day turns into a couple days, and before I know it, I’m two weeks behind. Oops.

As for a bucket list, the irony is that they typically contain something that is much more ambitious, and yet I think they’re still easier to achieve. From the movieĀ The Bucket List, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman created a list that involved travelling around the world, and then they gradually crossed off everything from that list. Granted, it helped that Nicholson’s character was a billionaire that funded the entire trip, but they managed to succeed in doing everything that they desired.

Now, there are certainly things that I would love to do sometime in my life. I would like to go skydiving someday. Visiting another continent would be nice (odd that I’ve visited every state in the U.S. but have never left North America). However, I’ve never considered these to be part of a bucket list. I’m only 24 years old, for god’s sake, I think it’s a little early for me to be finding things I must do in my life.

But, that does not mean my bucket list does not exist. There is one thing that’s on it, something that people close to me would think is already half-finished, but the truth is that I’ve barely even started.

I want to watch a baseball game in every single active Major League ballpark in America. But that’s not enough. I want to do it in one road trip.

In 60 days.

1

I know, it sounds insane. But that’s the beauty of it. I originally was thinking 31 days, but that would be straight-up masochism if I were to do that. Watch a game, leave immediately, drive to the next park overnight, in some cases show up right as the next game is starting, then die of sleep deprivation. A rainout in any ballpark would mean the entire plan is ruined.

Therefore, I think 60 days is still crazy but far easier to accomplish. Sleep would actually be attainable. I’d get to enjoy some of the sights in the places we’d stop.

Still, it’s absolutely insane. Let’s do a quick rundown of the theoretical cost of this trip.

Gas is about $3.15 a gallon right now. Let’s pretend I’m going to abuse my Corolla for this trip, so basically I’d be getting 30 MPG for a 12 gallon tank. This all means I’d spend about $1,180 on gas alone.

Let’s say a ticket in every ballpark is $20 and I have a companion at every game. That’s $1,200.

Are we going to treat ourselves to some hotels? $100 a hotel room for 60 days equals $6,000.

Food? I’ll allocate $50 a day to food, and that’s assuming that I don’t even eat at the ballparks. $50 for two people for 60 days is another $6,000.

Add it all up and that’s $14,380. Holy. Crap. All I can say is that my honeymoon to Belize this summer is going to be significantly cheaper than that. Again, insanity.

And yet, I feel that this would all be worth it. You see, despite being a huge baseball fan – I think only my friend Craig loves baseball more – I have mercifully only visited four current ballparks in my lifetime, and one of them is right here in Minnesota. If you count former parks, that number “balloons” to six. The places I have visited are:

- Metrodome

- Target Field

- Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs)

- US Cellular Field (Chicago White Sox)

- Safeco Field (Seattle Mariners)

- Veterans Stadium (formerly Philadelphia Phillies)

Unfortunately, I don’t remember much from any of those ballparks. I witnessed Kerry Wood becoming the fastest pitcher to 1000 strikeouts when he K’d Jeff Kent. That’s all I remember at Wrigley. “The Cell” is black and gray (hence the nickname, I’ve joked) and is surrounded by neighborhoods. Veterans Stadium was hot. I sat next to a woman that complained about Scott Spiezio playing first base the entire game at Safeco (funny because he rated as above-average there in his career).

Simply put, the memories from these visits are minuscule, and I’m ashamed of that. Part of it is because I visited a few of those ballparks when I was really young, and I wasn’t into taking pictures back then. This trip would be a chance for me to recollect those memories and give me a chance to talk about the road trip of a lifetime.

Finally, I like to think of the publicity. If I were to show up at a stadium with a sign that chronicled my visit, that would be a big deal, no? Same if I were interviewed on TV and I said that you could follow my trip with the Twitter hashtag #30Parks60Days. It would be a chance to meet people, ask others for great places to eat and hang out in each city, and more.

For now, it’s only a dream. But someday, I’ll make it a reality.

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