I am back home following an obcenely early wake-up call, two booked-to-the-gills flights in seats that would have been perfectly comfortable for anyone two inches shorter than me. I’ve mentioned the “6 month rule” for writing nonfiction in an earlier post. I certainly did see enough in Atlanta that I will have quite a bit to say in February, but right now I need to let a lot of things settle. So, I think I’ll put a ribbon on this trip by sharing a few thoughts I was running through to keep from falling asleep on the jetway in Denver.
First of all, today is the 20th. It was August 20 of last year I departed for Baltimore. So, in one calendar year, I have been to seven ballparks. That means I have gone from being two-thirds of the way towards my goal, to being nine-tenths. I still don’t have any specific plans for next year, In fact, I’m not even sure if MLB has finalized the 2013 schedule. Since I am so close to my goal, I certainly do hope I’ll get a chance to finish next year, but there are enough uncertainties in my own future that I’m not sure how that will shake out.
Also, I’ve been thinking about other locations. For some reason, I don’t feel any driving need to get to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. I feel like I need to go there someday, but not in the context of my current project. Along similar lines, I’ve been thinking more about the stadiums that have been replaced since I visited them, especially the new home of the Miami Marlins. I’m realizing that my goal of seeing a game in every city is more about getting to the cities themselves than actually seeing every stadium. I’m not writing reviews of amenities provided, ballpark food, or any other practical advice for other baseball travelers, rather I am using the fact that a place like Pittsburgh or Atlanta has a Major League team to force myself to go there and see Pittsburgh, or Atlanta… or, for that matter, Miami. I’ve been to Miami. I’m sure they’ve built a fine ballpark since I was there last, but I don’t feel any rush to see it.