I’m home! I begin by making a note of a major milestone which I forgot to mention after the game in Cleveland. Before this trip started, there had been only three teams I had not seen at least once: Washington, Milwaukee and Cleveland. So, as of the end of the fifth inning on Friday (when the game became official), I have officially seen all thirty Major League teams!
I arrived in the Duke City yesterday afternoon, only 45 minutes late—which, by Amtrak standards, is almost like saying “on time.” Obviously, I have decided to end my tour in Cleveland. To continue on in the same fashion I have been going would require me to have another overnight travel day, arrive in either Toledo or Detroit at 5 or 6 in the morning, and wander the city sleeplessly until I could check in somewhere. While it is something that’s not beyond the abilities of my body to handle, I find it is important to remember that this is, after all, a vacation.
I’ve made a major dent in the number of teams I still need to see at home this year, but I’m still not done. I have no specific plans, but that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about how I go about things, or what I still want to do. So, I’ll address the thoughts I had, discussing the teams in alphabetical order:
Atlanta: I wasn’t sure I wanted to even go at all. I’ve had many of the same concerns about the Bravos as I had about that team that plays in Cleveland. Put bluntly, Wahoo needs to go (and it appears he’s being phased out), and so does the Tomahawk Chop. But, since I’ve been to Cleveland, I guess there’s no reason to put off Atlanta any more. If I get to thinking that this whole ballpark tour dealie doesn’t mean anything unless I see all the current ballparks¹, I suppose I can try to get back to Miami on the same trip…
Cincinnati: I know I need to get there. There’s no event or specific attraction I know of that will have me in town anyways, and as far as I know, I don’t have any family there. But these concerns didn’t keep me from going to Pittsburgh, now did they? Maybe I tie it in with St. Louis somehow, but I’m not really sure. Rechecking the map, the two cities are not as close together as I had them in my mind’s eye.
Detroit: See Toronto, below.
Milwaukee and Minnesota: It’s very convenient that these two are right next to each other alphabetically, as they also make a very nice match geographically. And what also works geographically with all that is Omaha, home of the College World Series. While I was in Texas, I went to see the Longhorns in an NCAA tournament game. Seeing the passion that town has for college baseball has convinced me that I’ve gotta get out to the CWS sometime.
St. Louis: I wanna see them play the Cubbies. That’s all there is to it. I want to go to a real rivalry game, and I’d have to repeat a ballpark if I go to a Dodgers/Giants or Red Sox/Yankees tilt. Do I find a way to continue on to Cincy after that? ¿Quien sabe?
Toronto: As I was planning this trip, my e-mail account got bombarded by advertisements, “See Canada by rail!” Of course, the thought that sprang immediately to mind, “the Blue Jays are in Canada.” I did check out the website, and one possible—and highly recommended—route is from Windsor, Ontario to Toronto. Windsor is the town just south of Detroit. Hmmm…
¹About those cities that have built new ballparks, or will have a new one soon. One will be the new home of the A’s in the Bay Area (if they ever get around to building one). I have family in the Bay Area, so I’m sure something will come up. Same story in New York, where I have been to “new” Yankee Stadium but not to the Mets’ new park, I’m sure something will come up to get me out that way before long. That just leaves the Marlins, and their new park which will actually be in Miami. I did not particularly like Miami the last time I was there—the climate is oppressive and the drivers worse—and the family friends who we went to visit the last time have since moved to Colorado. So, while I think one should never say never, I’m not going to knock myself out to get there.