On The Road Again

Over the years, I’ve occasionally talked in the Rocky Mountain SABR monthly meetings about some of my summer vacation travels, continuing my trek to see as many baseball games at as many different ballparks throughout North America. Whether it is a Major League ballpark, or a baseball field that hosts a College Wood Bat Summer League team, I like to take photos, and possibly check out a game at a stadium, if it fits in my vacation plans.  When plotting out an itinerary, I like to look at various teams schedules in a region or a route that where I can knock more teams off my overall baseball “bucket list”.

Along with the customary regular home games in 2022 at Coors Field in Denver, UCHealth Park in Colorado Springs for the Rocky Mountain Vibes in the independent Pioneer League, and at Spurgeon Field for the Colorado Springs Snow Sox team in the independent Pecos League, my vacations in 2022 included seeing games at 24 additional ballparks, occasionally. Among those 24 ballparks, 18 of them was seen at a ballpark for the first time.  While working at my regular job for more than 25 years, it gives me the opportunity for some extended vacation time.

Not counting the Denver and Colorado Springs ballparks, the other ballpark stops through  my 2022 vacations included: (* – first game visit in 2022)

  • Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas (*)
  • Dickey-Stephens Ballpark in North Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Toyota Field in Madison, Alabama (*)
  • CaroMont Health Park in Gastonia, North Carolina (*)
  • Truist Ballpark in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • P. Frans Stadium in Hickory, North Carolina (*)
  • SRP Park in North Augusta, South Carolina (*)
  • LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida (*)
  • Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida (*)
  • Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach, Florida (*)
  • Joseph P. Riley Ballpark in Charleston, South Carolina
  • Intimidators Stadium in Kannapolis, North Carolina (*)
  • Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina (*)
  • Wild Health Field in Lexington, Kentucky (*)
  • Guarantee Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois (*)
  • Jackson Field in Greeley, Colorado (*)
  • Cowboy Field in Laramie, Wyoming (*)
  • Lindquist Field in Ogden, Utah
  • Legion Park (Centene Stadium) in Great Falls, Montana (*)
  • Grizzlies Ballpark in Sauget, Illinois (*)
  • Nationals Ballpark in Washington, DC (*)
  • Oriole Park at Camden Park in Baltimore, Maryland (*)
  • Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Maryland (*)
  • FredNats Ballpark in Fredericksburg, Virginia (*)

 

Included among those ballpark stops, there were also museum stops with the Negro Southern League Museum in Birmingham, Alabama, the North Carolina Baseball Museum next to historic Fleming Stadium in Wilson, North Carolina, and the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum in Baltimore, prior to the SABR50 Convention in Baltimore.  Even stopping by a small town during a lunch break is just as fun, seeing some historical hometown parks from a different era, like former Negro League ballpark Historic Hinchliffe Stadium under renovation in Paterson, New Jersey, or Robin Roberts Stadium in Springfield, Illinois.

After spending the offseason looking through my running ‘bucket list” of ballparks, I have been able to see games in 228 different ballparks in all levels, throughout North America, past and present.  There are only a couple of ballparks left to cross off among the affiliated ranks (Yankee Stadium and Citi Field in the Majors, Worcester and Sugar Land in Triple-A, Hartford, Somerset, Erie, and Altoona in Double-A, and ten ballparks in the Single-A levels).

With SABR51 coming up in Chicago in July, I have two more road trips planned this summer, making me think about the Willie Nelson classic “On the Road Again.”  It’s the fun time of the year, traveling the various U.S. and Canadian highways rather than flying, visiting a ballpark or touring a baseball museum, whether in a small town or a big metropolis. I can’t wait to get back on the road again.

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Carm Reale
10 months ago

Love this Chris. Say hi to Norm.

Dan Evans
10 months ago

This rocks, Chris.

Quinn Booth
10 months ago

Hoping to go to my first Vibes game this summer! Any recommendations?

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