So here I am pushing 70, and I finally found something my teen-aged son actually wants to do with me--chase ball parks. We did our two local parks (SF Bay Area) when he was younger, then started doing trips. 2010 was San Diego-Anaheim-LA, then 2011 was SF to Chicago White Sox to Dallas to St. Louis to Philadelphia to Washington to Atlanta to Tampa Bay to Miami back to SF, 8 parks in 12 days. This year we're just now buying tickets, but it looks like SF to Denver to Milwaukee to Baltimore to Boston to Toronto to Detroit to Chicago to Minneapolis to SF again, 8 parks in 8 days.

Almost all of this has been by air, not because I'm wealthy, but thanks enormously to Southwest Airlines for having incredibly low-mileage points tickets available, and also to Chase Bank for giving us a giant point sign-up bonus (still small compared to most sign-up bonuses, I know) for a SW Visa card. On this year's trip, we are getting 4 free flights for both of us just from that sign-up bonus. The drawback is that we have to go where SW goes, from one city to another, so we have to plan games according to SW's route map and schedule. We bounce all over and have some strange routings too.

In all these games, "just"" one fly ball caught, in LA. I saw the foul ball coming right down vertically at me, so I tried my best just to get out of the way and protect my camera, but the guy next to me bobbled the ball and it ended up in my lap. Unfortunately for the guy that bobbled it, my son was right there, so he ended up with it.

Minor league parks? Do they count too? Portland, OR is a very nice small park, and then, 60 years ago now, I saw somebody play somebody else at the ballpark at St. Leonard, MD. Seating there was about 100. Balls went off the field all the time. I probably caught 20 or 30 of them, but we had to give them back to the team, who really needed the balls much more than we kids did. 

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Comment by Kurt Smith on May 13, 2012 at 7:20pm

They ALL count Rich! Good luck on your trip; well taken with Southwest Airlines. If there's anything I can help you out with, especially in Milwaukee, Boston, Baltimore, Chicago or Detroit, let me know. That sounds like a great ride.

Comment by Scott Heaton (12) on May 12, 2012 at 3:56am

This sounds good.  Than.k God for reward points!  We do our trips the same way.....Continental/United popints for flights and Marriott points for free hotel stays!


I have to say that my wife and I have been doing the trips together since 2005.  We do a annual drive to Baltimore every September and we do Phillies once a year and of course go to Yankee Stadium a few times a year.  We have two boys now, so we take them to the 12 we have been to together so that they can catch up! Now that they have been to the 12 we have, next year will start the journey for the remaining ones that we have not done. 

The reason I mention this is, my father also wants to come along now.  When I was younger, my father would travel for business, and I have many fond memories of Olympic Stadium, Astrodome, Qualcomm, the old Brewers stadium, and the Reds stadium.  I think its great that he wants to come see all the newer parks with us.  The kids love it and my wife encourages it.  Can life be any better than family and baseball??!! 


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