I have found some of my friends and I’s old sites for games we played back in high school. It has been quite a treat to see how into things we got. I am hoping to get a lot of this site updated with the same enthusiasm! Here are some of the old links:
I have found some of my friends and I’s old sites for games we played back in high school. It has been quite a treat to see how into things we got. I am hoping to get a lot of this site updated with the same enthusiasm! Here are some of the old links: http://www.geocities.ws/peshtigoapba/ …View full post
We had stayed the night in Lancaster, PA after our day on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, so we could check out the APBA headquarters. We found a lil hotel called Country Hearth for about $40. The description made it sound like it was gonna be quite the steal but it turned out to be …View full post
We stopped at Danny’s friend’s apartment for the night in Hilliard, Ohio, a suburb right outside of Columbus. Another night of saving money on hotels! We took off for Cleveland in the morning. I listened to the Drew Carey Show’s theme song: Cleveland Rocks twice on the drive into Cleveland to get myself psyched for …View full post
We stopped for the night in a town named Mount Vernon, IL. We drove for quite a while after the Cardinals game because we wanted to stop by Louisville, KY in the morning and visit the Louisville Slugger Museum. We got up in the morning and set our sights on the Bluegrass State. The giant …View full post
What are you predictions for the rose bowl?
We had stayed the night in Lancaster, PA after our day on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, so we could check out the APBA headquarters. We found a lil hotel called Country Hearth for about $40. The description made it sound like it was gonna be quite the steal but it turned out to be what you would expect for $40 a nite. The room had a musty smell to it and the shower knob was about to fall out of the wall. The AC worked really well though and Craig and I enjoyed a comedy bit from Robert Schimmel on HBO from 1999 and then then movie Long Distance Relationship (with Drew Barrymore). The standup special was hilarious! This guy had me laughing the entire time. But I digress, the room was well worth the price and served its function for the evening, get a nice rest (we each had our own beds this time), put a couple posts up, and be close to our APBA destination in the morning before Baltimore. I take that back maybe it didnt, the blinds were so good that it was too dark in the room and we slept in til about 10:40a, we had hoped to be at the store at that time! We really enjoyed our nice breakfast the day before at Denny’s so we opted to enjoy another before we vistited our board game holyland (and because we missed the continental one at the hotel).
We searched our Garmin GPS and no chain places were coming up, just a bunch of local establishments. Craig read some of them off to me as I was just randomly driving around town and I said pick one of the ones that said cafe or diner cuz they should have breakfast. He selected Neptune Diner and boy was it a good one. It was a 50s looking place in somewhat of a sketch looking area. We sat at the counter and enjoyed the local chatter between a couple of the regulars and the waitresses while we looked over the menu. Everything sounded good and then on the back I spotted the grandaddy of them all, Hot Fudge Sundae French Toast. Three pieces of french toast with your choice of ice cream on top with nuts and hot fudge. I had to have it, except I asked for one little tweak, I replaced the fudge with hot caramel topping since I love caramel. It was everything I dreamed of.
What also made this place really cool was the atmosphere, the local vibe was entertaining. I got a laugh, at the regular next to me, watching his eyes keep looking down at the waitresses boobs then back up as he was chatting with her (who could blame him though, right?). The best part was when the ladies called up one of the regulars on the phone who hasnt been there in a while. It was a long and funny conversation wondering why he hasnt been there in a while and if he was still alive. Neptune Diner is a great place to stop if you are ever in Lancaster. Great food and great people!
Finally we were on our way to the APBA store, it turned out to be a little office in a flooring building. We thought we were at the wrong place when we pulled in the parking lot and didnt see the APBA sign or logo, so we called the number and they said “yup, its the right address. We are the door on the right.”
Still it was very cool. They had a little display with all the different game boxes throughout the years and some things on the wall, like last years tournament bracket.
The gentleman working was an older man by the name of Vern. He had some interesting things to say about the history of the company and cards. One thing that I thought was really cool was how they came up with the nicknames on the cards. They are diligent on checking local papers to find tidbits on the players. I told him how the nicknames were a favorite of ours and that we often expand on it with our own ridiculous nicknames (“Cut the” Cord Phelps). Vern also told us about his 12 team league that dated back to the 70s! They currently have a full 40 man roster with 25 active, just like the majors. They also play 152 games in a season! Craig bought a new game for the South division and some fresh red dice (I was a bit jealous he got to buy something straight from the store). None the less it was a pleasant stop and great to share stories of the game with Vern. Next stop, Baltimore!
Quick note: for some odd reason the traffic at the exit off the highway by the shop is ridiculously high. Craig and I didnt quite get it. One reason could be that the people there take forever to start going when the light turns green and they dont accelerate quickly (not my style of driving at all).
We stopped at Danny’s friend’s apartment for the night in Hilliard, Ohio, a suburb right outside of Columbus. Another night of saving money on hotels! We took off for Cleveland in the morning. I listened to the Drew Carey Show’s theme song: Cleveland Rocks twice on the drive into Cleveland to get myself psyched for Progressive Field. Trust me: This one was WELL WORTH IT!
SUNDAY: June 19, 2011 Game 4 of 14
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cleveland Indians
What stuck out to me the most about Progressive Field was its spacious concourse areas behind the outfield. The very left field concourse was big enough for little kids and their fathers to play catch. Walking further, I snapped a bunch of pictures of the Indians’ Heritage Park. This was a nice open area for fans to walk, with bronze plaques aligned in a circle, each representing the most celebrated athletes in Cleveland Indians history. My favorite plaque was Cy Young, the greatest pitcher of all time. 511 career wins!!!
The fans of Cleveland were awesome and very friendly. Most were curious about our sign. We sat in the outfield and had a lot of fans moving down and across sections to talk to us. Most got a kick out of putting their signatures on the back of our sign.
The game started fast in the first few innings and then slowed down. After the 7th inning, the ever-darkening skies over Cleveland opened up. Down came the rain and out came the tarp over the infield. The baseball fan’s most dreaded event at a ballgame: The Rain Delay. The players scattered off the field and fans went for cover. Ugh!
I wandered around the stadium while Danny was playing secret agent, managing to sneak into a private suite and eating ‘free’ hot dogs. Since it was passed the 7th inning, most of the food vendors were already closed/about to close. Because of it being so cold and wet, combined with no food being available, almost everybody decided to leave. Danny and I decided to stay and wait the delay out. GOOD DECISION.
A long two hours later, we were back to playing baseball. I thought it was cool how the Indians stadium staff to let the fans that stuck around sit wherever they wanted. We found some cardboard at a concession stand and used that to keep ourselves dry when we sat down. Danny and I decided to sit in the right field bleachers for a few reasons. 1.) There was only about 30 fans in the entire right field bleachers and 2.) We had been making comments during the game how the Indians had a lot of left-handed batters, which means if one would happen to hit a home run, it would most likely would land in the right field bleachers. With the bleachers being so empty, we figured we could grab a potential home run ball after it was done ricocheting off the seats.
We decided to split up. That was we would be able to cover more ground if a ball was hit into the bleachers. The innings flew by and the game went into extra innings. Danny got on the Jumbotron with our sign, wearing his yellow poncho again. I wish I could have gotten a picture of him on the giant screen but I had put my camera in its case because of the rain.
The Indians were down to their last out in the bottom of the 11th inning. They had runners on 1st and 2nd base and I looked up to the Jumbotron. The batter was rookie 2B Cord Phelps. He had just been called up from the majors a few weeks back and had zero home runs with 1 RBI. Needless to say, I figured the game was going into the 12th inning. That worried me because the rain had begun to pick up again. What happened next I will never forget.
CRACK! Cord Phelps hit an absolute bullet and the ball was heading right at me. I jumped out of my seat and moved about eight seats to my left of the front row of the right field grandstand. I put my glove up and heard a loud pop: the sound of Cord Phelps’ first career home run snapping right into the webbing of my glove! It was the sweetest sound I had ever heard.
Instantly I had both my hands in the air and was celebrating. I think the 5-year old a few seats down from me was the most excited. He ran right towards me and was the first one to give me a high five. I had never caught any kind of ball at a baseball game before. Catching a walk-off home run never crossed my mind.
After many more high fives from fans, I was approached by three members of the Indians PR (Public Relations) staff. They asked if I would be willing to give the ball back to the team so they could present Phelps with his first career home run ball. Even before the PR staff approached me, I asked a few Indians fans if that was his first career home run. I’ve been watching baseball long enough to realize how big of a moment that is for a player. Not many players in baseball history have hit their first career home runs in walk-off fashion either. The ball would mean a lot more to him than it would even mean to me.
My only requirement of giving the ball back was if Danny could come with me into the PR office. They were more than willing and I gave the ball back to the team. They told me I could have any player autograph a ball for me. I asked for Travis Hafner, the most popular Cleveland Indians player and quite frankly one of the few I knew. While they were downstairs trying to get Hafner’s autograph for me, Danny and I had a great conversation with one of the main PR guys, Rick. Rick was a retired teacher and had been working with the Indians for many years now. He was very impressed with our baseball trip and was glad to talk to a fellow teacher as well!
After about 15 minutes, I got more than a signed baseball. One of the PR guys came up from the elevator with two Grady Sizemore bobbleheads, a Chin-Soo Choo t-shirt, umbrella, and the autographed baseball. I also got a certificate for catching an Indians home run. The best part was they had the same stuff for Danny, too! Rick said he got us some extra items because we were so willing and generous in giving the ball back. He told us most people try to get some cheap money or jerseys for the ball. Personally, I don’t believe that’s what baseball is all about. I’m going to have a great story to tell when I get back home, but the ball belonged to Cord Phelps.
I called my Dad right after exiting Progressive Field and he was a little surprised, needless to say. I told him to watch for me on SportsCenter that night. Soon after the word got out, my phone, Twitter, and Facebook began to ‘blow up’. The whole process was one of those ‘Holy crap. I can’t believe that happened!’ moments you don’t get too often in life.
Final Thoughts: Even before the events that followed the game, I was extremely impressed with Cleveland, which I now think gets an unwarranted bad wrap from the national media. The fans were extremely friendly and the stadium was beautiful. The food was well priced and the team offers a great atmosphere for fans. On top of that, they were extremely classy after I gave the ball back. The Indians appreciate the best baseball fans well!
The Teacher’s Grade: A
1. Busch Stadium A+
2. Progressive Field A
3. Wrigley Field A-
4. Miller Park B+
5. Great American Ballpark B
We stopped for the night in a town named Mount Vernon, IL. We drove for quite a while after the Cardinals game because we wanted to stop by Louisville, KY in the morning and visit the Louisville Slugger Museum. We got up in the morning and set our sights on the Bluegrass State.
The giant bat outside the museum was really cool. The tour was only $10 and we got to walk through the actual factory and watch the bats being carved, shaped, and branded. At the end of the tour we each got a free mini bat as a souvenir. Out visit to Louisville was brief, but mission accomplished.
On to Cincy!
SATURDAY: JUNE 18, 2011 GAME 3 of 14
Toronto Blue Jays @ Cincinnati Reds
The outside of the stadium was featured by large buildings attached to the stadium. One being a Reds office building and the other being a combination of the Reds Fan Shop and Reds Hall of Fame. Each building had giant three story pictures of its most popular players like Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. Impressive!
Entering the stadium the inside concourse was colored just like the outside: white background with red trim. For the thrid straight game, we caught the good fortune of showing up to a game with a promotion. Today was Reds Mohawk Hair night. We had a laugh about how ridiculous they looked but were happy to wear them and fit into the crowd.
There was plenty to see walking around the stadium. Great American Ballpark is located along the Ohio River and Cincinnati skyline on the other side. This allowed for some nice pictures of the city when I wandered the upper decks. I really liked the three electric National League standings boards behind the right field bleachers.
Another thing I was impressed with is how you can park in Kentucky and take the riverboat down the river and get dropped off at the dock right outside Great American Ballpark. If we weren’t pressed for time on the drive into Cincinnati, we would have gone this route for sure!
As for the game…sadly, Cincinnati’s team sleptwalked through this one. The visiting Blue Jays took down the home team 4-0. I spent most of the game talking about teaching with another teacher from Kentucky from our left field seats. This was also our first game we experienced rain during the game. Danny broke out his full-body yellow poncho, complete with yellow snap pants. With the Reds Mohawk on over the poncho, he looked like a cross between a giant rooster and Ronald McDonald.
Final Thoughts: Because of being pressed for time, I feel like we missed out on the full Reds Stadium experience. Missing out on the riverboat ride and the Reds Hall of Fame was unlucky. So I rank Great American Ballpark on the bottom of my list. That is not taking away from the Reds. The stadium is beautiful and impressive, but I can’t rank them higher than my Cubs and home state stadium of Miller Park. Mr. Morois’ Grade: B
Craig’s Stadium Rankings… 11 to go!
1.) Busch Stadium A+ 2.) Wrigley Field A- 3.) Miller Park B+ 4.) Great American Ballpark B
Cleveland had a rain delay in the 8th with a 2-2 tie against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It lasted about 2 hours and most fans had left the stadium, so C-raig and I pretty much had our pick of seats for the rest of the game. With so many left handed batters in the Cleveland lineup we decided to move from our left field seats to the right field bleachers so we could catch a potential walk-off. And that is exactly what we did.
To increase our range C-raig and I spaced ourselves about a section apart, 10 rows high or so. The 8th and 9th went by with no scoring on either team and we considered it a success when I got on the jumbo-tron with our sign in the 10th (there was barely anyone left so it was inevitable). It was after that point that C-raig moved into my section and down to the first row. Great Idea!
In the 11th the Indians got a single from Shin-Soo Choo (CHOO! CHOO! train) after a fly out from Travis Hafner. He then stole 2nd (Choo also singled in the 9th and got caught stealing 2nd, he woulda been the winning run when Carlos Santana doubled) so the Pirates elected to intentionally walk Santana with 1st base open and newly brought up rookie Cord Phelps (Craig turns to me and says “Cut the Cord” Phelps) in the on deck circle. I thought oh great bottom of the order they are gonna leave them stranded and it will be more innings. The Pirates and I were both wrong, Phelps took a 1-0 fastball from Tim Wood to left field on a frozen rope, right into the waiting glove of our very own C-raig, for his very first big league homer.
I remember seeing the liner coming right at C-raig and I just thinking to myself “Craig, don’t f*ck this up…” If you watch the video in the upper left corner I am the one in the yellow poncho and you can see me just staring at C-raig with a nervous posture like if you f*cking drop it.
C-raig immediately started asking those around us if that was his first homer and sure enough within moments Cleveland PR were on us saying it was his first and that we would like that ball and escorting out of the stands. C-raig being the awesome friend he is laid his dick down and said my friend has to come with. We were escorted to a private elevator area and the head PR guy, Rick, explained to us the situation. C-raig had no problem giving Cord the ball and asked if he could give it to him and shake his hand, that couldn’t happen but they asked C-raig which player he liked and they could get them to sign a ball. C-raig said Travis Hafner and Rick had one of his lackeys, Pedro, bring the home run ball down. We continued to have a great conversation with Rick and a couple of the other workers while we waited. We showed them our sign and our trip and Rick told us about his dad’s Lawrence College days (small world). We each got certificates for our first visit to Progressive field and C-raig got a certificate authenticating his home run catch. And since we were so awesome, when Pedro returned with the autographed ball (two actually, one for each of us) Rick told him to go in his office and get a couple things. Pedro hooked us up with 2 Grady Sizemore bobble heads each, Choo t-shirts, and a couple umbrellas since it was raining out. Along with that Rick gave us his card and told us to contact him if we were ever coming back to another game so he could hook us up. Our hats our off to the Cleveland Indians organization for their great staff and the way they treat the fans. It couldn’t have been a better experience. HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!
It was super awesome seeing the highlight on Sportscenter in the very opening of the show that nite!
Driving into St. Louis was amazing. As soon as I drove into Missouri, I could see the iconic arch in the distance. We drove right passed the arch on our way to the stadium and found a parking ramp only two blocks from the stadium for a solid $5! Cheap parking is a huge plus for stadium experience. We began our short walk to the stadium, snapping a few more pictures of the arch on the way.
My first thought of Busch Stadium: “Holy crap this place is HUGE!” Not only is the stadium massive, but also on the outside there are wide sidewalks and large concourses, giving people plenty of space to walk without feeling crowded. At least 10 statues of former Cardinals greats of the past were outside of the main entrance. I was impressed with how detailed each statue was.
My favorite part about the Cardinals was how the embrace their history, as they should. With 10 world championships and almost that many World Series appearances, a team should honor those great teams and players that brought so much excitement to the city. No matter what level of the stadium you walked, displays of authentic artifacts from decades passed are hung on the walls. It reminded me a of Lambeau Field, except the Cardinals do the fans one better. Imagine the Packers taking everything in its Hall of Fame and placing it around the halls of the entire stadium. That’s what Busch Stadium is like. Instead of charging fans extra to see its history, the Cardinals bring the history to the fans free of charge.
We sat 11 rows up in the outfield. Both Cardinals and Royals fans were extremely friendly, interested and curious about our trip. I think I spent more time talking to people than watching the game. We also got on TV with our “14 Stadiums in 20 Days” sign, which I got a good laugh about. I got up and walked around the stadium during the 6th and 7th innings because I still hadn’t seen everything around the stadium in the upper decks, even though we arrived at the stadium 2 hours before first pitch.
Unfortunately, we didn’t bring the Cardinals good luck. They fell to the Royals 5-4. PujolsBoth teams were raising money for the tornado in Joplin a few weeks ago, so I bought the patch they selling as a fundraiser as my souvenir.
Final Thoughts: Busch Stadium is a lot like Lambeau Field. Both teams embrace its storied history, with stadiums that have a historic feel while still being a state-of-the-art facilities. St. Louis did this one right. An ultimate modern baseball facility, which puts it right at the top of my still small list of baseball stadiums. Mr. Morois’ Grade: A+
Craig’s Stadium Rankings…12 to go.
1. Busch Stadium A+
2. Wrigley Field A-
3. Miller Park B+
I have always loved the Cubs. That comes from my family having 8 channels when I was a kid. One of them was WGN, which broadcasted almost every Cubs game during the summer. The reason I chose my Cubbies over the home state Brewers was simple: availability. The Cubs were always on TV and an impressionable eight-year old is of course going to like the only team that’s on TV.
With that said, I’ve never held a grudge against the Brew Crew. As with the other professional teams in Wisconsin, I don’t dislike the team, just their fans. I was one of their few supporters back when things were really bad, back in the early 2000’s. Ask half of the fans in Miller Park to name a player on the Brewers before Braun and Fielder came around and I’m fairly confident they could not give you an answer.
When it comes down to choosing between the two teams when they face each other, the decision is simple: GO CUBS GO!!! My first trip to Wrigley Field was one of these days.
THURSDAY: June 16, 2011 GAME 1 of 14
Milwaukee Brewers @ Chicago Cubs
Riding the public bus into the game allowed me to see a little bit of Chicago’s north side. The neighborhood around the stadium reminded me of the Cosby Show, with those tall and skinny houses stacked side by side along busy streets. After talking with a couple about the Cubs on the bus, BOOM! Out of nowhere, there it was: Wrigley Field
Wrigley was even more classic and majestic than I pictured it. My first thought when I walked inside: How did I manage to miss coming here for 23 years?! The stadium is only one of two remaining classic ballparks from baseball’s Golden Age. Fenway Park is the other. The simplicity of the stadium takes one back to the first half of the 20th century, when people went to the game to…you know…actually watch baseball?? There are no special bells and whistles to the stadium. The scoreboard is still done by hand and there is no walk up music for the players before at bats. The only music playing is on organ.
The best part of this game was that on my first trip to Wrigley, I got to witness and participate in all of the most famous Cubbie traditions. First, a day game at Wrigley is a must. The sun was shining and the wind was blowing out onto Waveland and Sheffield. The ivy was shining in the sun and stretched across the entire outfield, perhaps Wrigley’s most famous trademark. Also, the often replicated but neve duplicated singing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” The song that the late great Harry Carey make so famous.
At the end of the day, my Cubbies survived seven Milwaukee runs and won the game 12-7. Fukudome and Castro couldn’t be stopped and took down the more talented(at least for this year!) Brew Crew. Watching all of the pouting Milwaukee fans pile out of the stadium in the 8th inning wasn’t too bad, either! The Cubbies raised the so simple yet classic “W” flag over the stadium and then I got to participate in my favorite Chicago Cubs Tradition: singing with all the Cubbie fans: Go Cubs, Go!
“Go Cubs, go! Go Cubs, go!! Hey Chicago, whaddya say!? The Cubs are gonna WIN TODAY!!!”
Mr. Morois’ Grade: A-
Craig’s Stadium Rankings…13 to go!
1. Wrigley Field A-
2. Miller Park B+
Our Road Trip Begins! C-raig and I left Peshtigo approximately 6:00 am to start our American adventure. My sweet mother sent me off right, having waffles and a homemade smoothie ready for me bright and early (well it was a gloomy morning).
Our vehicle taking us on this excursion is C-raig’s Grandmas dead cousin’s 2004 Oldsmobile Alero. Out starting mileage was 4174 on the odometer (ridiculous, I know, I guess she only drove to church and the beauty salon each week). Shit was packed to the max since we are both divas and I even managed forget some things.
The drive to Chicago seemed like only an hour since I was so excited and scatterbrained. The drive up to Milwaukee was the same ol same ol, but uncertainty of getting into Chicago came in there, thank god for GPS, oh wait I forgot to say, that car of ours had only one cigarette lighter and the fuse was blown on it! We had no power for my Tom-Tom but luckily C-raig’s Garmin had a lil bit of battery juice, so we were able to get into the city. But another issue arose from our manly way of lack of planning; we had no idea where to park! But like most men, we were able to spots signs and use our awesome sense of direction to end up with probably the ideal parking situation.
We spotted signs saying Wrigley Field Night and Weekend Shuttle Parking this way. Well even though it was a Thursday afternoon, we thought what the hell; let’s follow it anyway. It led us past a part of town that was Liquor Store, Gun store, Hair Salon, Check Loan repeatedly next to each other for blocks, if you catch my drift. But then we were into another part of town closer to the actual parking spot, which was at DeVry University. The parking lot attendee informed us that there was no shuttle for the day game and we couldn’t park in the lot but since we were right next to Lane Tech Prep school and they no longer had class we could park right on the street and take the bus on the corner right to the stadium. BALLIN! The street was right behind this big empty lot behind the school that looked like some shit went down there, but there was also a nice grass park area and some of the other cars were nice so we had no concern about our car full of junk getting jacked.
On the corner there was a McDonalds and we decided to get some grub. I walked in munching out of my small Doritos bag and proceeded to order. The wild berry smoothie on the menu above looked delicious. I’ll have that. I pointed and said my order, however the lady taking my order was more fluent in Spanish than American. Needless to say I couldn’t understand her and she couldn’t understand me. I also wanted a McDouble from the dollar menu but she kept suggesting sausage patty since breakfast was still available (it felt like the South Park episode with the people from the future, “chicken sandwich?”). We finally agreed on 3 (tres) hot cakes. My order took forever and the workers had no idea what my order was and what went with it, it took forever.
We timed our time in there perfectly, as the bus just arrived. $2.25 each to ride! What a steal! We were about a mile and a half from Wrigley down Addison. The houses (I think that’s what you call them) were something completely foreign to C-raig and I. Two-three stories packed tight, but super nice. We were talking on the bus with an older couple taking their grandson to his first game! US TOO!
The bus comes to a stop at the home plate entrance and we are there…
Memorable quotes from the drive:
C-raig: You know what I miss about teaching and my kids?…Them always getting coffee for me.
Baseball has always been referred as ‘timeless’ sport. The game has changed so little over the span of 150 years. Throwing a no-hitter means just as much today as it did 60 years ago. Fans are equally as excited by the home run today as when Babe Ruth revolutionized the sport with his unprecedented power back some almost 90 years ago. In 2010, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series. Do you think their fans felt any less emotion as those Yankees fans storming the field in the 1970’s or Pirates fans in 1960? The highs and lows of sports have not changed over decades. Emotion stays the same.
I have always been a baseball ‘junkie’. While my Chicago Cubs have broken my heart enough times in my 23 years to even want to recall, I still have always felt a small loyalty to my home state’s own Milwaukee Brewers. However, the Cubs/Brewers aren’t the reason I became such a fan of the game. That word ‘timeless’ is the reason. ‘Timeless’ implies a deep history. I am passionate about history, whether it be the my hometown city of Peshtigo, my home state of Wisconsin, the United States, the building I work in, movies I watch, the places I go, etc. I’ve always been fascinated by the people who have experienced/enjoyed the same things I have before me. I feel so many times we often take for granted the people who have been here before us. How many of us read our text books in history class and memorized facts about events in our nation’s history without even stepping back to think about the people who had to experience these events before it was ‘history’? The parallels do not change. A no-hitter then is a no-hitter now. Just as seeing a loved one return home from Iraq feels just as satisfying and breathtaking as it did when one returned from Gettysburg in the 1863. Time passes by, generations come and go, technology changes, and wars start/end. The constant one can always find is human emotion. Emotions are timeless.
I got my first job when I was 14. There has not been a time I haven’t been working or being a full-time college student since that age. A few days ago, I completed my first full year of teaching full-time. Being two years out of college, I felt I deserved to give myself a break. The farthest I’ve ever traveled is Florida by plane and New Orleans once on a music trip in high school. Some months back, I realized how little of my own nation I have seen. While I’ve read about the founding of our nation a hundred times over, I’ve never even come close to seeing where these events took place or the artifacts that remain. In November, I began thinking of a summer vacation that would allow me to tour the nation, still give me my sports fix, and give me a greater appreciation of the amazing country I live in.
Enjoying a road trip would not be fit without somebody to enjoy the experience with. I have been friends with Danny my entire life, as long as my memory takes me back. I brushed the idea by him in December and there wasn’t even a hesitation. Danny was on board, as I knew he would, 110%. Once we had the dates and schedule of cities/stadiums planned out, the vacation was set in stone.
Now that June has come around and the school year is over, I am incredibly excited to get on the road. I hope Wrigley Field is as timeless as people have described it to me. I hope the St. Louis Arch is as shiny and bright as I have seen it in pictures. I hope I can feel the spirit of Ted Williams still roaming the halls of Fenway Park. I hope New York City is as massive, overwhelming, and historic as the astonishing team that represents it: The New York Yankees. I want to feel the patriotism flowing through the monuments of Washington D.C. and hope they are as breathtaking as I have seen them in my dreams. I wish more Americans would recognize what an amazing nation we live in and how there are hundreds of places yet to be seen that are literally right in our back yards.
What truely excites me is the fact I will see more of this great nation in 20+ days than I have in all of my 20+ years.
First up: Game 1: Milwaukee Brewers @ Chicago Cubs.
Follow me on Twitter @craigs_cubs