Baseball Stadium Scrapbook

Do you know those annoying NBA commercials where ESPN guys and NBA players share an RV?  Today, I saw an RV drive past me, and for some reason it made me think of those commercials. My mind is a weird place.

But the RV got me thinking about traveling around the country. If there was one thing that my family does well, it is travel. I have been to over 30 states and I have even thrown in four foreign countries as well. I love to travel, and part of the reason is because I have done it throughout my entire life.

One of my goals is to drive around the country with a couple of friends and watch a baseball game in every single Major League ballpark. For a serious baseball fan, I feel as if this is a normal desire, and I have woefully checked off a mere six current stadiums in my lifetime (Granted, three that I have been to have already been torn down: Cinergy Field in Cincinnati; Shea Stadium and Old Yankee Stadium in New York).

I plan on achieving this goal at some point in my life, but it got me thinking about the memories I have for each ballpark I have encountered. I remember each stadium distinctly, which is something I cannot claim for many places I have visited. This says a lot about my personality, but it also shows the impact that sports can have on an individual. Often times we forget why we watch sports. Sure, we enjoy them and they allow us to invest ourselves in something to feed our egos, but one of the best parts about sports is the power they can have to take you to a specific moment in your life. Sports can become something of a mental scrapbook, and this is certainly the case for the memories of each baseball stadium.

Each ballpark I have visited has provided me with moments that help me document my younger days. When I was seven years old (2000), Ken Griffey, Jr. hit two monster bombs over the center field wall in Cinergy Field. I remember that day specifically because of the home runs and because Griffey was my favorite player. This would not be the only time I would see Griffey hit a home run live.

In 2007 the Reds came to Seattle. This was Griffey’s triumphant return to the city where he was beloved and revered. In the third game of the series, Griffey smashed two pitches over the fence, and naturally I was at this game too. I will never forget how loud the crowd cheered, and I don’t think I will ever see an opposing player supported like that ever again in Safeco Field.

After my freshman year of high school ended in 2008, I traveled to New York to see a game at Yankee Stadium before it was torn down. Of course the Yankees were playing the Reds, and of course Griffey hit a home run over the center field wall.

Three days in my lifetime; three different ballparks; one Ken Griffey, Jr. Griffey is not intertwined with all of my childhood memories, but he illustrates the importance of sports and baseball stadiums in my life. I have amazing memories that occurred thousands of miles and several years apart. How amazing would it be for me to have a memory of every ballpark? I could go back in time and see myself as a seven year old kid, a 17 year old kid…a 57 year old man? I made a map of all of the ballparks I have been to so far. I can use this as a scrapbook of my young lifetime, and my goal is to expand this scrapbook in the future.

It is amazing to think that this thought process all began with an RV passing me by. Hopefully, I don’t let life pass me by before I can make memories at all of the stadiums across the country.

What stadiums have you been to? Feel free to tell me about your experiences at the ballpark too!

  1. May 24th, 2012
    Trackback from : A Baseball Stadium Scrapbook

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