It's probably fair to say that many baseball fans, myself included, share a common dream: visiting all 30 MLB ballparks. Maybe it's the search for the wide open field of dreams and freshly cut grass you remember as a kid, maybe it's just to meet baseball fans across the country. I don't really know if I can pin it down to either of those ideas, but my visit to Texas last year is when my dream was fueled. It might not have been the greatest game to see as a Tigers fan, but it was near the greatest of occasions. You might remember this occasion as Game 6 of the 2011 ALCS.
The result wasn't exactly ideal, but I at least got a moment to be excited after 2 solo shots gave the Tigers a quick 2-0 lead. After that... well, you know what happened. Still, it was a great opportunity to talk to some fairly intelligent fans, including one of the few who still liked C.J. Wilson, and to experience an absolutely electric crowd. Even though it was painful to see my team fall short of a World Series birth, by the 9th inning I was nearly over the loss and begun to simply enjoy the atmosphere. Being able to see a team celebrate a World Series birth was a sight, even at the expense of my own team. I may be a Tigers fan in my mind, but I am a baseball fan at heart, and it was a baseball moment I'll remember for both good and bad.
Since that moment, my baseball dream of visiting every ballpark has been fueled, and I plan to turn every traveling opportunity I get into a baseball opportunity. And as soon as I accepted a research position in Massachusetts earlier this year, I began thinking of how many ballparks I could visit along the way. After much planning (and seeing which of my friends on the east coast will let me borrow their floor for the night), I've scheduled four days of baseball games.