Monday, July 29, 2013

Welcome to Our Adventure!

The short version: Cameron and I are embarking on a series of trips around the country to see a baseball game in all thirty Major League Baseball stadiums.

The long version: Cameron, a lifelong Rangers fan, and me (Sarah), a lifelong Cubs fan, met in September 2012.  After an evening of making eyes at each other from a few tables away at our favorite craft beer bar in Houston Cameron finally followed me outside when I was leaving with my friend.  I swear it was cute and not a stalker move.  He was wearing a Rangers hat.  As a lifelong sufferer of Chicago Cubs fandom there are few things I hate more than bandwagon fans.  I knew approximately five Rangers fans before 2010 and then suddenly as they kept making the postseason every other Facebook status in September was "Boomstick!" from people I never knew even liked baseball.  You either root for your team through thick and thin or you're not a real fan.  So being the charming lady that I am one of the first things I asked Cameron as he approached me to ask for my number was, "are you a real Rangers fan?"  I had to be sure what I was dealing with here.  In those few minutes of chatting I knew he was the real deal.  A few days later we had our first date and have been pretty inseparable ever since.  

While we are unfortunately fans of different teams baseball is one of the biggest things that we have in common.  I don't care if it's a meaningless September game between the Mets and the Rockies, we'll watch that game.  We are just baseball lovers.  We love the cracking sound a bat makes when it makes perfect contact with a pitch.  We love the smell of freshly cut grass.  We love how eccentric pitchers are.  We love how some of our favorite players are hilarious on Twitter.  We love how Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre are BFF. We loved Harry Caray. We love Derek Holland's impression of Harry Caray.  We love the ivy at Wrigley Field (we adopted a puppy in April 2013 and named him Wrigley). We love the game.  

Early on in our relationship we began daydreaming about seeing a game in all thirty ballparks.  I was lucky enough to grow up on the East Coast where there are a lot of stadiums in a smaller geographic area so I have been to more stadiums than Cameron, a lifelong Texan.  After many hours spent poring over maps and figuring out which cities we could do together (i.e. Philly and Baltimore in the same weekend) we decided that this is something that we wanted to do for real.  While neither of us are Astros fans we do live in Houston and since the Astros aren't exactly playoff contenders it's easy for us to get $5 tickets to any Astros game and enjoy quality baseball when a better team comes into town.  In June 2013 I got to experience my first Rangers game at The Ballpark.  So in our first year of dating we hit both Texas stadiums and have a dog named Wrigley.   

If you've been paying attention you'll remember that we met at a craft beer bar in Houston.  While I always liked craft beer, it's one of Cameron's favorite things so he's turned me into a lover of craft beer.  Having Cam's best friend be a brewer didn't hurt either.  While we're zipping around the country we will also take the opportunity to visit each baseball city's best craft breweries!  If you have any inside info on any stadiums and/or breweries please share your tips and experiences with us!

When we decided this was something we really wanted to do we figured we would start in the 2014 season but in July of 2013 I got a Southwest Airlines sale email and we decided, kind of on a whim, to go to Denver for a weekend in September.  We decided to look up weekends that the Rockies would be in town and lucked out to find pretty cheap flights for a weekend the Diamondbacks would be visiting Coors Field.  With a bit of Googling we discovered that Coors Field has a special row in the upper deck that is exactly a mile high and the row is even a different color.  September 20th, 2013, armed with our MLB Passports our baseball adventure will officially begin in the mile high seats at Coors Field.  

It was at one of those cheap Astros games that we witnessed Yu Darvish almost hurl a perfect game.  It came down to the 27th out and Marwin Gonzalez hit a single up the middle to ruin the perfecto.  That's by far the closest that either of us had ever come to seeing a perfect game live.  The tension in Minute Maid Park was so thick you could have cut it with a knife.  Once Cameron and I realized what was going on--but not daring to talk about it out loud--we could barely look at each other throughout the game and I think all conversation stopped by the 7th inning.  To see a pitcher of the opposing team get a rousing standing ovation as he left the game just shy of making history was incredible.  Of course it would've been better if Yu had completed the perfect game but it is a baseball memory Cameron and I will share forever.  While we probably won't get to see any perfect games during our stadium tour we are so excited for the crazy double plays, homeruns (maybe we'll even get to see a slam or two), diving catches, foul balls, and of course, hot dogs, that are all a part of a day at the ballpark.

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