Is there anything better than watching a game at the ballpark? It’s always a baseball fans dream to be able to visit all 30 stadiums. We’ve even see fans break a world record by watching a game at all 30 MLB parks in just 23 days. On the other hand, I’ve been severely lacking in my stadium visits, but after my MLB Fan Cave experience I was able to make baseball buddies all across the country. Even better, we started the Three Up, Three Down podcast with fans all across the country. Luckily, one of my fellow podcast hosts, Jeremy Dorn lives in California and there are five stadiums in the state. What would be better than a baseball road trip and cross off a few stadiums along the way? Another 3U3D host Kurt Peter agreed and we coaxed two Fan Cave alums Ally Williams and Kelsey Shea into joining us on the ultimate California road trip. Plus, things are a lot cheaper when you split it five ways. Here’s what the plan is:
Game #1, Indians at Athletics, O.co Coliseum, Saturday, August 18th, 6:05 PM
When we originally planned the trip this was going to be the Wednesday Twins/Athletics matinee on 8/22. Instead, we switched to this game to start off for a few reasons. First, the Athletics have become THE surprise team of the American League in contention for playoffs. Secondly, this game is a complete tribute the 2002 Athletics. They’re giving away a Scott Hatteberg bobblehead complete with the home run call that propelled the Athletics to an all-time winning streak. There’s a 2002 team reunion in a pre-game ceremony scheduled for 5:30. Plus, if you get a second ticket after the game you can sit on the outfield and watch the movie “Moneyball” with the fans. I’m not sure there’s a better Athletics game you could attend this season. I’m excited to see the highly touted right field bleacher crew in Oakland, someone remind me to bring my fake wrestling belt so I can fit in.
Game #2, Rays at Angels, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Sunday, August 19th, 12:35 PM
What’s the best way to avoid ridiculous California traffic? Drive through the night! Staying for the movie in the outfield should get us out of the stadium at about 12:30 in the morning and it’s just a “short” 6.5-7 hours from Oakland to Anaheim. We had to do the overnight trip in order to squeeze the Angels in as they head to the road on Monday and couldn’t stay in the Bay Area with the Giants already on the road. No special giveaways, but it doesn’t matter when it’s your chance to see Mike Trout, my current AL MVP, in person. No time to visit Disney Land though, as we’re heading off to the city that I’ve always wanted to visit.
Game #3, Pirates at Padres, Petco Park, Monday, August 20th, 7:05 PM
I’ve always wanted to go to San Diego, the weather always seems perfect. I was obsessed with “The Real World” season that took place in the city. “Anchorman” is one of my favorite movies. Petco Park looks absolutely beautiful and a complete upgrade over old Jack Murphy stadium. It’s no wonder that I secretly arranged to spend almost two full days here. We’re leaving straight from Anaheim to get to San Diego to go out Sunday night. Then the game Monday night against the Pirates who have been the surprise darlings of the National League. Plus, there’s a chance we could meet the first Major Leaguer to come on our podcast in Anthony Bass.
Game #4, Giants at Dodgers, Dodger Stadium, Tuesday, August 21st, 7:10 PM
We absolutely lucked out in getting a week with one of the biggest rivalries in MLB between the Dodgers and Giants. The way these two teams are playing it should be a battle for supremacy in the N.L. West. This is the game that helped us convince Jeremy to come on the trip. He really just couldn’t resist the chance to cheer against San Francisco at Chavez Ravine. Bonus for the evening, it’s Fernando Valenzuela bobblehead night! It’s not the Kirk Gibson with the bobble arm or the Vin Scully bobblehead, but I can’t complain to grab a 2nd sweet giveaway on this trip. It will complete my checklist of baseball “meccas” with old Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, and Doubleday Field.
Games #5 and #6, Braves at Giants, AT&T Park, Thursday and Friday, August 23rd and 24th, 7:15PM
This is where the whole idea for the trip started. I looked at when the Braves (my favorite team) were playing the Giants at arguably the most beautiful stadium in the league. Look at the view in that picture I can’t wait to see it in person. Instead of rushing back from Los Angeles for another overnight drive, we’re going to spend the morning in Hollywood and attend a taping of “Let’s Make a Deal” to try and win fabulous cash and prizes. Then take a trip back up the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco and explore for two days. The tough step is trying to attend the 2nd game that starts 7:15 and get to the airport for a 12:30 AM flight back to Connecticut. Should be fun.
The 3U3D road trip is ready to go, 994 miles for six games between five stadiums in seven days. Should be an absolute blast. Make sure to follow the three of us on Twitter. Jeremy is @jamblinman, Kurt is @FalconKP, and I am @IAmMapes and @bryanmapes on Instagram for updates from all of the California ballparks. I’ve been checking at Alicia Barnhart’s blog Baseball on a Budget for some great tips, but I’d love to hear from others some must things I need to do at these five stadiums. Let me know in the comments! Thanks!
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)