Pitchers and Catchers Report in 13 Days

I started this post around September 8th or so… that’s how busy the fall and now winter have been.  As we approach Spring, I’m a bit re-energized and have had enough time to reflect on the trip.  So, the often-asked for “Rankings Post” is coming… Sort of.  In fact, I have a few posts in mind:

  • This one. The Thanks Post. The most important one.
  • The Video…. I have a ton of video I want to put together.  I don’t have enough to make the perfect reflection I want, but I think I can manage to capture much of the trip and just how big it was.
  • Do’s and Dont’s for those considering doing it
  • FAQs… Got a question?  Let me know.
  • Rankings… I actually don’t know if I’ll ever get to this one. It’s simply too hard to compare.  But, I have some ideas.

I’m hopeful to do much of this writing over the next few weeks and get stuff published before my baseball season starts in force on March 12.  Until then… Thanks.

Picking back up in September…

This is long overdue…  Over the past 11 days (hard to believe I haven’t been home two weeks yet), I have got to recount my trip dozens of times.  “What was your favorite stadium?”  I’ve got my stump speech memorized.  Yet, everytime I talk about the trip, it’s not the baseball that I find being so remarkable… it’s all the people I got to see and visit.  So, here goes….

Thanks to…

Ed Ward for watching my dog all summer which allowed me to even get this show on the road.

Kyle and Heather Closen for putting me up for a night in Cleveland and coming to the Indians game with Betsy and I; and thanks to Hall Industrial of Northwest Ohio for hooking us up with club seats!

IMG_4025Homie Josh Bostwick for setting me up with a spare bed and getting a hold of the Reds to set us up with free tickets and fun gift bags. Including a Reds beer stein!  (Not to mention running the best Fantasy baseball league there is, source of many-a-couch on the trip)

Mike Tobin for letting me crash on his couch and sharing one of his season tickets to show me one of the most beautiful stadiums in the country.

Greg Huntoon for, uh, a lot.  Hooking me up with his buddy Paul for a two-night stay on an air mattress, an epic night out on the town in Chicago, and going to the Brewers and Cubs games with me.  Oh, and letting me crash at his place about 5 weeks later as I passed through St. Louis again.

Homie Jordan Thieme for hitting the July 4th Cubs game with his buddy, myself and Greg.  And for letting me crash on his couch.

Betsy Clyde for flying to Chicago and jumping in the car.  For going to the Twins, Mariners and Tigers games.  For putting up with me accidentally being unable to start the car for 15 minutes because I didn’t realize I left it in drive.  For dealing with my crankiness when plans went awry and rattlesnakes and camping without a fire.  For driving over 2,300 miles with me across the country, including a 16 hour day through Montana and Washington.

Summer Wood and Sam Janicki for letting Betsy and I crash in their spare room and hooking us up with amazing seats next to the dugout in Minnesota.

Scott Suarez for letting me crash two nights on short notice and – as he always does – showing me to an unbelievable time, including a hook up for the Game of Thrones premier at his buddy Matt’s. And thanks to Matt and Mike for joining us and Evan at the Giants game in the bleachers. Guys night out, bleacher seats, baseball.. goooood times.

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Former Homie Evan Muldoon for driving up from San Jose to go to the Giants game with all of us, and then later letting me crash in his living room and give me a night out in Nashville… on the night before he started teaching the next day!

Homie Peter Winter for coming out to Oakland with me for a quick tailgate and taking in the Athletics game.

Mike and Gillian Heslinga for letting me crash at their place for two nights and coming to the Angels game with me and for, you know, pretty much being my oldest UM friends. Come back to Ann Arbor soon, eh?

Eric Berschback and Kiran Janjua for letting me crash in their wonderfully air conditioned living room in Phoenix, an awesome evening of soccer and catching the Diamondbacks game with me.

Homies Chad Zimmerman and Ian Shogren for meeting me in Austin and taking me out to dinner; and to Chad for letting me crash on his couch before I bolted for Houston.

IMG_4846Brandon Ward for flying to Houston and taking in the Astros, Rangers and Rockies game with me… in between driving 1,300 miles, camping at Great Sand Dunes National Park and at the base of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs.  What an amazing stretch.

Homie Calen Jones for showing us the best campus bar at TCU and putting Brandon and I up in his apartment after the Rangers game.

Brian Steers and Lisa Miller for joining us for drinks in Denver, an amazing Rockies game, and providing a roof afterwards, despite them waking up at 4am so they could climb a 14er the next morning.

Allie Levey for being an expert DC tour guide, coming to the Nats game with me and letting me stay in his spare room despite busily getting settled in to a new job.

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Homie Matt Rothman for putting me up in between New York and Boston, as well as hooking me up with a tour of ESPN studios and going to the best 2-inning, rain-postponed minor league game ever. Hartford Yard Goats for life.

Former Homie Nick DeMarchi for putting Ryan and I up in Boston for a night and joining us post Red Sox-Yankees for a night out in Boston.

Brian Yu for giving us a tour of the MLB Network studios as we passed through New York.

The Brewer Family and Bryan Stroh for hooking Ryan and I up with unbelievable tickets at PNC Park for what turned out to be a historic game.

IMG_5272

Ryan Fisher for flying into Boston and attending the Red Sox, Orioles, Phillies, Pirates and Tigers games with me. 5 games – more than anyone else! – and 1,100 miles of travel.

 

 

 

There it is.  Can’t pull this off without a ton of help and I got it.

It’s February 1, 2018.  Pitchers and Catchers report in 13 days.

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