Day 1: I was planning on catching the Angels game in Anaheim, and I started my morning in Peoria's airport at 8am. I was scheduled to land in Los Angeles at 3pm local time, which would have been plenty of time to check-in to my hotel and get to the game by the 7pm start.
Day 2: The previous day was get-away-day for the Angels, so I missed out on seeing Trout and Ohtani. Bummer. But, I was able to snag the last spot in the last tour of the day at Angel Stadium.
On my way there I stopped at Average Joe's card shop and killed an hour talking baseball with the owners and shuffling through cards.
I enjoyed the tour of the Angels' ballpark. Here's a pretty decent selfie of me in their dugout.
Day 3: This was a travel day for me as I left from LAX and landed in Seattle. My good friend Jeff and his wife, Nichole, relocated to the Emerald City within the last year. I wasn't going to miss out on an opportunity to visit them, especially with so much for me to do in the area!
Day 4: Jeff and I made the short drive up to Everett to watch the rookie level AquaSox play.
Outside the ballpark we found this landmark on the sidewalk.
We scored two free tickets, right behind the scouts and their radar guns, in the shade thanks to Adam.
For what it's worth, the AuquaSox lost 5-4 to the Spokane Indians and two fly balls found their way over the wall in right center.
The Mariner Moose was bored, as all the kids had seemingly already visited. Moose are my favorite animals and I adore mascots. So, I had to.
I struck out, but it was really cool to see him sign for so many kids. When game time was approaching he would check the dugout and then sign another item for a young fan. He probably did this six times before he decided he better get moving.
For dinner I tested the Vogey Hoagie. I think mine had been sitting under a heat lamp for an inning or two, but it was a pretty good and I'd love a crack at a fresh one!
Day 5: I actually did something non-baseball related. At the suggestion of my father I toured the Boeing manufacturing plant in Everett. From what they told me it's the largest building on the planet. I was impressed.
I stopped at another card shop on my way back to Jeff and Nichole's place. The owner was busy talking up some customers so I started flipping through a couple of the numerous monster boxes while pulling some cards I was interested in purchasing.
After the other customers left he came over and said he doesn't allow customers to handle the cards in the boxes, which were stacked everywhere. I guess I was only supposed to look at the cards in the three cases in the store.
We had a curt exchange and things were quickly smoothed over and I felt comfortable enough to ask if he had any singles for my 1979 Topps set build. His response was that I needed to go to Facebook, list the cards I needed, and then he'd pull them and have them ready for me the next time I come in. What in the world?
I did walk away from this store with a handful of cards.
Day 6: Guess who went to another Mariners game?
|Post Game Interview on the Jumbotron|
Day 7: Ugh, more travel back to P-town.
Day 8: Brother-sister sibling's roadtrip to Des Moines to catch the Iowa Cubs.
We stopped at two different card shops on the way and I was able to find the last "pricey" card for my '79 Topps set build at the first LCS.
Summary: I visited five different ballparks and watched five games. I was able to stay with friends and hang with my sister. The tour of the Boeing plant was a nice change of pace, but I dare say I enjoyed the four card shops more. The food was grand and I enjoyed some nice adult craft beverages I don't have access to here in P-town. I even went for a couple of hikes in the Seattle area and a couple of runs.
It may not have started off the way I wanted it to, but it was a great trip overall.
I'm already thinking about next summer. I only have five MLB venues left to cross off my list before I've seen them all: Marlins, Braves, Yankees, Red Sox and the new Rangers ballpark.
Thanks for reading!