Saturday, June 30, 2012

Baseball Trip Favorites and Stats

I had never seven different ballparks in seven days before.  It took a little bit of planning and lots of driving to see the whole trip through, but it was totally worth it.  I really do enjoy sitting at the ballpark, keeping score, thinking strategy, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells.  It's not for everyone, and I get that, but it's way up there on my list.

Here's a summary of my trip.  Enjoy!

Summary of the games:
Day One = Quad Cities River Bandits 5 over the Peoria Chiefs 3 at Chiefs Park in Peoria, IL
Day Two = Normal Cornbelters 4 over the River City Rascals at T.R. Hughes Ballpark in O'Fallon, MO
Day Three = St. Louis Cardinals 11 over the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO
Day Four = Colorado Springs Sky Sox 5 over the Tacoma Rainiers at Security Service Field in Colorado Springs, CO
Day Five = Washington Nationals 12 over the Colorado Rockies 5 at Coors Field in Denver, CO
Day Six = Omaha Storm Chasers 8 over the New Orleans Zephyrs 5 at Werner Field in Papillion, NE
Day Seven = Oklahoma City Redawks 3 over Iowa Cubs 1 at Principal Park in Des Moines, IA

Number of new MLB stadiums to cross off my list = 1, Coors Field

Ballparks that were new to me (including minor league) = 4 . . . I had already been to the Peoria Chiefs, K.C. Royals, and Iowa Cubs facilities.

Cheapest Ticket = Coors Field, $5 from a scalper.

Most Expensive Ticket = Kauffman Stadium, $33 from . . . I wanted a seat in the shade and thought it wise to purchase a ticket beforehand for this intrastate rivalry game.  I came to find out that the game wasn't a sell out and the seat I purchased was in the sun despite my best efforts.

Number of games that I kept score = 5 games total . . . twice I was asked if I was a scout.  Man, I wish!

Best ballpark = Omaha Storm Chasers' Werner Field was the one that impressed me the most.  It's a newer park with tons of amenities.

Best ballpark promotion = The Famous Chicken by my hometown Peoria Chiefs!

Best mascot to watch = Sox the Fox in Colorado Springs . . . He kept the kids (and myself) distracted enough to forget about the heat.

Number of travelers met who were also on a baseball tour = 2  . . . A bumped into a gentleman in Des Moines who was on park number three or five . . . A father-son combo in Golden who were going to see eight parks, in 13 thirteen days, while traveling 7,800 miles.  Yikes! 

Miles driven = 2,232  Getting back into my 2002 Hyundai Sante Fe was a little rough after experiencing the smooth ride that a Dodge Charger offers.

Number of times the GPS failed me = 1 . . . trying to park in downtown Des Moines during rush hour, on one-way streets, with construction happening, with a bogus address typed in is just a frustrating experience.  The GPS ended up in the back seat, but I found a spot a half-mile away to park for free.  Thanks to Jed and Sarah for lending it to me.  It worked great those other 2,231.5 miles.

Nites spent with relatives = 3 . . . thank you Uncle Brian, Aunt Joyce and John; and thank you to Steve and Emily!

Nights spent in hotels =  3 . . . my favorite was the La Quinta in Des Moines.  I never tried the "secret hotel" feature on before, but it worked out okay and would suggest it to others who are price conscious.

Pictures taken = 171 . . . Less than half were shown on the blog.  I like to take pictures of everything that catches my eye at the ballpark, but I didn't want to put my audience to sleep.

Favorite ballpark food consumed = Funnel Fries at the River City Rascals game.  Sorry, no picture, but imagine a funnel cake from the fair in french fry form, with powdered sugar!  Oddly enough, I only got to try them because my cousin couldn't finish the whole order.

Favorite Restaurant = Woody's Wood-Fired Pizza and Watering Hole . . . the pizza bar was amazing!  My only regret is that I had but one stomach to give.

Nature Valley snack bars consumed = 19 . . . There's still eleven left in the box, but they've been melted a few times overs after sitting in the car. 

Cups of caffeinated coffee consumed = 2 . . . I tend not to drink caffeinated beverages, but there were a couple mornings where it really helped.

Favorite adult beverage consumed = 1554 Black Ale by New Belgium Brewing Company

Number of sportscard shopped frequented = 5 . . . I made purchases at three and didn't find anything that interested me at the other two.  I tried to visit many more, but the economy has been rough on the hobby industry and quite a few went under.

Favorite non-baseball related activity = the Coors Brewery Tour in Golden, CO.  The free samples at the end were nice, but nothing really captured my taste buds' attention.  The history, dating back to the gold rush, was fun to learn about.

Biggest thrill = checking out my Uncle Brian's Cardinals World Series Ring

#1 Thing I would change = traveling alone is nice, because you're on your own schedule and you get to make all the decisions, but it would have been fun to have another baseball fan tag along.

Thanks again for following along!


  1. I enjoyed the feature - loved the stats summary in this post. Glad to see folks seeking out minor league ballparks that fit their itineraries.

  2. Wow! Your trip sounds amazing! I'm going to do something like that someday.

  3. Sounds like a fun trip and a familiar one because I've spent a lot of time at the last five courses on your tour -- just not within one week. :)