All-Stars and more

You see, every time we do a baseball trip, something happens that hasn’t happened in a long time. In 2004, it was the Red Sox winning the World Series. In 2010, it’s the National League winning the All-Star Game (because it’s looking like it’s not going to be the Cubs winning the World Series, or even the NL pennant).

All my photos from the trip have been uploaded to Flickr, and they’re in this set.

I’m going to be at an event in the South Bay area of California this weekend, and decided to attend the Giants-Mets game Saturday evening. It’s Tim Lincecum bobblehead night! Sadly, San Jose Mercury News reporter (and friend of Andrew Baggarly won’t be around — since he worked the All-Star Game, the newspaper is giving him the Mets series off.

Ticket talk

After paying a high price for Twins-Rays tickets on StubHub, I decided I should check on ticket availability for the other games, just in case. I was actually most worried about Iowa Cubs tickets, since the downtown Des Moines hotels I tried were all sold out for July 1st (that’s why we have reservations at a Hampton Inn in Ankeny, which is north of town).

So I dutifully went to the Iowa Cubs website and started the ticket-buying process. I selected two Field Box seats, which are sections AA through B — then the Club Box seats, which are $2 more, in the middle — and then X through ZZ.

The system gave me Section X, Row 1, Seats 1 and 2.

I am no longer worried about Iowa Cubs tickets.

7 days to go

It’s Saturday morning; a week from now, I’ll be on a plane headed for Chicago to begin my portion of the trip, although the baseball-related program activities then don’t begin for another few days after that.

We’ve got the Twins tickets via StubHub, and I think showing up at the box office will be sufficient for the rest of the games. Actually, I might think about taking a trip to the T-Bones box office when we first get into Kansas City, five days in advance of that game: it being a 4th of July game, I’m worried about the entire population of KCK deciding to go to the game because of the fireworks afterward. They love their institutional firework displays in the Midwest!

Another change from 2004 to 2010. Remember this?

In 2010, I have a GPS. Therefore, it’s not necessary for me to acquire, and bring, maps and travel guides from AAA.

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This would have completely saved the planet if not for the BP disaster. (Speaking of which, my inclination is not to boycott BP on the trip — such a thing hurts independent station owners a lot more than it hurts BP — but not to go out of my way to stop at one. In other words, to treat BP the same as I’m treating every other gas station brand.)

This better be the best game ever

For our 2004 trip, we had the itinerary set early enough that I happened to log on to the Red Sox website shortly after single-game tickets had gone on sale and was able to buy bleacher tickets for what quickly became a sold-out game.

This year, that wasn’t the case: tickets for the Twins-Rays game on July 2nd are officially sold out, and at this point, the cheapest group of 4 seats available on Stubhub is being offered for exactly $50.34 each, for tickets with a face value of $15 (there are also sets of standing room tickets available for a mere $45 each, but I’m old and cranky and like to be able to sit during sporting events). I know it’s a new stadium, and the Twins and Rays are both pretty good, but come on. I can only guess that the big attraction is the post-game fireworks display, because after all those years of the Twins playing in the Metrodome, there is a lot of pent-up demand among Minnesotans to watch a major league baseball game immediately followed by fireworks.

I guess I’m going to hold off for a while and see if sellers decide to drop their prices any — unless anyone else has better ideas, or wants to reveal that they have an “in.”

(By the way, I hope you like fireworks, Levi. They’re scheduled for four of the five games on the itinerary. That’s what happens over Fourth of July weekend.)

Itinerary posted

I’ve posted a complete itinerary — at least in terms of what games we’re seeing, where we’re staying, and how we’re getting there. Some items are subject to change, of course; for example, we may be staying with a friend of Levi’s in Iowa City the night of the 3rd, rather than in the listed Hampton Inn in Cedar Rapids.

Hey, the trip starts in less than 3 weeks for me!

It is on

This is what I was alluding to with the previous post. Finally, after 6 years, Levi and I are doing another proper baseball road trip. For reasons of busy-ness and other facets of

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adulthood, this one will be shorter than the 2004 trip: only five games in five days in five cities (and only four metropolitan areas).

Wednesday, June 30: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals
Thursday, July 1: Omaha Royals at Iowa Cubs
Friday, July 2: Tampa Bay Rays at Minnesota Twins
Saturday, July 3: Clinton LumberKings at Cedar Rapids Kernels
Sunday, July 4: Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at Kansas City T-Bones

Yes, you read correctly: two visiting teams with CamelCase names. Actually, the main purpose of this trip is to see Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City and Target Field in Minneapolis, two stadiums neither Levi nor I have been to yet.

We haven’t quite worked out all the logistics yet (for example, you may note that we have to get to and from Kansas City somehow), but then, that’s what was originally created for.

What a difference 6 years makes

Some differences between May 2010 and May 2004:

  • The Boston Red Sox have won the World Series twice.
  • The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are now just the Tampa Bay Rays, and have won the American League pennant.
  • Kaufmann Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals, has been renovated.
  • The Minnesota Twins play in an outdoor stadium.
  • I have a job where Excel is installed on my computer, which means I don’t have to use graph paper. I can make actual spreadsheets, such as this one.
  • Through various travel-related machinations, I hold Premier Executive elite status with United Airlines, Executive status with National Car Rental, and Platinum status with Hyatt.
  • There are no Hyatt hotels in the state of Iowa. (Actually, this may have been true in 2004 as well.)
  • I like baseball even more.
  • Levi is at least twice as busy.

Does this list of differences have anything to do with anything? Mmmmmmaybe…