It’s always been a dream of mine to simply take off one summer, travel the country, and take in a game at every Major League Baseball park. Josh Pahigian and Kevin O’Connell have not only lived my dream, but they have written a book outlining their travels and giving us their take on every aspect of every park in the country. Their book, “The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip: A Fan’s Guide to Major League Stadiums”, gives detailed information, including histories, pictures, and trivia about every Major League Baseball park. In the case of some franchises that have had many different parks, the book also talks about stadiums past. For example, the section on the St. Louis Cardinals New Busch Stadium also discusses briefly Old Busch Stadium and the older Sportsman’s Park. The section on the Baltimore Orioles’ Camden Yards talks at length about its importance in transitioning away from the old sterile parks of the 60s and 70s, and reverting back to ballparks that had personality and character. “The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip” is not just about the ballparks, however, it’s also about helping you get the experience you want when you visit any Major League Baseball park.
Have you ever gone to a ballgame and wondered what section you should sit in? If you’ve never been there it’s difficult to know what seats have the best view, and what the best values might be. Wonder no longer. “The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip” gives you the pros and cons of every tier of seating in every Major League ballpark. For example, if you’re going to sit in the Upper Reserve seats at Progressive Field in Cleveland Josh and Kevin recommend you sit on the first base side rather than the third base side because these seats angle more toward home plate, and you have a great view of downtown. However, if you are too deep toward the outfield you won’t be able to see anything. This is good information to have when choosing where you want to watch a game.
They also give you information on the availability of scalped tickets at every park, with a small black market section. You don’t see that everywhere!
This is just the beginning, however. The book also gives detailed information about getting to each park, the parking situation, and the attractions outside each park, including the local watering holes. The section on Wrigley Field gives information about the Rooftop Bleachers, the commemorative statues outside the park, and Wrigleyville favorites Merkle’s Bar and Grille and The Cubby Bear Lounge, among others. Want to know what there is to see inside the park? Josh and Kevin have you covered there as well. The section on Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City covers the waterfalls, the new scoreboard, Buck O’Neil’s legacy seat, the commemorative statues, and the Royals Hall of Fame. And since we all know how expensive ballpark food is, there is also a section for each park dedicated to the best and worst eats inside the ballpark. At Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, Josh and Kevin tell you which stand offers the best cheeststeak, tells you all about the trademark sandwich, “The Schmitter”, and advises you to avoid the Franklin Square Pizza. They also tell you which stands provide the best variety and price on beer.
Finally, there is a section for each park that talks about different gameday traditions. For example, the section on Miller Park in Milwaukee talks about the famed Sausage Races which are held in the middle of the sixth inning, while the section on Comerica Park in Detroit gives information about the fireworks shows which are held after every Friday and Saturday night game.
If you’re a baseball fan, I know you’ll enjoy this book. Even if you’re not planning on traveling the country to visit every Major League ballpark, the information Josh and Kevin include in their book is interesting and informative. But if you are planning to visit a park, or parks, there is no better guide to help you plan your trip. And if you’ve never thought about traveling to a ballpark in another part of the country, “The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip” will certainly whet your appetite!
Sports Trivia is coming up!
Do you know your sports? Then come prove it at our annual Sports Trivia competition on Saturday, July 14 from 3:00-5:30! There will be 100 questions in 10 categories pulled from all over the sports world. Teams can have up to 8 people with prizes awarded to the top teams. Doors open at 2:30. Registration required and can be done at the reference desk, by calling 580-4540, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.