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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Picking Next Year's Trip

This year I went to every minor league stadium within reasonable driving distance. However, there was one glorious ten day trip which took me through several Ohio teams and all the teams in Michigan.

Next year, I may make a trip across the nine hours or so of Virginia it takes to get to the east coast because an unaffiliated team is starting up in Virginia Beach (the Neptunes). However, that will probably only occur if I go out there for something job related and can swing by the stadium.

The big trip next year is still up in the air. There are three potential trips. Two head North and one South.

The first trip go through all the teams in Indiana and hits the big bunch of teams in the Chicago area. The middle one goes through West Virginia (picking up the Black Bears to complete all teams there), then through the teams in the western part of Pennsylvania (including the Pirates), and picks up all the teams in the Cleveland area (finishing up Ohio). The third gets me all the Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia teams.

Right now, the last two trips are more probable. The southern trip gets me to the Cincinnati AA team in Pensacola. I may think they have one of the worst logos in baseball, but they are a Cincy farm team and I'd like to see them in their home stadium. This trip has more flexibility than the others and the far southern leg of the trip could be scrapped and replaced with a less distant leg to pick up the two teams in southern South Carolina (but, that would cut out the trip to Pensacola and make this trip less tempting).
The middle trip has a more frivolous reason for coming to the front of my choices. It would give me an opportunity to go get a hat with the new West Virginia Power logo. I went to watch the Power this year (and saw one of the coolest home runs of the year), but I wasn't too thrilled with the hat (my legal assistant now owns it). I really like the new logo and would like to buy one, but I don't like to wear hats unless I've been to the team's stadium.

The trip on the left is tempting because it would allow me to do less traveling once I get to the Chicago area. However, it has a couple difficulties. First, it involves going to two pro teams in the middle of a city with no parking. Beyond that, the Cubs are ascendant at the moment and their fans are obsessive. A ticket to Wrigley would probably constitute half the expenses for the trip. And even beyond that, if I want to pick up all the teams in Indiana I have to get to Evansville and it just doesn't fit anywhere. It will mean a long leg of the trip would be dedicated solely to going to watch a single team. On the other hand, I do want to go see the Otters pretty badly (never could work them in this year).

I haven't sat down to figure out when I could do any of these trips yet. Affiliated baseball levels A and above seem to all have their schedules worked out, but the unaffiliated teams do not have theirs up. As well, I haven't seen the major league teams' schedules either. Which team I go to in which order depends upon when they are scheduled to play at home. It will probably be a couple months before I can figure out the exact trip I'll make in exactly what order.

Suggestions? Comments?

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