A discussion began among the DRaysBay staff yesterday, inspired by a piece from Slate earlier this week scoping out the potential of a baseball road trip covering all 30 MLB stadiums in 30 days.
They provided "The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip Calculator," with the following steps:
- Choose a starting stadium by clicking on a city on the map.
- That team's home schedule will appear below the map. Select a highlighted date.
- The algorithm will build your 30-day road trip and a detailed itinerary will appear below. Click reset to try a new start date or stadium. (Warning: Some segments will show a path that goes over water. Please do not drive in the ocean.)
The creator of the algorithm mentioned above took careful consideration: he allowed for four hours per game, though didn't consider weather delays or cancellations throwing off your route, and made it so each journey from stadium to stadium was the shortest trip possible. He attempted to minimize any risky driving and avoided hard-to complete trips, such as "an 11-hour haul scheduled in a 12-hour window, even if such a leg would cut down on total miles traveled."
The most brutal trips would only allow for 25 percent of the day for rest time, meaning "On your worst day, this could mean having to complete a 20-hour drive -- from Houston to San Diego, say -- in only 25 hours. But most legs are more manageable, depending on your definition of the word manageable."
While figuring this all out, the brain behind the baseball feat also discovered that the most complicated part of the planning wasn't the travel, but rather the scheduling of teams close to one another; as many of these teams did not have overlapping home stands, making the targeting of certain regions rather difficult.
Mind you, the mathmetician, Ben Blatt, and his best friend, Eric Brewster, actually did complete this trip last year.
They began in Yankees Stadium on June 1st, 2013, enlisting the following rules:
- Hit all 30 stadiums before the calendar turned over to July
- Be inside each stadium for every pitch of every game
- No missing the first inning for extra sleep or rest.
- No ducking out early.
Was it easy? No.
Background: Ben is a diehard baseball fan. Eric is not.
He joined in on this feat with the best interest of his friend at heart, though Ben assured Eric that "the odds of getting in a crash over the course of [their] 18,000 journey was a mere 0.5 percent."
The adventure inspired a book, "I Don't Care If We Never get Back: 30 Games in 30 Days on the Best Worst Baseball Road Trip Ever," and from the quick snippets and anecdotes provided in the Slate article and on the Amazon listing, it sounds like a pretty hilarious take, with Ben in baseball-heaven and Eric pretty darn miserable.
Even after his suffering and the true test of their friendship, Eric still took away the following,
But that's baseball -- some people love it enough to do crazy things, some people, it turns out, don't love it at all. If you happen to be a baseball-obsessed masochist hell bent on achieving the pinnacle of fandom -- punch in your coordinates to Ben's widget, drive safe, and do your best to remember where you parked.
That all being said, we then wondered, combined, where we've seen the Rays across the U.S.
The following resulted:
Danny: Fenway, Camden Yards, Angel Stadium, Arlington, old Marlins, US Cellular
Erik: Old Yankees Stadium, Camden Yards, Nationals Park
Allie: US Cellular, Turner Field, Coors Field
Nolen: Sun Life Stadium, Marlins Park
Steve: Progressive Field, Marlins Park
Ian: New Yankees Stadium
Stephanie: New Yankees Stadium
We're willing to bet that between the entire DRaysBay community we've covered seeing the Rays at a majority, if not all, the major league ballparks. Comment on this piece and share in which away parks you've watched Tampa Bay play.
Also, interested in completing the feat? Per the calculator and this year's MLB schedule, the most efficient trip with the fastest route would begin in Oakland on May 30th and only require 16,927 driving miles.
So, you've got 21 days to plan...who's down?