When describing America to a foreigner, there are two salient characteristics you should point out:
- It's big.
That's pretty much all one needs to know.
Now, I would love to quit my job, buy a backpack, and experience just exactly how big America is and how much baseball it plays, but that's not likely to happen. Instead, I'm going to issue a challenge to the DRaysBay diaspora.
This season, can we get someone from the community to attend a Rays game in every single park that the Rays play, at every level of baseball? I think that we can. So here's the challenge. Go to the games you can. Take notes, and take pictures. Then come write a fanpost describing and/or reviewing the park and the overall experience. Tell the rest of us what's good about it and what's not. I'll drop links to all of those in here.
And when we're done, we'll all feel very satisfied, and we won't have to quit our jobs and have midlife crises.
Notes on MLB:
- We should have the home stadiums for each level covered. I know for a fact some of you were at opening day at The Trop.
- The first do-or-die series starts this Saturday down in Miami, but I'm guessing there will be a few Rays fans in the area so I'm not too worried. After that there's a respite with AL East games (where we get multiple chances) up until mid-May.
- May 19-20 in Atlanta and June 17-18 in Washington are the only two-game away series of the season.
Notes on triple-A:
- The International League gets started in a few days, but we don't start having one-off series until late April in Lehigh Valley.
- After that, there's a month-long trip through upstate New York with Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester all in a row. It's lovely up there in May. Meat up?
- The Bulls schedule will be difficult like the majors, as there are also a ton of one-time only away park appearances.
Notes on double-A:
- I never realized quite how Deep South the Southern League is.
- The Biscuits play in the fewest parks in the Rays system this season (tied with Princeton).
Notes on high-A:
- This is practically all home games. I will be seriously disappointed if we can't at least get the Florida State League covered.
- There's an early trip-up to watch out for in the April 17-19 Palm Beach series.
Notes on A:
- I literally had no idea before I looked at this schedule where Bowling Green was. A part of me sort of hoped it was hidden near the Bowling Green subway stop in lower Manhattan.
- I sort of fear we will fail on this league. We're counting on you chiburbsrays and raysfaninminessota.
- What four cities make up the Quad Cities?
Notes on short-season A:
- We've got some time to work on this, but oof -- one series in West Virginia?
- Tri-City is company.
Notes on rookie ball:
- So, uh, I thought the Princeton Rays were in New Jersey.
- Same thing for the Elizabethton Tigers.
- I thought the Bristol Pirates were in Conneticuit.
- I thought the Burlington Royals were in Vermont.
- Basically, I thought this entire league was closer to me than it is. I'm learning so much about America.
So call out in the comments which parks you can make it to. Let's watch some baseball.