A Baseball Road Trip

Thirty Major League Baseball Stadiums. Sixty Stadium Dogs. One Season.


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Touch ’em All Chapter 3 Opening Day excerpt

Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees in St. Petersburg, Florida  GAME 1

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“Our plan, now that we’re here in our first ballpark, is to take a walking tour of the stadium, select our first course of stadium food, then sit, and eat, and watch batting practice.  It’s what one does.  But before we get started with any of that, there is a line of people heading up some short stairs to our right, and in our excitement we join them.  It’s not that we’re mindless, exactly, but it is a line, and might therefore lead to something, like Tropicana’s Trademark Food, maybe, which would be a first rate reason for a line.  So we approach the stairs and head up, walking past the guy who now suddenly looks like a theatre usher, one who is now hooking his velvety usher rope across in front of the line of people feeding in from the side.

“I think we just broke in front of those guys,” Vicki says.

“Great,” I say.  “We’re going to get the shit kicked out of us before our first game.”

“Just be glad we’re not in Los Angeles,” she says.  “And don’t look back.”

At the top of the stairs, a friendly young lady in a blue Tropicana outfit is telling everyone gathered around her that if we put our hands down in the water and wait, they will come to us.  And that we should not try to hold on to them, and that we should at all times refrain from sudden movements.  And food packets are available, if we would like to feed them.

And just to our left, situated as it is just beyond right center, on the second level—a baseball field spilling out now below and beyond it—is the Touch Tank, the ten thousand gallon home of the Rays’ former namesakes.  We join the others in our group—they limit the numbers, hence the usher, and his usher’s rope—and are then reaching over the side and into the cool water and touching the cownose rays as they swim by.  And swim by they will, once they realize you haven’t laid out the five dollars for a package of Ray Food.  They’re smaller than devil rays, fit better in a 10,000 gallon above ground swimming pool, and are soft, and feel like rubber, and on the baseball field below us the New York Yankees are taking batting practice, and we look at each other, our hands still in cool ray water, while we wait for the next one to come by.”

 

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Touch ’em All Chapter 2 The Schedule excerpt

Touch ‘em All Chapter 2 The Schedule excerpt:

“You should know, up front, and would have figured it out on your own soon enough, that we are not intending to do this in thirty days, as is the fashion, and I’m right away feeling a need to apologize for this.  There are those who have done that, and doing it that way does seem to draw a lot of attention to the whole thing, which I get, and the adventurer in me—and he is in there—perks up at the idea, feels challenged by it even.  But afterwards the perking subsides, and later goes away entirely and neither of us has any real interest in going about it that way.  Things would be missed.  Mountains and corn fields and entire innings, maybe.”

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“So with a somewhat fuzzy Miami to Boston looping route in mind, I sit down late one night to look at a possible schedule.  Glossing over a few details for the moment, we are to route ourselves from the newest ballpark to the oldest, and will span one hundred years of baseball theaters in doing it.  And will end in Boston on the 4th of July.  The poetry of all this is stunning, and Vicki loves the schedule, because she loves the Red Sox, who spring train near her home town.”02 Chapter 2 The Schedule Photo baseball-stadiums-map


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Touch ’em All Chapter One: Our Game excerpt

Chapter One: Our Game excerpt

 

“And because I was ten years old, I was on a baseball team.  I was on this team in my home town of Orange, which is also in Texas though just barely, waiting as it is on the next named storm to send it sliding off the banks of the Sabine into Louisiana.  Which had not yet happened in 1965, which meant I was on a team, where someone had the idea to take a large white van full of Cubs, with several large parents along to see to it we didn’t hurl one another out any of the white van’s windows, across one hundred miles of southeast Texas rice fields and refineries to Houston, to see a Major League baseball game in this very new baseball stadium of a place they had decided to name the Astrodome and which was bright and shiny silver and sparkled brilliantly in the sun, and we shouted when we first saw it, and cool air rushed at you from its darkened interior, where an impossibly large and impossibly indoor baseball field waited, and our little kid hearts beat fast that day.  We were kids.  We didn’t know any better.”01 Chapter One Photo Astrodome adome-620x399


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Opening Day -Touch ’em All: A Baseball Journey

 

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Cover Photo: Lewis Hines 1909  Cover Design: Vicki Snyder Clark 2016

 It’s spring and the wait is finally over!  Touch ‘Em All: A Baseball Journey, based upon the epic road trip described in the 2013 entries of this blog, has been released as a Kindle Edition eBook. And you can buy a copy of your very own by following the link below.

Touch ‘Em All is the story (mostly accurate) of our epic baseball road trip encompassing 30 stadiums, 60 hotdogs and 80 days. Take the trip across America (and a tiny bit of Canada) with us and share the adventure. Oh, what a grand adventure it was!

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Photo: Don Fields

We suffered no rainouts or other misfortunes, but the real miracle is that we are on speaking terms today (it was a long trip and a little car).

Thus, I have commandeered email, social media and author blogs, as the Don is practically oblivious to social media and will do nothing to tout the tale that some of us have been eagerly awaiting, and any baseball fan will enjoy (pass the word, folks).

So, buy the book, read the book and follow along for photos and other interesting bits that will enhance your touching ’em all experience.

May your own team have a wonderful 2016 season,

Vicki, Navigator & Traveling Companion Extraordinaire

(Go Rays!)

Touch ’em All: A Baseball Journey, Kindle Edition 2016

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Contact us:  Touch ‘em All – Don Fields:  fieldsdonaldk@gmail.com