Today we talk to Robert J. Breisacher from Baseball Dreamin. Robert is going on a trip to all 30 MLB stadiums this summer, but before he leaves he took some time to talk to us.
How long have you had this dream to see every MLB stadium?
I’m not exactly sure when I got this idea in my head. I think just being so far away from home during the summer made me miss watching games. I love being able to catch a game anytime of the day, any day of the summer.
What did your friends/family think when you told them what you were doing?
My family is very proud of me for chasing a dream like this. They do think its rather ambitious and they are concerned about the financial toll it will take on my wallet. Other then that they are just happy to see me go after something like this.
I see you have your schedule planned out, how long did it take you to make?
The schedule was not easy to plan out. I can’t tell you how many times I made it through and came to the conclusion that that particular schedule wasn’t going to work out. I had schedules for different times of the season starting in different areas of the country. Ultimelty I decided that I wanted to start the trip as soon as I could. Patience is a virtue that I could work on and I think the excitment of the season starting and me not on the road would drive me crazy.
Will you see only 1 game at each stadium or is there time for an extra game here and there?
Right now I have only planned on one game in each park with the exception of Comerica Park which is where I will be starting and ending my trip. Any additonal games that I see will be a decision I make on the fly. There are a few gaps in my schedule where I will be in a paticular city for an extended period of time such as NY, LA, and Chicago. I’m pretty sure I will end up seeing more then the scheduled games in those cities.
Where will you stay on your journey? Hotels, camp sites, couchsurfing?
I will be doing a little bit of each of the following options. I would like to keep the costs as low as possible seeing as gas prices have the potential to get a bit out of hand this summer. I want to find unique and interesting local places to stay whenever possible. The ballpark chaser communtiy is a tight knit group. Since finding websites such as ballparkchasers.com several fellow chasers have offered to let me crash at their places. Also being a former member of the military I have friends all over the country and they have offered to let me stay with them.
Have you contacted the teams to let them know what you are doing? If so, how receptive have they been to providing assistance?
Yes, While I was still in Afghanistan I sent emails and formal mail to every single one of the teams in Major League Baseball. At this point I have heard back from about half of the teams and most have offered to extend complimentary tickets and or parking passes. A few teams have gone above and beyond. The Cleveland Indians gave me four tickets for the April 9th game and are allowing me to sit in the “Social Media Suite” while I am attending a game there. The Indians staff has been absolutely amazing to me from the very first time I contacted them. The New York Mets have a program where the welcome home a veteran at every home game of the season. While I am attending the game there I will recieve four tickets in the front row right behind the Mets dugout. They will introduce me at the end of the third inning and show pictures I provided them on their jumbo screen. Interesting enough the only non American team in Major League Baseball, The Toronto Blue Jays, offered me four tickets and free blue jays caps when I come visit them. I am going to try to send out one last ditch email to the teams I have not heard from. Today I recieved a voucher for two tickets to a St. Louis Cardnials game, I had previously heard nothing from the Cardnials so I’m wondering if other teams will be doing the same.
What stadium or team are you most excited to see and why?
The stadium I am most excited to see is Fenway Park. I will be there for opening day during their 100th season at Fenway. I am so excited to be apart of this history and see where so many legends have thrown around a ball. I was also excited about seeing Wrigley Field. So much so I couldn’t contain my excitement and went out to Chicago this past weekend and got a tour of the park, It was everything I thought it would be and so much more. I can’t wait to a game there. I’m also excited to see Comerica Park because its my home town field and is always a pleasure to see a game there.
You plan on seeing other things along the way besides MLB stadiums. What are you most excited about seeing or doing along the way that might not have anything to do with baseball?
I’m excited about seeing the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in Cleveland, Niagra Falls on the way to Toronto, and I’m hoping to be able to fit a stop by Las Vegas into my budget.
Are you going to try and stay on or off the interstate highways for most of your journey?
I will be sticking to the highways most of my trip unless I hear about something I have to see off the beaten path. Some of my games are kind of pushing it when it comes to time so I will be looking for my fastest way between those parks.
What is the best advice someone has given you about your trip so far?
The best advice I have recieved was from one of my best friends, Melissa Craley, gave me the idea for my blog. I was home on leave from Afghanistan and met up with her for dinner. I told her about my trip and she told me I should document every aspect of it. I thought that was a wonderful idea and clearly I have ran with it. Melissa has been an incredible supporter of me on this project and will be attending a few games with me. I would like to thank Melissa for coming up with awesome ideas and helping me out every step of the way! I honestly could not of done this with out her.
I’d like to thank Robert for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. I am looking forward to following along with his journey as he travels across the US. You can follow along as well on his blog Baseball Dreamin, on Face Book, or on Twitter @BaseballDreamin.