Friday, May 09, 2014

"I Don't Care If We Never Come Back"

Most of us baseball fans have wanted to visit as many baseball stadiums and parks as possible in our lives, and many have visited them all. (I have been to just eight of them myself.) But in a new book called "I Don't Care If We Never Get Back: 30 Games in 30 Days on the Best Worst Baseball Road Trip Ever," authors Ben Blatt and Eric Brewster attempt the near-impossible: visit all 30 MLB stadiums in one calendar month, the month of June.

Ben is a baseball fanatic and numbers whiz, and Eric is not. They are college friends from Harvard, and Ben, a Red Sox fan from New Hampshire, convinces his pal to take on the challenge. Ben runs an algorithm for the road trip, and they begin on June 1st at Yankee Stadium, and a journey begins that will take them over 22,000 miles over 37 states begins. The book is more about the boys' adventures than about the games being played.

The boys have a standard rule that they must be in the park for every pitch, or it does not count. They run into some interesting encounters on the road, especially with the police, as it can be a mad dash for them to get to each park in time. They also have problems involving the weather that nearly end the trip as well.

I enjoyed the book very much. There's plenty of good humor in it, and they encounter a few scenarios that almost cost them the dream coming true. The New York City subway and a stalled car in Toronto nearly cost the boys their dream at the very end; Ben goes on a date with a woman at a Cardinals game in St. Louis; Ben fulfills a dream of running the bases at the Little League field at Williamsport; Eric attempts to play a practical joke on Ben involving the Cleveland Indians radio announcer, and Red Sox fan Ben meets one of his idols: former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein at a Cubs game at Wrigley Field.

I have to admire these two guys for fulfilling a dream most of baseball fanatics wish they could pull off. "I Don't Care If We Never Come Back" is an enjoyable ride through the baseball world, and they take us all along.

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