As of August 24, 2013, I've been to every major league ballpark in the American and National Leagues! My latest ballparks to see were the Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON. in July 2013, then Tropicana Field in Tampa, FL and Marlins Park in Miami, FL in August 2013. Below is a picture of the ticket to my last stadium. The Miami Marlins were nice enough to give me complimentary tickets to the game as well.
I’ve been a sports fan my entire life. When I was growing up my favorite baseball team was the St. Louis Cardinals, who played in the original Busch Stadium. If they weren’t on TV, I didn’t miss a game listening to them on the radio with Jack Buck and Mike Shannon broadcasting the games every night.
I grew up in the 70s when there were only 3 TV stations to choose from. I never missed the “NBC Game of the Week” on Saturday afternoon.
I also was a fan of the Miami Dolphins, back when they played at the Orange Bowl. Their quarterback was Bob Griese, who was from my hometown of Evansville, Indiana, so I felt a connection to the team!
I didn’t have a favorite basketball team, but I did enjoy watching Dr. J (Julius Erving) play for the 76ers and watching the Celtics play at The Boston Garden.
Living in Evansville, Indiana, I was within 3 hours of St. Louis and 4 hours of Cincinnati. Those were the closest towns for any major sporting event.
We had a minor league farm team, the Evansville Triplets, who were the AAA affiliate for the Cincinnati Reds in the mid-70s before switching to the Detroit Tigers.
Every game I watched I wanted to know what it was like to be there in person, so when I saw another game on TV from there I'd know what it was like to be there. I decided in those years that when I grew up I wanted to go to as many stadiums as I could.
I have been able to keep that goal and since I was 23 years old, I’ve been to at least one new stadium, ballpark or arena every year.
In college, I had the opportunity to meet Tom Lasorda, the former manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The next baseball season after I met him, he gave me tickets to their game against the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis, in the section with the players’ wives and their families.
After that game, I sent him a thank you letter for the tickets and he sent back a personally autographed postcard that you see below.