May 23, 2004- Well we finally made it out of Southern California and ended up in Seligman, AZ for the first night. Somewhere farther then Needles, CA and not as far as Flagstaff, AZ, a total of 385 miles from home all driven by Jason.The reason we didn't get too far was because we didn't actually leave home until when we realized we forgot an XBOX controller, a precious item to keep us busy on the road.We filled up on gas at an AMPM and they were advertising a giveaway "The Ultimate Baseball Roadtrip" (Check out the picture on the photo page). They could have just saved the contest and helped us out. Well yeah we could just dream. Thanks to everyone who helped us out and made this possible. Anyways stayed at aKOA and pitched camp and tent and hit the sack.Although to our much delight the campsite was next to a railroad track that sounded like it was going right through our tent.To add to the fun of it it must have been around thirty degrees and we froze in our prehistoric sleeping bags.Stopped at Wal-Mart and invested in some new ones.Anyways we're somewhere past Albuquerque, NM, a total of exactly 840 miles from home at the time I write this.Between XBOX, DVD's and Jason's selection of wonderful music we have been pretty busy.We'll try to post as much as possible and keep you guys up to date.Please take the time to fill out our guestbook or post any comments or messages on our messageboard.Talk to you guys later. -Jeff
May 24, 2004 - Hey everyone.It is I, the magnificent Tucker -The Buffer- Coston.Well, we spent the night in Amarillo, Texas, and of course Jason and Jeff picked another winner.Their leadership skills brought us to a camp sight which was surrounded by a commercial airport, train tracks, noisy neighbors, and, in the morning, obnoxious tractors.But once again we prevailed over the less than picture perfect circumstances.We left Amarillo with high hopes of gaining some major ground, but did not get too far when we saw the largest cross in the western hemisphere (check out the pictures of Jason praying).The cross can be seen from 20 miles away andis 190 feet tall and its wingspan is 110 feet across.From the cross Jeff drove about 400 miles straight to Oklahoma City where we stopped at the RedHawks minor league ballpark.This was by far the best minor league ballpark that any of us have seen.From here we went to the Oklahoma City Federal Building Memorial.The sight of the memorial would have left Rex Hudler speechless.The sight of the building which was bombed is covered with green lush grass and on the grass sit 162 empty chairs representing the 162 people who died in the tragedy.The area which used to be 5th street (the street outside of the building) is now a reflecting pool and on both sides of the pool are two granite walls which represent the minute before and after the bombing.After the memorial the three of us went on our way and as soon as we heard there was a tornado warning while we were driving in Tornado Alley, once again, Jeffs impeccable decision making skills came into play.He whipped out the grill while the black clouds behind us were quickly encircling us.Although the wind factor was a difficult match, nothing could stop scout master Jeffrey Abraham.Chef Boy-R Jeffrey managed to cook up a great dinner for our trio.We continue to get waves and praises from our fellow travelers, and plenty of lip from non-angel fans.It just past here in Missouri and we are currently heading into St. Louis and directly into a lightning storm.Wish us luck, and keep checking the pics and updates.P.S. I have not had to break up any fights yet, but we are only 3 daysin, and Mike has yet to join us.We may have missed one tornado, but the real storm has yet to begin.
May 25, 2004 - Day one saw us waking up to loud trains.Day two saw us waking up to trains, planes, and tractors.Day three would also give us an interesting morning.We stayed in a cheap motel in Sullivan, MO.We were awakened by the sound of huge hail stones crashing down on our car.I have never seen so much rain before.We were afraid we would be stranded in Sullivan, but the storm passed and we dodged it for the entire day.Guess the praying I did paid off.The rest of the day was pretty uneventful.Jeff hit a bird at about 75 mph.I think it broke in two as it careened off the hood.We stopped and ate at a place called Steak & Shake.Great steak burgers.I got a chocolate shake with hot fudge.I did not need it, but the place is called Steak and Shake you have to try the specialties.Unfortunately, the stuff made me sick and I had to make a couple unscheduled stops to solve the problem.We spent the night at an Econo Lodge just outside Cleveland. We rearranged the stuff in the car to make room for Mike.He will be here tomorrow night.No transportation around here to wake us up, but the room smells like it was painted this afternoon, so we will either wake up high or dead from inhaling all the fumes.Game one is tomorrow.-Jason
May 26, 2004 - The f!* fire alarm is going off in the hotel right now.I JUST WANT TO SLEEP FOR ONCE.-Jason
May 28, 2004 - Hey, Mike here.So, I finally made it and now it is my first entry.Oh, the pressure.Well, my flight was great and actually caught an earlier one to get to Cleveland earlier than expected.Met the guys at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.We were only five minutes from the stadium so we headed over there to start game one of what is going to be an insane trip.J.J. Putz, a pitcher for the Mariners, got us tickets to the game.So, from now on any time he pitches we have to cheer for him, even if he is a Mariner.Anyways, the seats were great and Jacobs Field is beautiful.The first pitch started with a single by Ichiro Suzuki.It was a pretty dead game until the offense started breaking through.When all was said and done the Mariners had won 7-3, J.J. pitched 1+ innings, Tucker had found Miss Jacobs Field, Jason had made a friend named Jonathon, and game one was in the books.By the way, when we entered the stadium, J.J. was shagging balls in left field during BP.It really feels big league to be able to talk to one of the guys on the field, we felt like celebrities, well, at least I did.After the game, being in downtown Cleveland we were hit up by four bums for change.After giving all of what I had to the first three, I did not have anything to give to the fourth.He was a guy in a wheel chair with no legs who just wanted some change, but then when he saw the Indians stickers we were taking off our car, he said he would settle for that.What started with one sticker for his bucket turned into five and I think we made his day.You can see his picture in the photos section, and as he rolled off he made sure to tell us that people call him crazylegs.So, after about three hours of driving, pitching a tent, making soup for dinner and just a few hours of shuteye, it was morning again; off to Toronto.Before we got to the SkyDome there was one stop we needed to make, Tucker had never seen Niagara Falls.We stopped there for a bit and did what they call The Journey Behind the Falls which is a walkway right down to its base and then a tunnel that takes you behind the falls.It was kind of stupid to walk through the tunnel because the other side of water is not that much more impressive then the side you had already seen, but being at the base of the waterfall was pretty amazing.We were there for about two hours, which was just enough time, because our trip to Toronto was filled with heavy traffic and we got to the game right before the first pitch.SkyDome, what can I say about the SkyDome?Well, for me, it was a good thing the Angels were playing.Baseball, indoors, no grass, and some hokey song played during the seventh inning stretch before take me out to the ballgame?That is not baseball.Jason liked the dome but I hate not seeing sky during a ball game and Astroturf, that should be illegal, seriously.Against the law to play baseball on plastic, it is just not American, but I guess that was it, we were not in America.Oh well, again, we were treated to a great game.Through the first six innings there were a total of five hits and at one point Halladay had retired 18 Angels in a row.The sparse crowd of 14,773 was pretty quiet. By the way, Cleveland had an attendance of 16,007.In the seventh the Blue Jays hit Washburn for three runs, two of them coming on a two run triple.It stayed that way until the Angels were down to their last out when we put two on the board, running out Halladay one out short of a complete game, but we still fell short and lost 3-2.Great game, subpar stadium for our second game of the trip.As we left the stadium in Toronto, decked out in Angel gear, a couple Blue Jay fans heckled us for our loss and then came up to say hi.We told them about our trip, and as everyone else has, they reacted with excitement, so much that they invited us to The Loose Moose for a couple drinks.So, we went.Not to worry Mom and Mrs. Coston, Jeff and Tucker are legal here.We went into the bar and the Laker game was on along with the Flame/Lightning game.I asked Mark, the guy who invited us, what the score of the game was (meaning the Lakers) and he told us 1-0 (referring to the hockey game).Culture shock, but watching the game there could turn anyone into a hockey fan.But we shared several sports stories and were guys for a bit.Now we are on our way to Montreal for game three.Sorry about the long update, next ones will be shorter, just did not have access to this for a couple days and with a lot done, we had a lot to say.Love you all, and we all love the enthusiasm you show while we are away.Keep it coming! -Mike
May 31, 2004 - It is around 12:30 and we are somewhere close to Philadelphia, and hoping that God has the same love for baseball as we do because the weather forecasts do not look too promising.Sorry about the inconsistent updates, we have had pretty bad reception and are trying to make the best of it.From the pictures and postings on the guestbook you can see people are taking a liking to what we are doing.Friday we saw the Montreal Expos take on the Cincinnati Reds at Olympic Stadium.Since the crowds are very small we decided we would arrive early and take advantage of the situation to get a few batting practice balls.When making our traditional walk around the outskirts of the stadium we did not cross any other fans, it startled us and we became worried and thought we might have read the schedule wrong.The stadium was built for the 1976 Olympic games and it appears has not had any maintenance since.The experience of the Expos game was an unforgettable one especially after we discovered that 7,000 fans could make the equivalent noise of a crowd about 30,000 with their secret weapon, the seats themselves.With the price of one ticket you were given two noise makers that you did not receive at the door, like thundersticks in Anaheim, but were ready for use when you got to your seat.You got three seats for the price of one.Fans would slam the adjacent chairs down making an extremely loud noise of metal hitting metal.With the conversion of Canadian funds the Expos have some of the best deals on concessions, check out the stats page.One thing that the stadium had to offer other then loud noise making chairs and a lack of fan base was coleslaw on the hot dogs.Yeah it sounds bad but it was something I would definitely try again.Sometime later in the game after me and Tucker had a beer legally to toast the trip, Ken Griffey Jr. tied Lou Gehrig on the all-time home run list by hitting the 493rd blast of his career.Tucker was not in the mood to find Miss Olympic Stadium so it was left to myself to carry the tradition.In final, a poll will be taken on the Miss baseball contest between Tuckers American League and Jeffs National League.(Meg in all actuality she did not want to take a picture with Tucker J)When checking up on the score of the Angel game on the outfield scoreboard we noticed that there was a rain delay in Boston and decided it would be best to get there as soon as possible and see a game on Saturday instead of Sunday as originally planned just in case the game Sunday rained out.The Expos could not pull out a comeback losing 7-6.Got to FenwayPark about an hour and a half before the game and got our first experience of the trip of what baseball is all about.The streets were packed with souvenir vendors along with hot dog stands, everyone was dressed in Red Sox clothing, and it was as if we traveled back in time when we crossed through the gates into the home of the green monster.To know greats such as Ted Williams and Babe Ruth played on the same field and the stands were once filled with men dressed in suits and top hats made it seem very nostalgic.The game was the ultimate experience in baseball, one that any and every baseball fan should take part of.Although the conclusion of the game was not what we all hoped for as the Red Sox lost 5-4, it was more depressing when the ushers would not let us return to the stands to take one last picture with the green monster.Fenway Ushers SUCK!!! Afterwards we met up with family friend Rich Colon, father-in-law to Seattle Mariner J.J. Putz, and had the luxury to go on a tour of Harvard with him and his family.We ended up in downtown Boston where we crashed at Andres apartment, one of Jasons buddies from school.As we were packing the car this morning we received a phone call from Debbie, a public relations representative of the Phillies and she informed us they are going to give us complimentary tickets along with a tour of the stadium before the game tomorrow.We drove about a hundred miles to Suffield, Conneticut where we were given the best meal of the trip by cousin Johnny and Karen along with company of Karens mom and brother, Bea and George and family friend Lisa.Thanks for the hospitality guys, wish we could have stayed longer but you sure are setting the bar high for our other friends and family whom we are going to stay with.Going to wrap it up as we are about to stop and set up camp.Looking forward to tomorrow seeing a new ballpark along with the Phillie Phanatic.Talk to you guys soon. -Jeff
June 2, 2004 - Hey guys and gals, especially the gals.Its been a few days but Tucker is back in action.We left the motel in the morning and, as David Waibel would say, I got off my lazy butt and I took the reigns to lead the Baseball Adventure 2004 crew into Philadelphia.We arrived at CitizensBankPark, and after visiting the torn down Veterans Stadium, we were greeted by Debbie Mohrdieck.Debbie is the communications coordinator for the Phillies, and took us on a tour before the game.We walked around the entire stadium listening to interesting facts, visited the diamond club, and were able to go inside the press box.Up until this point the day was awesome, but, as many of you have already heard, the rain began to fall.The game, which was scheduled at , ended at due to rain delays.When the majority of the sold out crowd had already left the brand new stadium, we held strong and remained in the stands for the rest of the time consuming game.The Mets ending up winning the game 5-3, but Mike Piazza had an error so I do not mind.Following the swim meet at Citizens Bank Ballpark, we drove all night through the mountains to get to our final destination for the day, the Holiday Inn.Jason got a little sick because he thought it would be a good idea to stand in the rain in Philly, but he magically awoke the next morning healthy and perky.We checked out of the hotel around and went to the post office in order to send you wonderful friends and family of ours postcards, letters, and for the especially lucky, gifts.After getting stamps and sending off the packages, we took a trip to downtown Pittsburgh.The Pittsburgh skyline is one of the most beautiful I have seen.Mike says that the skyscrapers resemble GothamCity.Although the skyline is amazing, PNC park was the focal point of our interest.The stadium is one of the best we have been too.The entire skyline can be seen in center and right field, and RobertoClementeBridge in dead center field.We arrived early and went to watch batting practice and Jason and I both caught home run balls.Of course I caught mine on the fly while Jason picked his up off the ground.The only thing Jason has caught on this trip is a cold.We began to get a little worried after BP when it began to rain again.The fields crew instantly covered the field but within 10 minutes we were watching the pirates take the field.Although the Cardinals blew out the pirates, I think we all enjoyed the game.Albert Winnie the Pujols was the game MVP, going 5 for 5 with two singles, two doubles, and a home run, but his name still is not Vladimir Guerrero.We are currently on our way to the Big Apple to see the Yankees play Baltimore on Wednesday.BOOO Jeter.Mike isnt happy to have Yankee stickers on our car, but we will be sure to tear them off and use them for toilet paper before we burn them, this of course following the beating the Orioles give them.Gotta get back to sitting on my butt in the back seat.Thanks for being patient with the updates and especially for reading them.Everyone keep in touch.GO ANGELS!!!Mom say hi to Buck for me.
June 4, 2004 - Hey it is Jeff and since Jason is kind of being a bum and does not feel like writing, I will write to you guys and try to tell you what we have been up to other then driving, eating, watching baseball and sleeping.Now that my job is done we will try to keep you as updated as possible.No actually our schedule has kept us occupied since the day we left.We left Pittsburgh after another close rain encounter and headed towards New York where the clouds followed in our shadows.I will probably be the first and last person to say this but sitting in the traffic in NYC was kind of nice because of the exposure we received and people we met and got to talk to.In fact a guy asked us if we were going to the game and gave us a personal escort shortcut through the back streets of the Bronx.After going to will call and picking up our bleacher seats to sit with some of the rowdiest fans I have ever witnessed, and believe it or not, it was not do to the consumption of alcohol because it is banned in the outfield section which is secluded from access to the rest of the House that Ruth Built.They finally got the game off and the cheering began.We got to experience the Yankee roll call, where fans in the right field bleachers chant a players name until he tips his cap or commits some kind of gesture recognizing their presence.The Orioles started out the game strong capitalizing on a Yankees error to score 5 runs in the first, looking to continue our curse of the home team losing.But of course the Yankees are never down and out which they proved when they came back and won 6-5.It does not make sense to me, we generally cheer for the home team unless they are the New York Yankees or the visiting team is the Angels.So far the home team has won only two games, Blue Jays beating the Angels and the Yankees beating the Orioles.Our Aunt Janice says she is going to contact the stadiums before hand to not let us in because we have a negative effect on the home team.I know we are falling a little behind but we will get back to you and let you know a little more about the Yankee game and also at Shea because we are currently pulling into Camden Yards in Baltimore.-Jeff
June 6, 2004 - Hey everyone, it is Mike again.We are here in Kentucky just outside of Cincinnati getting ready for game number ten.I can not believe that the games are already a third of the way over, too fast.Anyways, it has been a while since the last update, so yay for me!I get to write you another novel.So, after we left Yankee Stadium we headed to Brooklyn to stay with Mike, a friend of Jason.We got there at about and whoever says Las Vegas is the city that never sleeps is wrong, it is New York City.We stopped for a quick bite to eat downstairs called it a night in anticipation of seeing downtown Manhattan.The only thing I had yet to do in New York that I really wanted to was go to the top of the Empire State Building, Mike had not done it either so we decided to make that the focal point of our day.We went directly there and saw the site.Mike is a bit afraid of heights and also a bit claustrophobic but he got over that and took the ride with us, we are so proud of you Mike!Once up top you literally had a birds eye view of arguably the greatest city in the world.It is amazing how much they packed into the island that is Manhattan.The most amazing part to me was Central Park.I knew it was a large park but I did not know just how big it was and also that it was right in the middle of the city, a perfect rectangle of green that looks completely out of place in the middle of skyscrapers.After that we headed to Times Square and saw the craziness of that area, did a little shopping then got a bite to eat.I felt like I was walking through a movie set because walking the streets of New York is just like how the city is portrayed in movies, its really weird.We had lunch at an Italian restaurant called Carmines which was great.It is a family style restaurant which fed us really well.Mike, being the awesome host that he is, took the bill and we all were a little reluctant of him doing that, but all in all, Thanks Mike!We appreciate all your hospitality.So, after lunch we had to split up and head for the game.We took the 7 train into Queens which drops you off right outside the stadium.The stadium is kind of a dump, not much character and right near the flight path into La Guardia, but the experience we had inside was one of our most fun.That might have been in part to our seat buddy, Justin, who we started to play a few games with.You all know the quarter game or the dirt, grass, carry off game.There was also a section of Japanese fans who were master of the Thunderstick.This was a group of fans eager to see their native players that used the sticks to perfection.They even had a group leader, a conductor if you will, that led all of their cheers.It was kind of funny, but I could not imagine the atmosphere at a Japanese game if it is anything like these people were.The Mets ended up winning 4-1, finally, a home team won that we wanted to win.We will put the second update to New York and Baltimore after the Reds game because we are running a little behind, so check back a little bit later. - Mike
June 6, 2004 - Continued from previous update.After the game we had one more stop to see in downtown.The WorldTradeCenter site was a short subway ride from Queens so Tucker needed to see that.Short ride turned into long ride really quick. Everyone hears that the subways run 24 hours in New York, what you do not hear is that they are not that reliable.We only had to catch three trains to get there but each transfer took about a half hour waiting for the next train to show up.I have to say one thing about the stations.We saw a performer that we are still talking about.It was a group of dancers who did just that, danced.However there was one guy who impressed us.Now everyone, stand up.Seriously stand up, now without your feet leaving the ground bend backwards and touch the ground with our hands creating an arch with your body.Cant do it right?I know that is not that impressive but picture that when you have your hands down you then pick up your feet and balance solely on your hands with the entire weight of your body on your hands?If you can not picture it, ask us later, it was impressive.We finally got to Ground Zero and it just seems that you have to be silent when you are there.The gap that was left by the buildings is bigger than life.It is about a five block square but no words can justify the eeriness that you get when there.Just to think of what that day was like is breathtaking.By the way, some may be asking what happened to Mike.Mike had a surgery recently and did not feel too well and decided to not go out with us after the game.We were a bit disappointed, but we all want the best for Mike and for him to get better soon.All in all New York City was a blast and gave us a taste of a vacation outside of baseball and our host was awesome, could not have asked for more.Thanks again Mike!Enjoy your picture.So, on to Baltimore.The drive to Camden Yards was pretty uneventful but when we finally got to the park, we were reacquainted with our new friend on this trip, rain.As if rain at the ball game was notbad enough, try constant rain, through eleven innings and four hours and twenty five minutes of baseball.It was kind of miserable.But again, we were treated to a good game that featured a come back, a grand slam, a little controversy and once again, you guessed it, a home team loss.The Devil Rays won 7-6 in eleven.After the game, the remaining handful of fans were treated to a firework show.Jeff thought it was not too bad, I thought it was pathetic.Not spectacular at all but may that is because we are so spoiled with Big Bang Fridays, the Angels do rock.So, we stopped about fifty miles outside of Baltimore to call it a night.The next morning we woke up to the same thing, rain, rain, and more rain.Also, today was laundry day.All I want is a dry day, just one dry day! The East Coast does not know what summer is truly like.We did not leave that area until two after laundry was finished.We had about a six hour drive ahead of us, but we did not know about the detours we would encounter to make this another long night.First stop, Hagerstown, Maryland.Municipal Stadium, home of the Hagerstown Suns was a short trip off the highway but should have been no trip.The park was like Sedoo Field except the Knights put a tarp on their field when it rains.The Suns are a Class A team but I expected more from a place like that, as you will see later.After a short stop at Hagerstown, we were determined to get the driving out of the way, until stop number two.Cracker Barrel is a restaurant that Jasons roommate Dave recommended and Jason had to stop.So we did.Good food, we all got Chicken N Dumplings and I believe all were pleased.But nobody as much as Jason, his dream of visiting the Cracker Barrel was experienced, finally.OK, so now we saw a minor league park and had dinner at the World Famous Cracker Barrel, now we can get the driving out of our way, right?Wrong.Upon leaving the restaurant encountered another curious family who had just come from the Washington Wildthings game just up the street.Another stadium to see, but the surprises do not stop there.While we walked into the stadium all the fans were walking out of, two Falconi Field employees caught interest in our car and came up to us asking what we were up to.We told them and they were amazed.So amazed that we got our own personal tour of the premises.Even though it was not a major league park, the attempt at creating the perks of one were all there.The party area in left field where they serve dollar beers they said was a fan favorite.We got to see one of their suites and it is an area that puts some nice apartment to shame.Leather sofas, dartboard, full pool table, kitchen and your own seating area would make Suite owners at Angel Stadium jealous.To top it all off there was a hot tub in right field that you could rent out and experience a game like you can in Arizona.John and Chelsea, our tour guides, then concluded the trip by going into the office and ask for a magnet for us, instead we got hats.A pleasant surprise at a place we otherwise would not have stopped at.Once again, the enthusiasm shown by strangers of our trip makes it even more fun for us.We finally got to our hotel here in Kentucky and called it a night.It is morning again and game number 10 is two hours away, time to brush my teeth and keep the adventure rolling.Keep looking for more updates as we vow to try to make them more consistent, thanks for all your support and keep following. - Mike
June 8 2004 - So, it is Mike again.We are here in Chicago more than a third of the way done and it seems like we just started yesterday.After New York City we downsized a bit and headed for Cincinnati.The Great American Ballpark is in its second year of existence so it was a new park for all of us.We got into Cincinnati late Saturday evening and stayed in Kentucky, just outside of Cincinnati, one more state visited.Waking up the next morning we discovered something we had not seen in a long while; good weather!I could actually wear shorts today, it was amazing.Great American Ballpark is located right on the river which gives a little taste of a view, but not much.So far, every game I have purchased a scorecard and a program to keep record of the games we see.This stadium, had no scorecards, and in addition to that, the vendors who sold them (or would have sold them) were extremely rude and unfriendly it really frustrated me.Also, as we were walking around Tucker got his feet run over by a motorized wheelchair with no apology from the driver, to put it nicely, the people here are jerks.As we walked up to our seats Jason noticed a guy who had a scorecard under his seat.Where he got it, I do not know, but I had to ask.He said he found a guy who had a stack of them downstairs and told me where to go, I walked around the entire first floor of the stadium, still no scorecards.As I walked back up to the seats he asked me if I found one and I said no and after telling him my situation he gave me his.Not that it is all that big of a deal but just another example of how people support what we are doing and the willingness to help us out.The game was against the Expos, the same match up we saw in Montreal.It started off with signs of the hometown curse we seem to have had throughout the trip with the Expos scoring three runs in the top of the first.In the bottom of the same inning Ken Griffey Jr. hit a two run home run to close the lead and which also was the 497th long ball of his career.Again, in the third, Griffey came up and tied the game up with his 498th round tripper leading to a curtain call from the rambunctious crowd.That was all you would hear from him though as he was walked and then flied out for the rest of his game.No scoring until the ninth when Montreal scored two, but the Reds were not done yet.With two outs there was a pinch hit homerun to tie it up, followed by three singles that won the game for the Reds, ending the most exciting game of our trip thus far.After the game, we had a little bit of a dark side of our travels.We left the parking lot in Cincinnati heading for Chicago, when about 50 miles outside of the city we hit our first major speed bump, check the Camera Story link for details.That ended our Cincinnati part of the trip and then we were off to Chicago. - Mike
June 9, 2004 - Hello ladies and germs.It is Tuck Daddy.Here is the scoop.After searching for the cameras, we arrived at Connie and Bobs in Chicago.Connie was a roommate of the Abraham boys Aunt DeeDee.Of course they were completely awesome and showed us a little southern hospitality in middle America.Oh yeah, and their dog Buddy (Goomba) rocks!He gave me a wakeup calls every morning.He is a licker.Although it does not sound pleasant, he made sure we got where we were headed on time.Our first game in Chicago was at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.Similar to Boston, the streets were covered with fans of the game, souvenir vendors, scalpers, and concessions.Our seats, which we got from Jim Peterson (thank you), were in the drunkard infested bleacher seats.Of course we had fun!Oh, except for Mike who not only was carded, but refused because the beer man was a little slow.The game was especially full of awesomeness because the Cubs were playing their rivals, the Cardinals.Although the Cubbies lost the game, the fans were still inhibited by alcohol, so everyone left happy. We again spent the night at Connie and Bobs, and once again I was given a wake up call by my buddy, Buddy.But once again it was wonderful timing because we needed to wake up early in order to get to Navy Pier before the game.Navy Pier was pretty lame, but we got to see Buckingham Fountain (the fountain from Married With Children).We arrived at ComiskeyPark, now US Cellular Field (bluh), and once again were treated to tickets by Jim Peterson (thanks again).I personally thought Comiskey is one of the better stadiums we have been to.Of course, it was half off ticket night so the stands were abnormally full.There were nine homeruns in the game, and the Sox won.After the game we became celebrities when we arrived back at our car.A group of Sox fans were checking out the car and began asking us all kinds of questions.The Abraham kids got off easy, however, I had to deal with the drunken guy who repeatedly told me how he respects us, and loves the Angels because they beat his team, and a whole lot of other gibberish nonsense.They were alright though, especially the girl from the OC.Go Angels!Overall, Chicago is an awesome city that knows how to have fun and is a breeding ground for beautiful women. -Tucker
June 11, 2004 - I am not even going to attempt to tell you what day it is.I lost track of that long ago.A couple of days ago we visited ComericaPark in Detroit.The drive there was filled with rainy skies.Mike added a little excitement by hydroplaning along the highway from time to time.The rain had subsided by the time we got there.A lady in the parking lot gave us four free tickets.If you are the lady who gave us those tickets, thanks.Comerica is one of the best looking stadiums from the outside.The gigantic tigers guarding the entrance are awesome.Everywhere you look, you see tigers.On top of the scoreboard, on light fixtures, and they are the only animal you can ride on the carousel.We soon found out that the stadium not only houses the Detroit Tigers, but also is host to long rain delays.That is correct folks; we were treated to another two and a half hour wait for baseball.Never mind the fact that we had a 10 hour drive to Minnesota for a game the next night.I have never seen so much rain fall in such a short amount of time.The 2nd inning began around .I was too tired and wet to pay attention to the game after the delay, so I just sat with the rest of the guys and cheered for anything.The crowd was really boring.I think we were the loudest ones there.The game finally ended, five hours after it had started.The Tigers won, 4-2.We drove a little that night and the entire next day and arrived in Minneapolis 30 minutes before game time.Minnesota wins the cheapest parking award for their fee.Their ticket prices were not too bad either.We got admission to the park, in free food, and a coupon for a free 6 inch sandwich at Subway, all for .To top it off, we all received Doug Mientkiewicz posters.I made mine into a paper airplane.Tucker used his as a megaphone.The rest of them were left on the floor.The stadium is not too impressive.It is a little bit nicer than Montreal, but not by much.Their screens are pretty small and I had a hard time trying to figure out where the score or pitch count could be found.We saw a guy propose to his girlfriend on the not big screen.The one thing that sets the Metrodome apart from other stadiums is the noise.Even a small crowd could make that place sound like 100,000 fans were there.The game went 15 innings and for the first time we sang the 14th inning stretch.The Twins scored in the bottom of the 15th inning to win.14 games down, 16 to go.Our next stop is Milwaukee, followed by a 1300 mile drive to TampaBay.Will Jason kill Mike and Jeff?Can the boys get to TampaBay in time for a day game on Sunday?Will they lose anymore expensive equipment?Stay tuned for the answers to these and other exciting questions.
June 15, 2004 - The past few days have had its highs and lows.We left St. Paul early Saturday morning giving us plenty of time to arrive in Milwaukee to meet Pete All-Star Buddy Christopherson.(Pete met our dad when they sat next to one another at the All-Star game in Milwaukee when Mr. Bud Selig called it a tie, check out the Drive to Cleveland Photos on what we truly think about the baseball commissioner)Two hours into our trek towards MillerPark we hit some extremely bad traffic leaving us on the highway traveling 12 miles in a one hour period.We were not going to make it for Pete at .We called him and told him our dilemma and told him we were still eager to meet up with him as he was too to meet us, and agreed to call him when we were getting close.When we arrived at the parking lot the ticket agent looked over our car, complimented on our decals and asked us if we were from California.He told us the car ahead of us was anticipating our arrival.It just so happened that we arrived the car behind Pete.What are the odds?Us traveling from 3 hours west, him traveling from 1 hour north and arriving directly behind one another in the line to the parking lot.It was a sign that good things were going to come that day, and they did.We finally got to meet Pete, who we now refer to as the Tailgate Master.Pete did not mess around.He supplied us with appetizers of Wisconsin string cheese and kurds along with dill pickles in which his wife would not let him leave home without, thanks Mrs. Christopherson.He then brought out the brats from Sheboyan, the bratwurst capital of the world.We all agree, by far the best tasting ever.If anyone has any doubts you will have to pay a visit to Sheboygan but make sure you get some of those special rolls, talk to Pete after all he is the master.We finally grabbed a drink and started our walk to the stadium.We got to the will call ticket window where we picked up our discounted tickets courtesy of Jason.Pete then pulled a few strings getting us passes to the exclusive .300 club restaurant from his season ticket representative Bill.Thanks to all of you.Since Spiderman took over Major League baseball for the weekend we were treated to Spiderman foam hands and masks.We finally got to our seats which provided us with a great view.We witnessed Bernie the Brewer glide down his slide after a Milwaukee home run.We sang the seventh-inning stretch followed by an encore of Roll out the Barrel.To top it all off we got to see the Sausage Race, a race in which four mascots come out in giant customs portraying one of four types of dogs: Italian Sausage, Hot Dog, Bratwurst, and Polish Sausage.They start out in left field and run along the warning track to a finish line near first base.You would not believe how crazy the people go for this.After seeing the Hot Dog take it all we left toward The .300 Club, a restaurant in the Club level of the stadium.Filled with great memorabilia and a rather ritzy environment it gave a different twist to seeing a game rather then with the normal bums you see in the stands.After the conclusion of the game we walked through the club level looking at posters of different stadiums of the past and present sharing our experiences of each one with one another.We finally had to say our goodbyes to one of the best baseball fans we have met, but not before we were mobbed by a post tailgate party of about 20 Brewers fans.They wanted to know about our adventures and informed us that we are living their dream, thanks as your excitement just adds to ours.We honored Pete by letting him place the Brewers completion sticker on our map and headed our separate ways.What was about to come we never were prepared for.Jason started our 1300 mile towards Tropicana Field, under the worst rainstorm ever.It was raining buckets.The rain has yet to let up on our journey always toying with us from city to city.He finally stopped about 200 miles into the drive where Mike and I took over.We would drive and drive and drive some more, while it rained and rained and rained even harder.Lightning and thunder surrounded the car with bolts coming within feet of our car (Tucker claims it hit the car but I think he was going crazy).The rain never let up, slowing our travels to around 50 MPH.We were not going to be able to stop or we were going to miss our game.At times it would lighten up giving us hope it would stop but only being let down with harder rains then before.The car took its beating by losing 6 team decals and 7 of the 8 Tampa Bay Devil Rays next stop logos.That last Devil Rays decal was our only hope of making it to the game, if it were have come off we would have been lost, due to that it is our first inductee into the baseball adventure hall of fame.We finally made it to Valdosta where we got some sleep and since it is here in Tampa I think I am going to go get some, and we will keep you updated on our travels along with our adventures in Tampa tomorrow. Good night and talk to you guys soon.Miami here we come.Rain, rain, go away, come back another day, we want to see a ballgame today.-Jeff
June 17, 2004 - Let the voting begin. We placed a poll for the first group of Miss Baseball contestants under a new tab Miss Baseball Balloting. Top 2 vote getters from each group will move onto a final balloting to determine Miss Baseball 2004. You can check out all the pictures on the Miss Baseball 2004 tab. We are currently on our way to Atlanta where we are going to stop and see the Coca-ColaMuseum. For all of you other fans who are not consumed with this Miss Baseball Contest we will have an update on later this evening after the Braves game. I know it has been a few days but as Tucker would say we're gonna git er done. -Jeff
June 18, 2004 - So, Tampa is next, another dome.YAY!!! I LOVE DOMES!!!We got there about a half hour before game time and made our way in.Again, we got tickets provided to us, so thanks to Carmen Molina for that help.This was also the day that we added a fifth member to our trip, Dad.We sat down in the stadium for the second Spiderman weekend game and settled in when we were approached by a Miss Tropicana Field hopeful, her name is Heather and she told us she was Miss Tropicana Field.Once she said that, we all knew Dad was somewhere nearby, which he was.We looked back and saw him, big smile on his face, with our Florida host family, Joe and Ryan (Heather is Joes daughter).We were sitting in great seats and since there were more empty seats than occupied ones in this park we all were able to sit in this area.The stadium is weak.In the concourses it feels like a convention center and in the seating area it was like a ghost-town.As we were told earlier, it was so quiet that you could hear the players call the ball on a popup.The game ended up being a good one when the Devil Rays got a game winning single in the bottom of the ninth to win it 3-2.So, we have seen the Rays twice and they have won twice, who would have thought.A side note on this city, Dad had a little story to tell us.When approaching Tropicana Field there are signs everywhere that say Rays Parking, Rays Tickets and whatnot.My Dad actually asked Who is Ray? thinking it was some guy rather than the Devil Rays.Needless to say, he was a bit embarrassed but I had to tell the story.Love ya Pops!After the game we went back to the Weeks house and for most of us met Val, Dads cousin.She cooked us up a home cooked meal, which was much needed after days and days of fast food.It was awesome.We then were treated to another spectacular thunder and lightning show, we are convinced that we bring rain, if we went to Death Valley right now it would pour.The next day we had a day off and went shopping for a bit and spent some quality Dad timeAfter that, came back to the house where we ate another good meal, lasagna, and watched a ball game and got an early nights sleep.The next day was game number 17, Miami, Pro Player Stadium, home of the World Champion Florida Marlins, or is it home to the Miami Dolphins and the Marlins just borrow it 81 days a year, kind of hard to tell.If I did not have such a negative bias towards domes this would be my least favorite, because this place was a dump.The seats were all faced towards what would be the fifty yard line and if you wanted to see all the Dolphins stuff we were not at a shortage.This was the place the Dolphins play and the Marlins just fit their schedule in.The game again was a good one, an extra inning affair with the White Sox winning on a bases loaded walk.We met a couple people after the game at the car, I wish I was keeping a tally on that, it makes the return trip to the car that much more exciting.So, the Florida portion of the trip is over and we headed off to Atlanta.Needless to say, Florida has a lot to offer, but a quality baseball venue is definitely not one of them.I do not think I could ever see myself coming to Florida for a baseball game unless it was a World Series or an ALCS, but hey, it was one of the thirty and we had to do it.Now, off to Atlanta.On the way to Atlanta we made a little stop in Orlando at Walt Disney World and saw a few of the attractions they had to offer without being able to go into any of the parks.We got to Atlanta for the one o clock game after visiting the Coca-Cola museum.After seeing the museum it made me feel as if there was a Coke vendor or distributor behind me everywhere I went.Did you know that there have been over 7 trillion Cokes sold since 1886, pretty insane if you ask me?Turner Field is beautiful.Very old school with the new age touch to it.Game time temperature was probably close to 95 degrees and extremely humid, but do you think that kept the rain away?Of course not!!We were treated to yet another rain delay, with this one being only an hour or so, but come on, this is starting to get a bit pathetic.The Braves were playing the Royals (yeah, I know, AWESOME matchup) with the Royals having their way winning 10-4.This was Dads last game as part of BA2K4 so after the game we did a quick walkthrough of Atlanta Underground, a mall built underground, kind of a trip.We parted ways with Dad and headed towards St. Louis.Dad, just wanted to say that even though it was not that long of a time that we had to spend with you, I am glad you made the trip.I have not had the chance to go to many games with you in the last year or so, so to do this in consecutive days, it was nice.I am glad you took the time to meet up with us, as I am sure Jason, Jeff and even Tucker are too.We have a game in St. Louis today, against the Reds.Yes, Griffey is still stuck on 499, so we are hoping he hits it today.We are all a bit excited to see it happen, so cross your fingers.Jason got bit by something nasty that he had to go to a doctor to get checked out, but he is ok.He is on steroids now as medication, and I think I can see him getting bigger as I sit here in the car.Those things are amazing, if I was Barry Bonds I would use them too.Keep watching us as we only have 12 more parks to go.Seems like it has flown by.We will have another update soon, love each and every one of you. - Mike
June 19, 2004 - Well he didnt do it, Griffey didnt hit home run 500.Since we have such a tight schedule we should be on our way to Houston right now, but we have decided to sacrifice seeing the Angels play the Astros in Houston to give Griffey another chance at redemption for the Baseball Adventure Trip.Tomorrow we are going to experience what St. Louis has to offer including a ride up to the top of the Gateway Arch.We will get you a more detailed update on what happened today after Griffey hits his 500th home run tomorrow.Last as we were getting into the elevator we ran into a couple who were ecstatic about our trip.They stopped their exit and joined us for the elevator ride up where we shared our baseball experiences with each other.They insisted on donating a few bucks and treating us to beers at the next game.Thanks guys, we hope the rest of the people we run into in St. Louis are as great as you two.Anyways off to bed going to enjoy the nicest hotel room we have yet to get (Renaissance Hotel & Resorts)since we should be running into better weather and are going to start camping again.Night - Jeff
June 20, 2004 - We are in a brand new city with plenty of brand new stories.Wow this has got to be like a soap opera for some of you.Well we arrived in St Louis the night of the first game, with not only a new stadium to see, but with Ken Griffey Jrs 500th homerun approaching.As the St Louis Arch began to tower over the horizon, Busch Stadium began to appear.From the outside the structure looks like a dump, but after walking through the tunnel it became clear that the character and history of the stadium would overcome the outdated cookie cutter facade.Statues of former greats such as Ozzie Smith, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson and Stan Musial can be seen around the stadium and the St Louis Arch can be seen towering over the left-center field wall.Our current MVP of the Baseball Adventure Tour, Albert Pujols, hit a walk-off homerun in the ninth to win the game.Although we were hoping to see Griffey hit his homerun, the Cardinals come from behind win was an awesome sight.As we drove to our hotel after the game we passed a bar which happened to be across the street from the stadium and full of Cardinal fans.All it took was one drunken baseball nut to say Go Cardinals!The entire patio saw our car and started cheering for us.We then went to the arch where Mike had a knife flashed at him by an angry motorist.After cleaning his underwear we were on our way to the hotel.With the use of Priceline, we booked ourselves a room at the Renaissance Hotel.The name sounds prestigious, and the rooms were definitely reflective of that.For it was not a bad deal.Because Griffey had not hit his 500th homerun that night we contemplated staying for another night in St Louis and then seeing the game in Houston a day later than originally planned.In the morning we came to a decision and decided to stay.Again we saw a game at Busch Stadium, and again Griffey lacked a homerun, however, we did meet Ben, one of our Baseball Adventure fans which heard about us from the Cincinnati ordeal.While Jeff and I were cruising around the stadium, Ben saw Jeffs shirt and recognized our faces and immediately jumped in excitement.Ben informed us that he too, was traveling with his buddies to different ball parks.They are following Griffey to see his 500th homerun.Of course we couldnt allow Ben and his buddies to be the only ones enjoying Griffeys milestone so we decided to stay one more night.This, of course, means that we will only have one whole day to drive to Houston.Before the third game in St Louis we took a ride to the top of the arch and also visited Ozzie Smiths restaurant. Ozzies Sports Bar and Restaurant was full of sports memorabilia including replicas of his 13 gold gloves.He also had pictures with many famous people such as Muhammad Ali, Kevin Costner, Homer Simpson and Pedro Guerrero.When we arrived at the fathers day game, we realized that the stadium had a Lou Brock bobblehead giveaway.Because George Abrahams baseball hero is Lou Brock, we swooped on a few thousand people in line to ensure his boys would get a fathers day bobblehead for him.Nothing new for the four of us of course.Mike says If you aint cheating you aint trying.If your getting caught you aint trying hard enough.Along with the bobbleheads the entire crowd sang happy birthday to Lou and he threw out the first pitch.Griffey did finally hit his homerun, and with plenty of Griffey style.The stands erupted as his ball soared into the right field stands and Griffey gave his fans a curtain call and a tip of the hat.With three games in St Louis, a walk-off homerun, and a 500th homerun under our belt, we are finally on our way to see the Astros.Miss you all, and we will see you soon.~Tuck
June 22, 2004 - Group 2 poll of Miss Baseball has been updated and placed on the balloting page. Keep the votes coming. Look back for an update on Texas including both games in Houston and Arlington. Talk to you guys soon.
June 23, 2004 - After leaving Busch we had a long haul ahead of us somewhere around 940 miles to get to Houston.We already missed our originally planned game against the Angels because we stayed around to see Griffey in St. Louis.Not a very exciting drive as we already traveled along the same road the only difference was we were going the opposite direction.We finally arrived in Houston at MinuteMaidPark home of the 2004 All-Star game, which is nestled in the outskirts of downtown.Not the best looking stadium from the outside as it appeared to be a convention center of some sort with a giant glass window.Surrounding the stadium were an assortment of painted boots each decorated differently to represent each baseball team.There were also generic ones to advertise the all-star game, check out the pictures on the photo page under the Ameriquest Photo Tab.We finally made it inside where the temperature dropped about 20 degrees upon arrival into the air conditioned retractable stadium which was obviously closed to keep the environment nice.Mike says he hates domes because of the use of Astroturf and I understand now why they use it.Although it has a retractable roof the grass was taking its toll from the indoors.It was very thin and patchy and I think I would prefer to play on Astroturf rather then dirt, what does Mike know anyways.Another odd thing about the stadium was that in dead center there is a flag pole in fair territory which is on top of a little hill.Although we did not get to see Andy Pettite or Roger Clemens, the game was rather exciting.The Pirates took an early lead in the fourth scoring four runs but the Astros answered in the fifth scoring five, enabling us to see the Minute Maid Train travel along the left field wall after a home run.The Astros would later win the game with a final score of 7-5.Upon our exit we paid visits to the bronze statues of Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio and the Conoco Gas Pump which keeps track of the total number of Astros home runs hit there since its grand opening.We headed out of the air conditioned ballpark into the humid night to get to the car where we finally end up at a Homestead Suites and called it a night.It was nice the following day to travel only 200 miles to get to our next game, the Seattle Mariners vs. the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas.Although the stadium is celebrating its tenth year it does not appear to be aging at all.I liked the way the outfield pavilion looked with the right field having a classic baseball feel with the grandstand appearance, while center field had more of a retro touch with white facades dominating your attention.It truly is a great park to see a ballgame, and we were again taken care of thanks to Seattle Mariners Pitcher J.J. Putz.Thanks again.The game was a beating as the Rangers would pull out a lopsided victory over the Mariners 10-2.After the game we were approached by possibly the nicest fans we have yet to meet on the trip.We updated the decals and stickers and headed on our way.You always hear people say Dont mess with Texas, well we didnt.We got in there saw 2 ballgames and got out.We are currently on our way to Kansas City where we plan on visiting the NegroLeagueBaseballMuseum and seeing a Royals game tomorrow afternoon.Always look forward to all your notes and messages.Dont forget to vote in the new Miss Baseball poll, and last thing Happy Birthday Mom! Wish we were there to celebrate with you. <3 Jeff
June 28, 2004 - Well, well, well, the good times keep rolling.We are currently on highway 16 in South Dakota heading towards interstate 90 which we will pick up to go to Moscow, Idaho where we have heard rumors that more great moments lie ahead, at least that is what Gary Coston and the rest of the gang has lead us to believe.It has been 36 days since the 3 originals (Jason, Jeff and Tucker) left home, and only 8 stadiums lie in our path until completion of the baseball adventure.We woke early on June 22nd to allow us to pay a visit to the NegroLeagueBaseballMuseum.Although it is not a hall of fame, it pays homage to the many greats who were not allowed to display their skills and talents with the rest of America in the major leagues because of the color of their skin.To hear about players such as Josh Gibson, who hit over 900 home runs in his negro league career, not having the chance to give Babe Ruth a run for his money makes you wonder how different this game would have been if there were no segregation.The museum offers great facts through informative displays, videos and artifacts of old jerseys, trophies and equipment.To hear stories on how players such as Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell, and Jackie Robinson would travel on a Negro all-star team playing white teams and fill stadiums to record capacities was not out of the ordinary.But it was sad to hear that when these players left the stadium they were not allowed in local restaurants, bars or even to occupy a room in the town motel.People would come from all over to see them play, but disgrace them anywhere away from the stadium.Upon conclusion of the museum you walk through a field of legends which is comprised of an all-time Negro leagues team of life-size bronze statues.A great place to visit and definitely recommended to any baseball fan that may come near Kansas City.We headed on our way out and were stopped by a pedestrian in the crosswalk who asked us if we were on a baseball road trip.He then introduced himself; his name was Rami and told us he recognized Jason from the beard page.Rami is an individual who is completing the same trip we are and is documenting his trip on rotoworld.com.We have written back and forth to one another a couple times trying to see if we would possibly have the same game.Overlooking the fact that we were both in KC at the same time we thought we would be given the opportunity to meet one another in Anaheim.What are the odds?To talk to someone and then run into one another.This trip has revolved around the greatest game in the world, baseball but has brought great times and odd coincidences.Along with the NegroLeagueMuseum we took the time to visit the JazzMuseum, which was in the same building.This paid tribute to all the jazz musicians throughout its history.Offering different audio tours and examples of music along with hands on activities such as using a mix board or creating a harmony, it provided us all with a pleasant break from the rest of our trip.Aunt Janice would be proud that we made time for other things on our adventure.After the museum it was off to Kauffmann Stadium in Kansas City to see the mighty Royals take on the fearsome Tigers.Yeah, this was the game we were dreading.This late in the trip and we get to see the Royals versus the Tigers, talk about a drag.That whole mindset changed when we pulled into the parking lot.We parked next to a guy who immediately showed interest in our trip.His name is Kerry and he works for a local newspaper in Pleasant Hill.We got to talking and seemed to almost instantly become friends.He told us that he was supposed to meet up with some friends and would have extra tickets behind home plate and if we did not mind waiting he would give them to us.Of course, anything free we will not turn down, especially tickets.Just to be safe though, because Kerry only had two extra seats we met Scott who sold us tickets for five dollars a piece, kind of insurance for us to have a seat. We stuck around for a bit and exchanged stories and after a few beers made our way into the park, with a couple new friends.As we got into the park we went to our seats and ran into Rami one more time then went to our seats that we had next to Kerry.There we met DJ, a friend of Kerrys and settled in to watch the game.The entire game conversation flowed and Kerry shared a lot of stories with us as we did with him.The Tigers ended up winning the game, a blowout, 12-3 I think, but that was not the story of the day.The story was the people we met.Kerry showed us more hospitality than we could have ever expected.Treating me to two Kansas City Brickyard Beers and each of us a plush Royals ball, he made sure we did not go home empty handed.In return to his gestures we got him a Royals shot glass because he collects them and saw one that he liked.As a side note, we got the chance to take a picture with former umpire Steve Palermo.If you dont know who he is take the time to look him up on the internet, he has a great story. At the conclusion of the game Kerry wanted us to go to guest relations where we would sign the Royals guestbook.Here we were treated like kings.We met Jim and Frank there and were given more than we expected.We got certificates commemorating our first visit to Kaufmann Stadium declaring us official Royals fans, car flags for each of us, a bobble head, a hat, and pins for each of us.Not to sound corny but I guess you could say we got the Royal treatment.We went to the parking lot and parted ways with Kerry who left us with the suggestion of checking out a nearby minor league stadium, CommunityAmericaPark, home of the Kansas City T-Bones.We took his advice and headed towards there but not before I did a quick walk around Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs play.The two stadiums share the same parking lot.When we got to the minor league park we saw that they had a game that evening and did not plan on stopping until we saw that it was bobble head night.Of course, with the craze of bobble heads going around we had to get a ticket and get one, not knowing what it was.So we did, $4.50 got us a seat on the berm, an Al Gallagher bobble head (yeah, we did not know who he was either) and another game to add to our list. The T-Bones won the game 7-3.Now it was time for the long haul to Seattle for game number 23.On our way there our first stop was Oklahoma City one more time.Even though Jeff, Jason and Tucker had already gone, I had to see what all the hype was about Bricktown.It is all legit, truly the best minor league park I have seen.Just around the corner was the Oklahoma City Memorial, so we took the time so I could check that out too.The next stop was Sioux City where we saw Lewis and ClarkPark where the Sioux City Explorers play.The stadium was not anything that I would write home about. . . actually, I guess it was but it was still very plain nonetheless.Our next gas stop we paid homage to our trip hero Paul.Paul Richards, the camera guy, works for a company called Tradewinds, which makes iced tea.He told us that we can find it at a convenience store called Kum and Go.It was not until now that we found one so we had to stop to try it.Hey Paul, Snapple does not have anything on you!The drive through South Dakota had more to offer than we had thought.In my opinion, South Dakota should be known for the most pointless tourist attractions off the highway.The first thing we came across was the CornPalace.This was a building devoted to corn.Yes, it had a corn museum and a corn gift shop.Even got a smashed CornPalace penny.Dee Dee, how about that for your collection?The building itself is adorned with corn all over the outside of it that is changed out annually.This year it was a tribute to Lewis and Clark.Driving through the rest of South Dakota we came across the best advertised drug store in the world, Wall Drug.Just on our part of the drive we counted 94 ads, and that was not including the thirty miles we skipped to drive through the Badlands.
June 29, 2004 - (Continued from previous update) The Badlands is a National Park that we drove through.Before entering the park itself we took a bathroom break and ran into a couple bikers who showed interest in our car.We talked for a bit and left, thinking that was all we would see of them.In the park we took one stop to get a close up view and the bikers stopped at the same spot so we said hello to them there.The last stretch of the park we were right behind them as we exited the park and passed them, waving for what we thought would be our last goodbye, more on that in a bit.We got to Wall Drug, which is a mile long drug store offering everything including restaurants and different things to entertain an otherwise bored traveler.We stopped for lunch and ordered buffalo.It was the first time we all had it, except Tucker had chicken, and it was not too bad.Right when we ordered we were treated with yet another surprise, the bikers showed up to eat at the same place we were at.Of course we all shared a laugh and a few more stories and we though at this time we had to give them one of our shirts and the favor was then returned by Danny and Brandy, yes we were on a first name basis, giving us shirts of their own.We told them we were headed towards Mount Rushmore and they told us about a scheduled blasting at the Crazy Horse Memorial.We saw Mount Rushmore and headed towards Crazy Horse where we spent the four hours walking through the museum and tailgating in the parking lot, making soup and chili.The people in the parking lot, who came to see the blasting saw what we were doing and came over to see what was up.Jeff and Jason talked to a family from Detroit while Tucker and I entertained a family from Florida on their way to Alaska.The group on their way to Alaska bought two shirts and the family from Detroit bought six.We talked so much with the Alaska group (John, Karen, Debbie, Tom) that they actually invited me to meet them in Calgary on July 9th to finish the journey with them.Very tempting.The blasting started and we all were excited.Before we actually got settled in to watch the rest of it, it was over.Very anticlimactic but I think we were all glad we stayed anyways.Supposedly we saw 187 tons of rock blow off of this mountain.After the blasting Jason went to throw our trash away and guess who he ran into.You guessed it, or maybe you did not, but Danny and Brandy crossed our path again.This time we all greeted each other with hugs and took more pictures.As we left Danny left us with this advice.It went something like this, picture this with a group of bikers behind him: -You guys go home, go back to school, get a good education, get really good jobs, pay your taxes, pay your social security. . .so we can keep (riding) for the rest of our lives!-After the farewell it was off to Moscow, Idaho where Tucker will update you all in a couple days.Until then, take care, love you all and we will be home soon enough. - Mike
June 30, 2004 - Were driving… were driving…were driving…were stopping…just kidding, still driving.Howdy ya’ll! I am writing you from the wonderful 5 freeway in northern California.God I love being sorta home.Since Mike last wrote, we have driven through five new states including the wonderfully boring south Dakota, beautiful Montana, and Idaho where we met up with my brother Gary and a few of his buddies from Moscow Idaho.Dave Ting was kind enough to let us stay at his place.On top of giving us shelter, he let us use his washer and dryer, set up poker night on the unusual Sunday night for us, and fed us.When I say fed us, I mean he cooked oysters and hot dogs and then barbequed the greatest ribs in the history of barbequing ribs.Emeril who?He promised to post the recipe on our website so keep an eye out.While in Moscow we also hung out with a few of Gary and Dave’s friends, so here are my shout outs. Mike’s 2 year old drinks like a fish, Rob is the doctor in town, Stiles has a big mouth, James kicked my butt in poker, Lance and his wife have a huge kid and Lance took my friend home with him.Yeah I dont about Lance either. Joe’s boy is massive too.I think they are putting something in the water up in Moscow.On top of poker and the barbeque, we got to experience the first annual barbeque toss in Dave’s backyard.Dave won the competition out of a field of 1 participant(s).He lost points on style after taking a nasty roll down the stairs, but he recovered with a world record breaking toss of 4 feet.Nice toss Dave.Keep training, Im coming for your title next year.After sleeping off the long night, Gary and Dave took us to The Breakfast Club for…well, breakfast.We said our good byes and left for Seattle.It was a long drive through a lot of nothing, but we made it in time to barbeque again with Brian Focker Crawford, Chris Badilla, and Chris’s cousin and girlfriend (miss Safeco).Although the game was uneventful, the stadium was an overall good experience.As you may know Safeco has a retractable roof, but this roof is completely separate from the stadium making the stadium open unlike MillerPark or Minute Maid.The roof is like a mobile awning that slides over the stadium like a giant umbrella.The Mariner’s lost the game to the Rangers 8-5 but there was a streaker in the 6th inning which brought life to the game.On our drive through Oregon we stopped at a few minor league parks and in Salem-Keizer we met Steve.Steve works at Volcano Stadium and allowed us to come in and walk around for a bit.Thanks Steve.We are now currently on our way to the A’s game.Check back in a couple of days for another update.Adios amigos! - Tucker
July 1, 2004 - The Rocky marathon has officially been launched on the BA2K4 trip.Sorry, you can not tune into your local station and watch one of the best sports series ever.On a side note Miss Jacobs Field is coming for the title of Miss Baseball with over 40 votes received today.The mayor of Cleveland must have rallied his people to vote.Anyways got to run Rocky II is starting at .Look back later for an update from Oakland where we got to meet up with baseball adventures number one fan, Janice Schmitz along with some great competition in the home-cooked meals by Grandma and Grandpa Bleskey. -Jeff
July 2, 2004 - Hey guys, many stadiums have helped cut the costs of the trip by giving us complimentary tickets but we finally got a ticket that we didn’t really want.Mike is the guilty one, he got a speeding ticket from Officer Garcia of Washington State Patrol who was on a power trip because he did not only give us a ticket he thought he was so good he pulled over another guy at the same time.He was proud of himself.Anyways we arrived in Concord, California early Wednesday afternoon where we met up with Grandma and Grandpa Bleskey.Of course the table was already filled with snacks, fruit and other munchies and the smell of lasagna filled the house.Always seeing Grandma and Grandpa is a plus, but it was a bummer they could not make it to the game with us.We visited and told them about the trip as Grandma always wants to be kept updated and Grandpa shared some of his baseball moments from the old days of Warren Spahn in Milwaukee.We arrived at Network Associates Coliseum, home of the world’s largest foul territory, where we were greeted by Uncle Stefan and our number one fan, Aunt Janice.It brought back memories of when we used to meet at the ballpark when I was attending San FranciscoStateUniversity, Wednesday night games, two dollar tickets and dollar hot dogs.Although from previous experiences I have learned that fifty percent of the hot dogs are not consumed but rather piled with condiments and then used as projectiles through the stands at the other teams fans.Not to worry we kept a good amount of ammunition ourselves but ended up eating them when no threat was shown.So we picked up our complimentary tickets at will call thanks to Matt Bennett and the Angels organization and spent the first two innings in the seats below and then headed up towards the top to meet the rest of the gang from up north.After making a long trek themselves Dad and Joe made it to the game where we also were greeted by Cousin Karen and Virgus.Always great to see a game with dad, especially when the Angels are playing.While watching the game we ran into the loudest and annoying fans during the whole trip, and of course they sat right behind us, but I guess you can not complain for $2 seats.The game was kept close with a 2-2 tie after Adam Kennedys 2- run homer, but Oakland scored 2 in the 8th.The Angels blew their chance by getting shut down in the 9th after Vladimir Guerrero ran himself into an out by rounding first base too far and got hosed when trying to return safely.Of course immediately after the 3rd out was made my phone rang and Grandpa was there to rub in the loss, but it is ok because the season is only half way done.We headed back to the parking lot where we removed the excess luggage and had Dad and Joe take it back home to give us a little more room for the last stretch of the trip.Then came the traditional ritual where Aunt Janice was the honoree of placing the Oakland completion sticker on the back window.Look forward to seeing you all again Tuesday at the Giants game.We said our goodbyes to the Coliseum and Mount Davis (A section of seats added for Raiders games that have a view close to that of your ant farm at home) and headed back to Concord where we slept for the night.The next morning we got a wake-up call, but this one was different; this one was the smell of French toast being cooked from the kitchen.Thanks Grandma!Since time was a factor we had to leave early and head towards Denver a total of almost 1300 miles in two days.You may think that is nuts but tomorrow night we have to be in Phoenix a total of 900 miles away.Check back for an update from Coors Field home of the Colorado Rockies.Talk to you guys later.- Jeff