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The Summer that was

This past summer, I got to do something that I've wanted to do for a long time.  I traveled to a number of Ballparks in the Northern US with my wife for my 30th Birthday.  With the onset of cold in Southern Ontario... I thought it a GREAT time to look back on the baseball summer that was... and look forward to the summer ahead!

I'm back in Bford! Krissy and I spent last week traveling around the Northern US on an awesome Baseball road trip. I've wanted to do something like this for quite a number of years and it was a cool experience to be able to do it with your wife. It was a much needed holiday/30th birthday gift/8th anniversary present. Many people were shocked that Krissy would choose this as a vacation... but what a wife I have!

So here's the low-down


Georgous ballpark in and around the stadium, unfortunately our seats had a dirty piece of Plexiglases right in our line of sight. Nothing like the breathtaking view of someone's spit to make for a memorable ball game. If you stay in the right places, downtown Detroit isn't too bad... but when you're going back to your car at 11pm and the crowd keeps walking straight as you make a sharp left only to find yourself as 2 little white people walking alone along the interstate... is that a bad sign???


Spent 1 night. Not much to say. Gooooo Mudhens?


You gotta stop at Cedar Point if you're a roller coaster junkie. It's been years since Krissy's been able to ride rides since for the past 4 summers, she's either been pregnant or attached at the... ummm... lets say "Hip" to a kid. There is a ride called the "Top Thrill Dragster" that goes 120mph straight up in the air 420 feet in the air.... Hummm baby


Cleveland gets a bad rap... but what a beautiful city and an amazing ball park. You're so close to the action with real baseball fans in a cool city setting. Cleveland actually reminds me of Toronto in many ways.... only with more local characters in and around the park. I was wearing a "Canada" t-shirt and was a very popular dude with the scalpers. Highly recommend the whole experience


Spent 2 night there. It's much bigger than I expected. I almost forgot that they have an NHL hockey team. Got lost on the interstate one night and ended up driving through the ghetto. My first thought was, "Yup... this is the REAL hockey market here". Cuddos Gary Betman.


One of the most humid afternoons I have ever experienced. Dripping with sweat from batting practice to the final out. But another fantastic ballpark and an amazing experience. I'm not sure if I'll be able to enjoy another game at "The Rogers Center"... although props to the TO hot dog vendors. They thrash the Cincinnati hot dogs over the head with a pole. It was 1$ hot dog day... and they tasted that way too.

Baseball really is not a life metaphor. It holds no greater life meaning (that comes from elsewhere). Shoeless Joe Jackson did not appear out of any cornfields. But I love the game. I love the relaxed pace. I love the green grass. I love how I can show up in a city that is not my own and speak a common baseball language with strangers and find honest common ground. I love that it gives me time to sit back and put my arm around my wife and enjoy a memorable evening together. We can choose to talk... or not talk. It's a pretty game that helps create a setting for relationship. It was neutral ground and a constant talking point for me and my Dad, when as a teenager, common ground was hard to find. It's ebb and flow, puts my mind at ease an lets my brain check out for a while (and that's not an easy thing for my brain to do). I honestly couldn't tell you the scores, who won or lost... nor do I care. I care that I shared a new experience with my wife that I get to treasure. That's something of worth to me.

Dave Carrol
On August 14th 2006