A Baseball Road Trip: It’s a Home Run
May 29, 2012 | Permalink
Baseball is our national pastime. Americans have a longstanding love of the game that for some fans borders on religiosity. The same can be said about our car culture. The first phrase-completing word that comes up when you type “Americans love their . . .” into Google is “cars.” America is where the modern road trip was born—midwifed into existence by motel and drive-in-lined interstate highways like Route 66. What better way to explore the spirit of America than to hop in the car for a baseball road trip?
Historic Fenway Park
Fenway, the oldest Major League ballpark and the only one on the National Register of Historic Places, is celebrating its centennial this year. Boston’s fans love their legendarily hard-luck team. No team’s fans have ever partied harder than the Sox fans did when their team won the Series in 2004, having failed to do so since 1918. Every game at Fenway has been a sellout since May 15, 2003. So you’ll need to order your tickets ahead of time to see a game in this hallowed home of baseball.
Charm and Convenience at the New Yankee Stadium
The new Yankee Stadium, which replaced the legendary “House That Ruth Built,” was built in 2009 at a cost of $1.5 billion—the most expensive baseball stadium ever constructed. A retro-classic ballpark architecturally in tribute to the old Yankee Stadium, it looks just as grand as the 1923 stadium originally did. At the new Yankee Stadium, you get the class of the old park without the drawbacks. The new park does not incorporate the old park’s mid-70s renovations, which, notoriously, did not improve convenience much and diminished the stadium’s stately beauty significantly. And, unlike the old stadium, there are plenty of bathrooms—so you won’t miss half the game in line.
Pomp and History in Cooperstown
After you take in some quality baseball at Yankee Stadium, you should head up to the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, to bask in the glorious history of the great game. Hall of Fame Weekend is an ideal time to visit. You can watch the induction ceremony for free. The weekend involves a series of activities for the whole baseball-loving family—including the Parade of Legends, when the year’s inductees (which this year are Barry Larkin and Ron Santo) parade down Cooperstown’s Main Street and connect with their fans.
Nostalgia at Wrigley Field
This field may share the name of a corporation (it’s named for the founder of the Wrigley Company, who owned the team for a time in the early 20th century), but it does not have any of the flashy qualities of the newer stadiums named for corporations—like the Mets’ Citi Field or the Giants’ AT&T Park. This stadium, with its iconic ivy-coated walls, is a link to a time when baseball and the world were a whole lot simpler. Wrigley, the last Major League stadium to install lights, is in a lot of ways exactly what the retro-classic ballparks, like Camden Yards, Turner Field and the aforementioned new Yankee Stadium, are trying to emulate. A glance at the hand-cranked scoreboard will take you back to a time before multimillionaire players and steroid scandals made the game feel a bit different.
Retiring from the Game (for the Night)
After an all-American day of baseball and road tripping, you’ll want all-American accommodations. That means convenience but not too much coddling. That’s what you’ll get at Extended Stay Hotels—where you can make your own dinner, do your own laundry and stay connected to the world with free Wi-Fi.
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