Monday, April 16, 2012

RickOHIO Revisited: Northeast Baseball Tour '98

This is a web column written before blogs were blogs at  This one was originally posted at in 1998. It was written to commemorate a memorable baseball trip that started 14 years ago on this date.

Northeast Baseball Tour '98
by RickOHIO

April 1998
Fans of baseball often dream of seeing a baseball game in every city in the country in a season. Costs of travel, schedules, and other factors make it a tough thing to do.

The baseball schedule in mid April gives a fanatic Major League baseball fan a chance to fulfill a part of that dream. Eight stadiums, nine games, and 14 different teams come together in one tour of baseball ballparks in the Northeast United States April 16 through 30.

I'll be taking this tour starting April 16 by plane, train, and automobile.

In a sign of the times, most of the arrangements were made over the Internet. I was able to check game times, order game tickets, plan around train and flight schedules, see possible hotel accomodations, and explore other tourism opportunities during my trip all from the comfort of my desk chair at home.

The trip starts with a flight from CAK (Akron-Canton Airport) to BWI (Baltimore-Washington airport) on US Airways on April 16. A Thursday afternoon game in Baltimore affords me a chance to boo Albert Belle (and his White Sox teammates) along with a full house of Orioles fans. The Orioles' web site lets me get a preview of the view from my seat assignment at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

That evening, via Amtrak, I'm off to New York City. Amtrak's Metroliner train reaches speeds of 125 MPH and gets me there in just over two hours. This is the first of five Amtrak stops I'll be making.

I can walk from my Manhattan hotel to the Today Show. Look for me on TV at around 8:00 a.m. before I head off for a tour of New York City. Former Cleveland weatherman Al Roker and Ohio University grad Matt Laurer are two stars of the show.

Friday night the Yankees play the Tigers in the Bronx. George Steinbrenner is a Cleveland guy but we don't like to talk about that often. Later, I'm back on Amtrak for an overnight trip to Boston on the train.

The Cleveland Indians will have two more fans on hand for their weekend series versus the Bosox. Tribe fans will be surprised to know how easy it is to get tickets by calling the Red Sox 24-hour ticket number at 617-482-4SOX. Saturday and Sunday games in Fenway Park will find me deep in the right field stands.

I'm in a car for the first time in four days to visit my uprooted Ohio family now living in the Albany, New York area. Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame aren't far from there. The boyhood home of Abner Doubleday is still standing in a small town near Albany too. The Indians' farm team is in Watertown, New York.

Montreal is my next stop as I leave the country for an Expos game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night, April 22nd. April in Quebec isn't so bad with Olympic Stadium's dome.

It's back on the train at Albany Thursday for a short trip back to New York City. This time, the cross-town Mets play a night game against the Astros and I'll be there.

The quick trip to Philadelphia the next day leaves me plenty of time to see the Liberty Bell and other historic stops in Philly before I see the Cardinals again against the Phillies this time.

It's a real quick Metroliner trip back to Baltimore for a Saturday afternoon game. The Athletics are in town versus the Orioles for another chance to soak in Camden Yards and Baltimore's Inner Harbor area.

I fly back to Akron-Canton on Saturday night and complete my baseball tour by catching up with the Pirates in Pittsburgh a few days later on April 30.

When it comes to a trip like this, you gotta love baseball to do it. But if you love baseball, you gotta do it.

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