This guide to all 30 major-league baseball stadiums manages to be thorough, enthusiastic, and quite entertaining.
Josh Pahigian and Kevin O’Connell have done what many baseball fans only dream about doing, and they’ve done it not just once, but twice. Their fantasy come true? Attending games at all 30 major-league stadiums, and doing it during one whirlwind season.
Their travels form the basis of “The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip, 2nd Edition,” a nearly 500-page guide that mixes detailed descriptions of each big-league ballpark, team histories, and reviews of food and baseball-related city attractions.
The original opus was published in 2004, when the authors were fresh out of grad school. Even though they both now have families, complicating a reunion tour, their publisher supported revisiting the subject matter in a 2.0 version, partly because eight new ballparks have been built in the interim. And partly because the fan response to the first book, in letters and e-mails, was so encouraging.
Why are fans so enamored of baseball parks? Probably because a sense of place is so integral to the experience of attending a game. Stadiums have their own individual character, created by differing field dimensions and outfield walls, which are such a focal point and factor in the outcome of many games. Plus, these days, as the authors underscore, teams strive mightily to enhance the ambience inside and outside parks with everything from kid zones and team museums to fair-like concession areas and water features.
As many as 20 pages are devoted to each ballpark, yet there are no seating diagrams explaining the pros and cons of various sections. The reason is simple. Links are provided to the team websites that carry ticket information and seating charts. In this vein, links are also shared to baseball blogs, Web forums, and the menus of restaurants and bars in ballpark neighborhoods.