Thursday, February 05, 2009

"101 Baseball Places" a good way to work through these tough times

This week I purchased what is probably the third-coolest book ever.

The first, of course, is “Mets by the Numbers” by Jon Springer and Matt Silverman.

Second place goes to “Faith and Fear in Flushing” by Greg Prince, though I suspect he will vault into a tie for first place when the book is published this spring and I get a chance to actually read it.

But third is “101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out” by Josh Pahigian, which came out last year. I discovered it at the Gerald Ford Museum, which just wrapped up an awesome baseball exhibit.

Pahigian has written several books about baseball road trips, and this tome seems to be a list of the top 101 places he discovered along his various treks.

They’re not just stadiums, and not just museums, though there are plenty of each. But he also has an eye for the quirky, off-the-beaten path kinds of places that only a true obsessive must see and experience.

In other words, he’s one of us. Actually, he’s a Red Sox fan, so he’s not quite one of us. But he probably hates the Yankees, so he’s fairly close.

Flipping through the book, I realized that I’ve been to bunch of these places. I haven’t added them up, but I bet I’m closing in on half of his list, usually with a pretty good adventure along the way.

So why haven’t I given some examples?

Because I want to use this space to work through the book place by place, sharing some of those adventures and photos along the way.

And there are some glaring omissions. Dude is a Sox fan, after all. And sometimes he appears not the hate the Yankees as much as he should, though that might be pandering to appease the Yankee fans who can read. But I can fill the gaps with those places.

Why take this path?

Because it’s a long way to Opening Day, the Mets roster is pretty much set and I’m really tired about hearing about Yankee books, Scott Boras shenanigans, Citi Field naming disputes, Shea’s destruction, Olympic bongers, Barry’s legal woes and the never-ending snow in these parts.

In short, we need to celebrate all that is good in life.

We’ll start tomorrow with Baseball Place No. 1. Here’s a hint. Tom Seaver gets in for free, Bat-chucker will have to buy a ticket, if there is any justice in this world.


Anonymous said...

Sounds fun! I was just thinking today that since football is over we can look forward to baseball! It being my Tom Seaver year and all, I have to take a guess as to where the first stop might be. Could it be Tom's vineyard? I mean, who wouldn't want to see that??

Confluence City said...

There is also a great book about baseball stadiums (well, any number of them) that makes one want to see them all. Even the ones that look alike. Our fellow Mets brother Ken "Trolley Car" Schlap of Queens saw every MLB team in one summer, when companies still had money and his company actually granted him a "sabbatical."

I also pitch a Puerto Rico baseball travel story about once a year and never get a taker.

Am I a traitor if I buy the new Torre book?

Mets Guy in Michigan said...

Traitor? Heck no! We need all the Yankee dirt ammo we can get!

Mike V said...

I like the idea of visiting The Franchise's winery. Although, it seems like GTS only shows up to Mets games nowadays to promote the grape juice. Doesn't really seem that into the game anymore.