I was Inducted into Sports Travel and Tours’ Baseball Stadium Hall of Fame along with five other travelers who had been to all thirty Major League Stadiums for a game with Sports Travel and Tours. The idea to recognize baseball fans for this accomplishment was put together by Jay Smith, President of Sports Travel and Tours.
It was a big thrill for me as a lifetime fan of the game. Real fans want to see every ball park in person and to be honored in Cooperstown in a first class way for this successful quest was beyond my wildest dreams. We were invited to Cooperstown for Induction weekend and our induction was held in the Bullpen Theater at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, where we were warmly welcomed by the Hall personnel. We also attended the induction of Dave Winfield, Bill Mazarosky and Kirby Puckett along with all the surrounding festivities.
Sports Travel and Tours notified my local paper in St. Pete and my home town paper in NJ and both responded with articles They also notified my home team, The Tampa Bay Rays, and not only did they send me a jersey with my name on it with a Rays hat, but the owner flew up to Cooperstown for my induction. When I returned to St. Pete, he had me throw out the first pitch for a Rays – A’s game. In 2004, the Rays also inducted me into the Rays Wall of Fame along with Dick Vitale.
Even though it has been a lot of years since my induction, I stay in touch with the other 6 inductees in the Class and four of us go on a baseball road trip each year together. Since we have been to all the ball parks, we try to see every new stadium and this year we will head to Miami. Baseball fans come from all walks of life. We have a retired Librarian from Milwaukee, a former engineer from a major oil company from Dallas, a Fortune 500 exec from Florida, an English Accountant and two young lawyers from Connecticut who had just graduated high school when they were inducted. All have become good friends and several of us attempt to go to most of the inductions to invite new members into this very special fraternity.
As a former sand lot, Little League, Babe Ruth League, High School, American Legion and college baseball player, this was my top baseball thrill. Each stadium is very unique and one of the 30 “Cathedrals of Baseball”. I’ve enjoyed the Baseball Road Trips with Sports Travel and Tours as I’ve gotten to meet baseball fans from all over the world and being in Sports Travel and Tours’ Baseball Stadium Hall of Fame makes for some great conversation during the entertaining first class bus trips from ball park to ball park. I call it a “Cruise of the Ball Parks” because all you need to do is sit back and enjoy each port.
Why do we go on Baseball Road Trips? As the movie says: “FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME” .