Eddie Barrios of Monterey Park, California, has a mind for numbers, whether they are in Excel files in his office computer or playing out on the ball field.
Now 56, Eddie started keeping score at Dodgers games when he was just eight years old, with his enjoyment of statistics transforming into a career as an accountant for a 1,093-unit apartment complex that spreads across two zip codes in downtown Los Angeles.
“I’ve always been a numbers kind of guy,” Eddie says. “I can tell you stats of a game I went to 40 years ago, but ask me what I had for breakfast the other day, and I couldn’t tell you.”
His passion for baseball stats is part of what has made Eddie and Sports Travel and Tours a match that adds up. He began traveling with our group back in 1997, after seeing our advertisement in a sports magazine.
“They seemed pretty interesting,” Eddie says of our getaways. “I wanted to see the older ballparks, and got started with a trip through Boston, Detroit, part of Canada and Cooperstown, New York.”
Eddie has since been on about 25 baseball, football and hockey trips, and he was inducted four years ago into the Sports Travel and Tours Stadium Hall of Fame for visiting all 30 Major League ballparks.
“It’s all been a great experience,” Eddie says. “There are trips for everybody, and you meet a lot of great people. You see some of the same people over and over again, running into them at the airport and comparing notes on where you’re going.”
This year, Eddie’s decided to journey off on the Major Minor Southern Swing trip in May.
That offering, which runs from Monday, May 22 to Sunday, May 28, includes four games at four different ballparks with stops in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. In addition to watching games, travelers receive tickets to the Grand Ole Opry and tour the World of Coca Cola museum, a CNN studio, the College Football Hall of Fame, Rickwood Field and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.
Though the Southern Swing trip will be Eddie’s third Major Minor trip, he’s looking forward to it, as he always does.
“You’re seeing some of the same people, which is a highlight,” Eddie says. “The new stadium in Atlanta, SunTrust Park, is a draw as well. It’s great to add to my baseball resume.”
As a traveler who’s followed our trips and the major and minor leagues, Eddie also enjoys watching players move up in the ranks, and he enjoys the information sessions we offer with retired Major League umpire Al Clark.
“People ask Al questions like, ‘What managers give you the most trouble?’ or ‘What players give you the most trouble?’” he says.
Having never been to Alabama, and having last visited Nashville nearly 40 years ago, Eddie says he looks forward to exploring that part of the country. Plus, on many Sports Travel and Tours trips, Eddie and the other travelers have stayed in the same hotel as the visiting team, making for welcomed interactions and memorable stays.
Eddie says he talks up our trips often with friends. Learn more about the Major Minor Southern Swing trip.