The schedule is the number one enemy in putting this together, and geography is the schedule’s evil twin.
Sure, if you have unlimited funds and resources, you can choose to use airlines and eliminate the concerns of time and distance when driving from place to place… and even overcome issues with possible rainouts.
That said, most of us live in the real world… a place in which we have to worry about costs and practical barriers… such as driving across the entire country and back. So this schedule is being developed with a serious nod to being practical; i.e., something that actually could be executed by a group of 4-6 people on a mission to get it done.
Still, when putting this together there are geographic realities to consider.
Getting Miami, Tampa Bay, and Atlanta together on 3 consecutive days is important.
Getting the Astros and Rangers on consecutive days is also important, though we’ll find it’s not a back-breaker if that pairing doesn’t work.
The Pacific Time Zone group is very difficult. Getting Oakland and San Francisco together is one problem; getting the Angels, Dodgers, Padres, and D-Backs in a group is harder.
The Rockies and Mariners are a problem all to themselves.
Fortunately, everything else can be fudged into place.
But… the Schedule!
Yeah, that was a problem this time. There was just no way to put it all together in the 32 days that worked out so well in 2016. So this time… two parts.
Maybe that will keep maintain a chance for a car full of friends to remain friends for the full 30 games.
So let’s see how this comes together… you’ll get started on June 19th, 2017.
Nov 2, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the marquee after game seven of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians outside of Wrigley Field. Cubs won 8-7. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Part 1 – the Eastern Swing
17 games in seventeen days. The driving is actually relatively compact… but don’t forget to bring your passport.
MON., JUNE 19. MARLINS STADIUM, MIAMI.
The Marlins host the Washington Nationals to open this escapade. If you want to sneak in an extra game by starting in Atlanta, the Braves will be hosting these Marlins on Sunday the 18th.
TUE., JUNE 20. TROPICANA FIELD, ST. PETE, FL.
Inter-league play today with the Cincinnati Reds coming to Florida.
WED., JUNE 21. SUNTRUST PARK, ATLANTA, GA.
The San Francisco Giants are in Atlanta for their first look at SunTrust Park as Summer began early in the wee hours of this morning.
THR., JUNE 22. CITIZENS BANK PARK, PHILADELPHIA.
Get your red gear on as the Cardinals visit the Phillies
FRI., JUNE 23. FENWAY PARK, BOSTON.
Speaking of traveling long distances… the Angels will be in to start their only trip to Boston.
SAT., JUNE 24. YANKEE STADIUM, NEW YORK.
The Texas Rangers will be in Yankee Stadium on this day. It would have been nice to pick up the Mets on this weekend as well, but they left town before this traversal started… and won’t be back for a while.
SUN., JUNE 25. NATIONALS PARK, WASHINGTON.
Our second look at the Cincinnati club already… and certainly not the last. Still more ‘red’.
MON., JUNE 26. PROGRESSIVE FIELD, CLEVELAND.
Let’s follow the Rangers, too, it seems. They will join you in Cleveland after leaving the Yankees.
TUE., JUNE 27. COMERICA PARK, DETROIT.
The Kansas City Royals will be in Detroit this date for a divisional tilt.
WED., JUNE 28. ROGERS CENTRE, TORONTO.
A different divisional lash-up here as we venture into Canada across the Great Lakes.
THR., JUNE 29. PNC PARK, PITTSBURGH.
Back into the USA, the Pirates will be hosting the Tampa Bay Rays.
FRI., JUNE 30. CITI FIELD, NEW YORK.
Okay, the Mets are finally back in town… they get the phightin’ Phillies.
SAT., JULY 1. ORIOLE PARK AT CAMDEN YARDS, BALTIMORE.
A third look already at the Rays in one of my favorite venues.
SUN., JULY 2. GREAT AMERICA BALLPARK, CINCINNATI.
The Reds (again) will host the the World Champion Cubs in this weekend set.
MON., JULY 3. BUSCH STADIUM, ST. LOUIS.
The Cardinals will play host to the Nationals.
TUE., JULY 4. WRIGLEY FIELD, CHICAGO.
A great place to spend the 4th of July. But believe it or not, it’s the Rays again for a fourth time in this initial segment.
JULY 5. MILLER PARK, MILWAUKEE.
The seventeenth game on the seventeenth day is here in Milwaukee against the Baltimore Orioles as we suddenly have a spate of inter-league games. After this… drive home and rest up for a week and a half.
Part of the fun in doing this is that there are certain parts of the season in which a ballpark traversal is just not possible.
During the first couple weeks of the season, the schedule makers want to get everyone their home openers, plus add off-days to insure rainouts can be accommodated.
The All-Star break is a natural barrier for similar reasons as teams are usually having short trips and homestands on both sides of the break. Also, September tends to be a problematic month.
All of that means there are only a few windows of opportunity to schedule a trip like this… and it just didn’t work out well for 2017… so we’ll split it up.
Feb 6, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; Scenic view of the Golden Gate bridge prior to Super Bowl 50. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s Go West!
Thirteen games in thirteen stadiums remain… and since this is the looong driving part, that’s a good thing.
Still, some of these games have longer trips than I’d have liked to see, but once again, it’s the schedule that forces the issues.
FRI., JULY 14. MINUTE MAID PARK, HOUSTON.
Immediately out of the All-Star Break, we launch into phase 2. The Minnesota Twins will be in Houston to crack open the season’s traditional second half.
SAT., JULY 15. KAUFFMAN STADIUM, KANSAS CITY.
It’s the Rangers again.. and we still haven’t even seen them in their own native habitat.
SUN., JULY 16. GUARANTEED RATE PARK, CHICAGO.
The Seattle Mariners will be in town… new name for this stadium, but it’s still New Comiskey to me.
MON., JULY 17. TARGET FIELD, MINNEAPOLIS.
The Yankees are playing the Twins this week and you get to see them here.
TUE., JULY 18. COORS FIELD, DENVER.
Let’s have our first looks at both the Rockies and the visiting San Diego Padres.
WED., JULY 19. O.CO PARK, OAKLAND.
California. This is one of the two longest drives of the trip. The trick here was in finding the Athletics at home. They caused trouble with this whole plan… but we found a way, even it they happen to be playing the Tampa Bay Rays… yes, it’s the Rays again: you have their lineup memorized yet?
THR., JULY 20. SAFECO FIELD, SEATTLE.
I apologize for this sequencing, but there was just no other way since Seattle is just now getting back home. They host the Yankees, who are continuing their own West Coast run..
FRI., JULY 21. AT&T PARK, SAN FRANCISCO.
With the Giants home along with Oakland, we’ll at least take advantage of that to help break up your Pacific Coast Highway trek. The Padres are in town.
SAT., JULY 22, DODGER STADIUM, LOS ANGELES.
Finally! A second look at the Braves! Woo Hoo!
SUN., JULY 23, ANGELS STADIUM, ANAHEIM.
The Boston Red Sox return the favor from the beginning of this trip – now in Anaheim to face the Angels.