May 26th, 2018
I’m 2/3 of the way to Boston. It’s been a smooth flight, where I spent the last few hours watching ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’. Unfortunately campy at times, but beautiful in moments, this movie is about embracing life.
At the end of the day, that’s what these trips are. Not just the baseball ones. All of them. My time with Amy and the girls relaxing at the lake, or traveling, are the times when I feel the most alive. The day to day stuff can be a real drain sometimes. I feel like I’m watching a clock face spinning out of control sometimes. I want to grab the hands to stop them from turning, but they’re too strong. These times away, both with and without family, are really the only times that time seems to slow down. It’s a feeling I cherish – A fuel for an often empty and too-drained tank.
Day to day life can be exhausting. The constant movement and rush. There are days where it literally feels like I don’t have time to use the bathroom, let alone see and enjoy who is in front of me. The girls are growing so fast – too fast – but they’re turning into such amazing people, and so different and unique in their own ways. The trips with them are always amazing and important – maybe not to them, but for me.
August 5th, 2018
The time continues to spin, doesn’t it? It’s been a packed few months interspersed with fun! I had another amazing trip to Boston (both this May and last May,) as well as a quick 2 day trip to Atlanta and Suntrust Park last September to keep my all-30 alive.
I’d originally planned on visiting a friend of mine in Maine when I was there during Memorial Day, but had been so busy that I didn’t want to add any extra miles just for the sake of more driving.
I was in Fenway literally every day I was in Boston, which was great. I grabbed an Uber to my hotel from the airport and saw the game was still going and decided ‘What the hell?’ I stopped at my hotel to drop off my stuff, then made it to the ‘Bleacher Bar’ at Fenway around the 5th inning. I went up to 2 girls, Ada and Lauren , two students at Boston University, and asked if I could sit at their table if I bought them beers. They hesitated for a second (probably thinking, ‘Who is this old guy?’) then said OK and we ended up talking for the rest of the game, the at bats acting pretty much as background noise.
I was shooting to walk 50 miles during the 5 days and ended up with 34 or so, so not bad. The weather was glorious this year, compared to the off and on rain the year before. I changed my flight to come in a day early after a last minute surprise, a Red Sox Alumni game. Roughly half of the Alumni squad were Fantasy Camp coaches. I was there for Pedro. It had been 15 years since my first visit to Fenway, where I watched Pedro strike out a dozen on a sunny Saturday. Today he struck out two.
It was a picture perfect day for this year’s Reunion Game. Clear, sunny, and amazing! I played LF, CF, SS, and 1st, and went 1 for 2. (I’m 2 for 4 over my two games at Fenway Park.)
I’m going to take a year off from Fantasy Camp to follow Metallica through the South East this upcoming January. If I’m lucky I’ll make it to the Reunion game again next year too, but we’ll see. I haven’t decided what the future will hold for Fantasy Camp. It’s an amazing time, but part of me wants to do new things, while the other part of me wants to take it more seriously and train for it. My outfield performance was real shitty this year, which really bummed me out. I feel like I need redemption or something!
Today I’m writing from a plane (shocker) on the way to Seattle to Spokane, then a drive to Priest Lake. Megan and I were back in Anaheim for the Jen Schro Catching Camp. She had another great week at camp and we were able to catch a few games too! We hit two more games at Dodger Stadium (we saw a game with Amy and Maddy a few weeks earlier too,) and one Inland Empire 66ers game in San Bernandino at San Manuel Stadium.
It was my first (and likely last) game in San Bernandino. Don’t get me wrong, it was ‘fine’, but Single-A parks (and games) can be brutal. The parks (generally) are small, not particularly fancy, and often very sparse for crowds. Beyond that, the quality of baseball (and umpiring) can be pretty bad. So why do I go? For these honestly, it’s for the ‘stat’. It’s a pin on the board, and that’s about it. There are surprises along the way, but in general, not in A-ball.
The highlight of the trip was undoubtedly Friday’s game at Dodger Stadium! The game is always fun, and Megan and I both enjoyed our second run of BBQ pork nachos, covered Dodger Dogs, and a sundae, but postgame was the best! It was fireworks night at Dodger Stadium, which meant we could watch fireworks from the field!!!
I planned ahead and brought our gloves and a ball, so we rushed onto the field and played catch before, then briefly after, the show.
Playing catch with Megan on the field at Dodger Stadium – Yeah, that’s a pretty awesome night! I was beaming, and she was too. Weeks and nights like this are the kinds of things that will stick with a kid. I wonder if it makes her love the game even more?
A very cool night, but the summer isn’t over yet! Between Boston for Memorial Day, 2 trips to LA, Priest Lake, and my upcoming trip, I’ll log over a month ‘off’ this summer. I’ve joked with Amy for years that I would take the summer off and call it the “Summer of Doug” ala the “Summer of George” on Seinfeld and this has been about as close as I’ve gotten!