Where's Nate?

living large in the four-oh-eight. wicked large.


play ball.

Many of you know I am on a quest to visit every major league stadium. Right now, the count is 16 of 30 active stadiums. But the catch is that new ballparks are introduced almost every season. So while I've seen MLB games in Montreal, Philly, Milwaukee, San Diego, and Cincinnati, they were all in the old stadiums. All told, I've seen ballgames in 20 of 30 major league cities (Montreal moved to DC, of course). And the quest continues.

I've also seen minor league games in large cities like San Jose and Buffalo, medium-sized cities like Syracuse and St. Paul, and small towns like Burlington (where Paige and I had season tickets for the Vermont Expos in 2001, a squad that featured current Pirates All Star Jason Bay). So imagine my excitement when we saw the Traverse City Beach Bums a few weeks ago.

It's a funky little park that looks more like a Hampton Inn than a baseball stadium. But the fans are close to the action, the beer is cheap, and the mascots are hilarious. These features reminded us of our beloved Vermont Expos and the cozy confines of Centennial Field. (For a cool review of baseball in Traverse City, check out this article. I think the reviewer was in Wuerfel Park the same night we introduced Jia and Hannah to pro baseball.)

In a related story, the Big House is being renovated over the next few seasons. I'm not sure how you can mess with perfection. But my grad school alma mater is throwing $225M at Mecca and adding luxury boxes and a few more seats. I guess 110,000+ watching the Wolverines every Saturday in the fall isn't enough. Please, please make the place LOUDER. My fingers are crossed.


  • At 7:55 AM, Blogger Socalgal said…

    So cool that you went to see the Traverse City Beach Bums. The brother of one my trekkers pitches for them. Sounds like your summer is going well!

  • At 7:12 AM, Blogger rnorth said…

    Wuerfel park is really different looking and I think the owners set out to make it more friendly, so your comment about the Hampton Inn would probably have them smiling. I work with a woman who planned the mascot's birthday party event last year. The team prides itself on being very entertaining in the short bits between baseball action. Here's another article showing the park and the mascot http://www.destinationnorthernmichigan-digital.com/destinationnorthernmichigan/guidebook2007/?folio=gt15

  • At 3:31 PM, Blogger nate_johnson said…

    Great comments about Wuerfel Park. It's a very family-friendly place where the fans are close to the action. A sweet yard to see a game.


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