Ultimate Sports Vacation

by derek on June 26, 2007 · 18 comments

Have you ever dreamed of taking a vacation centered around a sports theme?
I know that I am not the only one that has dreamed of traveling the country to visit every Major League Baseball stadium to see a game.
Once my kids get a little bit older, I would like to share that dream with them and start checking off stadiums around the country as the three of us hit the road together. There are a few stadiums that I never made it to and regret that I missed the chance, such as Tiger Stadium or the Kingdome.
But as much as I think that would be a fantastic trip, today I came across what might just be the ultimate sports themed vacation or journey. Jim Caple from ESPN wrote an article on 101 things all sports fans must experience before they die.
While it would be nearly impossible to pull this off as a vacation, there are some experiences listed here that sound like they would be really exciting. Of course there are others that I am not quite so sure about but might surprise me.
As I read through the list, some of the events jumped out at me as something I need to start planning to share with my kids. Here are a few of the events that I think I would enjoy the most:

  • NCAA subregional
  • College World Series
  • A game at Rucker Park
  • Canadiens-Leafs game
  • Town ball in Minnesota
  • Ultimate Fighting Championship bout

Been There, Done That
I have already experienced a few of the events on the list, although only two of them with my kids. Here are the events that I have already experienced:

  • Hall of Fame induction
  • Cubs game in the Wrigley bleachers (even though I am a Sox fan)
  • MLB Opening Day
  • Little League game

Back in 2000, I made a trip to the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies to witness Carlton Fisk be inducted into the Hall of Fame. This was a trip with a handful of guys from work as we are all White Sox fans and were able to catch a White Sox vs. Red Sox game at Fenway Park and then make the trip out to the induction.
This was one of the best trips I have taken. Fenway Park was amazing and the game was exciting, at least from what I remember as the beer was flowing freely that night. Before the game I had a funny experience as I had walked down near the White Sox dugout to get a better picture of the Green Monster.
As I was standing there, Jon Garland came up out of the dugout and everyone was yelling for an autograph. Being a Sox fan, I knew he had just pitched a great game against Milwaukee a few days earlier so I yelled out “Hey Jon, great game the other night against Milwaukee”. He walked over to me, said thanks and asked me if I wanted him to sign anything. Being unprepared all I had was my ticket stub so he signed that and let me grab a picture. Very cool experience.
As a fan of the White Sox, it pains me to admit it but I have experienced a handful of games in the bleachers at Wrigley Field. Continuing the baseball theme, I have been to numerous MLB games on Opening Day. It is an exciting day to skip out of work to catch the ballgame but depending on where you live you may have to pack the winter coat.
Last but not least, I have experienced many Little League games. Right now my son is playing PONY baseball and it is exciting to see each one of his games and witness how his skills are continuing to improve. In addition to my son’s games, we have taken a few random Little League games in the past. There’s nothing quite like driving through a small town and seeing a Little League game in progress, pulling off the road and wasting an hour or two watching these kids live their dream.
Your Favorites
If you are a sports fan, whether casual or fanatic, I think that most of the events on this list would be pretty exciting. The thing that I find the most appealing are the events that are less well-known, as this is where you usually find the athletes that might not be the best but they have an undeniable passion for their game.
Have you experienced any of these events? I’d love to hear your thoughts on which events you have experienced or which you think would be the most exciting.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Shawn Knight June 28, 2007 at 2:50 am

After reading this post, I just had to check the ESPN link to verify that my school (well, former) was on the list.
Sure enough, #27 – Tailgating in the SEC, with Ole Miss and the Grove being listed first 🙂 It truly is an amazing sight to experience… and its even better that it happens at every home game!
Anyway, if I had to make a list…
-Being front row at a major boxing event.
-College football national championship game with Ole Miss playing to win.
-UFC pay-per-view event.
I am sure there are others, but thats all I can think of right now. Im not a baseball fan, so anything related to that sport wouldn’t interest me one bit.


derek June 28, 2007 at 8:58 am

I’ve only attended one college football game but it was not a big game, I think it was Northern Illinois vs. Akron. A few years ago a friend and I rode our motorcycles out to Purdue to take in the atmosphere on campus during a Purdue vs. Notre Dame game but we didn’t attend the game.
Thanks for sharing your list Shawn. I’m with you on everything but the Super Bowl, that is one event that I really have no desire to experience in person. Last year when my team, Da Bears, were in the SB I didn’t even want to go to any parties. I wanted to park myself right in front of my own TV and enjoy the game.


sopitikoj September 7, 2007 at 8:39 pm

Definitely nice and neat site you got there.


Setanta November 20, 2007 at 5:16 pm

Travelling the country visiting sports stadiums is always something I wanted to do here in the UK.
And then you get married and have 2 kids…
We can always dream…great article and interesting thoughts.


Justin April 30, 2008 at 7:45 pm

I’ve only been to one MLB stadium in my life, and that’s just enough for me. Sure, I would like to see some others, but it’s not that important.


Soccer Help August 8, 2008 at 6:17 am

Yes, I would like to travel the world and see all sports being played just for an experience


OleMissGroveGuy October 24, 2008 at 4:37 pm

Indeed if you have not had the pleasure of tailgating in the Ole Miss grove you are missing one of the great southern traditions.
I have been fortunate to spend much time in the grove and I must say that nothing compares to the hospitality and sense of family and friends.
The ole miss grove should be on your list!
OleMissGroveGuys last blog post..Ole Miss Rebel left a comment for Betsy Kelly


Mark November 25, 2008 at 2:13 pm

Tiger stadium was amazing before it was closed. So many great memories from that stadium especially sitting out there with the bleacher creatures.
The Michigan Ohio State game is a must. No better rivalry in all of sports. Notre Dame stadium is nice from a tradition standpoint although the stadium is mild compared to some of the bigger college stadiums.


Andy@best movies March 3, 2009 at 4:20 am

At first I thought, like ok, best to participate rather than to spectate. But then I looked at the list and realised (being a soccer player/fan), yeah, watching the World Cup would be kind of cool. Also I agree with you – it’d be great to watch a UFC bout – and this is where my participating theory self-destructs!


Neil@Free Wii June 14, 2009 at 1:26 am

Sounds like you will have a great time.
Good Luck


sports autograph November 17, 2009 at 3:49 am

Great article and thanks for the 101 link. I attend many sports events, i love to see people go crazy when somebody does something cool.
.-= sports autograph´s last blog …Sports-Autograph.org =-.


Tony October 26, 2010 at 10:45 am

It’s funny one of the things you wanted to do was see a Cubs game in the bleachers being a Sox fan. I’m a Sox fan too and went to more Cubs games this year than Sox games. I have to admit they are a lot of fun a the neighborhood is great being a single guy.


derek October 26, 2010 at 11:17 am

There is a great pizza joint right near the corner of Addison and Sheffield that is a must visit before or after the game. Combine that with the atmosphere around the park and it is a great experience.
I’ll never forget the first time I took my wife and kids down for a slice of pie before we went to see Blue Man Group. We’re in there devouring our pizza when the Cubs game ended and the joint became packed with Cubs fans. My youngest son looked around and said, “Dad, why are all these Cub fans here? We’re Sox fans.” It garnered a few looks but was pretty funny.


Scott@Kentucky Sports Online January 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm

I hope to make it to a New York Mets game before I die


James tayor March 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I saw that on the Google-tron when I was at Lakers game.


Thomas July 20, 2011 at 7:37 am

I think you will really have a good time with this…Awesome post here!!!


Ronald August 7, 2013 at 1:20 am

Being a golfer, I dream of playing on pebble beach at least once in my life. I am yet to find an opportunity.


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