Submitted by Kevin Hayward State Farm
My bucket list isn’t very long, but there’s one item on it I’m determined to cross off.
In high school, a friend and I dreamed about visiting all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in one summer. We would road trip across the country, watching our beloved San Francisco Giants in action as many times as possible.
That dream didn’t come to fruition, but it never left my radar either.
Ten years later, my wife and I had our son. A couple years after that, the idea resurfaced. Imagine my delight when our two-year-old started to watch the Giants with me, play catch in the living room, and recite the players on the roster!
I decided to take my son to every stadium by the time he heads to college. It was an ambitious goal, but rather than try to accomplish it in one summer, we would spread it out over a decade or so. When my wife gave me a Major League Baseball passport as a birthday gift, I was thrilled.
Now it was time to start filling it up.
We started two years ago, and we’ve been to six stadiums so far. Twenty-four to go.
At each stadium, we get a stamp in the passport that shows the name of the stadium and the date of the game. Then we fill in the box score and make notes about the game.
So far, we’ve seen the Giants in Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, Arizona, and San Diego. We also watched the Angels and Red Sox in Anaheim.
The father-son time has been worth every penny we’ve spent. My brother, who lives in Southern California, has joined us for five of the six games. My mom joined us for one, and twice we met up with fellow State Farm agents from other parts of the country.
AT&T Park, home of the Giants, is the best stadium we’ve seen so far. Petco Park in San Diego and Safeco Field in Seattle are close behind. Unlike football stadiums and basketball arenas, each baseball stadium has its own personality. AT&T Park has the Coke bottle slide, the giant glove, and the brick wall in front of McCovey Cove. Petco Park is nestled into the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego. And Safeco has the view of Century Link Field, the Space Needle, and Elliott Bay.
In each city, we try to see local landmarks. Our favorite spots have been Lombard Hill, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco; and Coronado Island and LEGOLAND in San Diego. And of course, whenever we are in California, we visit In-N-Out Burger!
My dad used to say that love is spelled, T-I-M-E. The older I get, the better I understand that. The Giants haven’t fared too well in the five games we’ve seen them play, but it hardly matters.
Our record: 0 wins, 5 losses, and a lifetime of great memories.
Kevin Hayward is a State Farm Insurance agent in Lacey, Washington. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org