I have mentioned to several friends of this trip, and many say "I wish/dreamed of doing something like that". As sports fans, we drool over the hope of possibly getting to visit such iconic sporting venues and events. I wanted to share what I've done so far to get to where I'm at now. With less than 3 weeks, I still have plenty of communication and planning left to do. I will definitely share things I learned and wished I had known beforehand at the conclusion of this trip.
1) Vehicle. Very simple, get it ready. Get a thorough inspection on everything about the car. Prepare and bring emergency car kit of extra jack, oil, transmission fluid, funnels, and etc. Plan exactly when a good time to stop for oil changes too along the route for different distances. Check with insurance too about what all you're covered for and features of roadside assistance. Cover your butt....well your car's butt too.
2) Route. The route I have chosen and going on is majorly impacted on Seattle, the far SE teams, where the MLB All-Star game is, and honestly the path of least resistance and trying to not double back over certain areas. I'm also going to a reunion in Spain for a few days along with going on this trip, so getting certain amount of days off impacted my route. I'm a Braves fan, so it's fitting that I make them the last stop for this trip, and living in Denver is convenient for the Rockies being the 1st team.
3) Extra stopping points. Cooperstown/Baseball Hall of Fame...duh. Attempting to get to Field of Dreams and Louisville Slugger factory for a tour is iconic as well. There are many amazing National Parks to go to also, which I'm not too worried about honestly because I know I will intentionally plan future trips to some of those as well as already being able to go to and explore several out here in the Western Region.
4) Places to stay. You can live it up with lots of hotels, but that's crazy expensive and ain't nobody got time for that. AirBNB's or couch surfing are a decent option too. Sleeping in the vehicle/tent at KOA's or campsites is certainly very manageable and cost efficient. It's mostly personal preference and what you/your body can tolerate. You can also communicate with whatever large network and friends of friends in major cities to get a couch on the route, which is what I'm doing. Yay for connections and friends not in low places.
5) Team Communication. Asking teams for legitimate help to offset the costs of your travels is legit too. Each team has some sort of fanfeedback or communty affairs dept email you can find on their MLB Team Contact website page. I've tried several Community Affairs dept heads, but it seems to never get through to them and always a voicemail. Maybe I'm not great at harassing I mean asking for help? :) Ask for parking pass, tours, care packages, and etc. You never know if they will or will not help so it doesn't hurt to ask.
6) Game Day. I'm already on planning to arriving to each game right when they open the gates to go in and explore every stadium. Taking lots of panoramic pictures and videos, and also trying to meet players or coaches for signatures. Maybe there's a specific promotion you want and plan for each game that way
7) Trip Purpose. This is a major decision for whoever endeavors on such crazy journey. You either go on your own/with others to enjoy all the baseball games and that's it, or you can also use the trip as a platform for raising awareness and support for whatever you'd like. A non-profit, a good cause, go fund me cause, and etc. I've always worked with non-profits for years, and decided to do this for Sports Focused non-profits since this is a sports oriented trip.
8) Radio/media Contact. Why contact each team's flagship radio station? I want to share about the non-profit organizations. That's really the only point. It's not about me and look how cool I am, but sharing about how amazing these non-profits are that have dedicated people and their lives for helping others. Maybe some talk radio stations will still want to communicate and share in conversations about the trip and your journey? Media news stations may also want to share about your own journey and story.
9) Social Media. I decided to make this website. I used weebly for the web design layout, and go daddy for the domain name. Coming up with a creative and simple way for people to find and remember you is key. I'm using twitter and instagram as a way to communicate with teams and other fans in each city. I use my own pictures as much as possible for background images on the website. I share as much as I would like without being annoying. I am using and still figuring out Mailchimp for subscribers of my blog feature. I have a friend who made the legit route image. If you need him for any sort of logo or design, definitely reach out to him. Search Graphick or @graphickmasters.
If you have any other questions, then please ask! I hope these things I shared help give you insight to this trip preparation.
I have been a very busy body preparing for this trip in recent weeks! 5 more weeks and it starts! So insane it's coming together. Let me say that again, the trip is coming together! From an idea, to planning, to the preparation and communication now, and I feel very encouraged it can/will happen. Not only am I trip prepping, I've also got a bunch of deadlines and events for my job as a teacher.
A lot of uncertainty and doubt is flying through my mind. It's guess it's normal for something like this? If I let it get to me, then it is very discouraging. Yet, all I have to do is see my chart and I'm immediately encouraged.
Yes, I have a chart. It keep my mind sane with the different forms of communication with teams, radio stations, people, and etc. I'm a teacher, so this is just normal for me to make something like it.
The biggest goal of communicating with radio stations is to try and share about the non-profits I've partnered with and hoping to raise awareness and funds for them. A big thankful shout-out to KMOX 1120 AM with St. Louis Cards for allowing me to share for a few minutes! It was the first time I've ever talked on air before, and it was a humbling experience indeed.
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