Over the past few years, I have fantasized about doing the 30 ballparks in 30 days road trip. However, after reading what the two authors went through during their own 30 in 30 odyssey, I’m having second thoughts. There is a blurb on the back cover of the book written by author Steve Hely that captures my own sentiments. He stated that “[t]his is a wonderfully crazy, wonderfully stupid idea. I’m glad someone-someone other than me-did it.”
The trip is spear-headed by Ben Blatt, baseball fan and stats junkie. After crunching the numbers, Blatt comes up with a statistically probable (yet theoretical) scenario in which he could crisscross the country by car and hit every ballpark in time for the first pitch and be able to stay through the entire game (even for extra innings) before moving on to the next city.
Blatt’s partner in this experiment is college friend Eric Brewster, who incidentally hates baseball and thinks the entire trip is ridiculous. Yet he reluctantly agrees to join Blatt for reasons that even he is not sure of…at least initially.
As one would expect, a trip planned on paper and mathematical calculations does not go according to reality’s script. Having left little margin for error, the friends find themselves rushing around the U.S. (and Canada) trying to meet deadlines. The “perfect” plan is constantly challenged by weather, car trouble, time zone mix-ups, and several stops by the police who tended to frown on triple digit MPHs. On several occasions, the grand experiment seemed doomed to failure, but Blatt and Brewster press on.
Throughout the trip, the two friends learn a great deal about America, each other, and sometimes even baseball.
I wish I could go on further about this book, but I don’t want to spoil the whole adventure for readers. I highly recommend this book for fans (and non-fans) of baseball and those who love a good travel story.