Follow the Milwaukee Brewers on a baseball road trip or just travel and catch baseball in any of its many forms and locations for fun, great experiences.
Whether you’re in a Major League city for business or pleasure, it’s great to catch a game on the road. Many fans think about attending road games, but actually making it happen is often as rewarding as it is fun.
Catching baseball in road cities doesn’t even have to be a so-called “baseball road trip,” of course. It could simply mean finding time to go to a game while you’re in town for something else, like a concert or a wedding.
More than those of the other major North American sports leagues, Major League Baseball’s fans are often actively engaged with the sport wherever they happen to be, at any given moment. There are many reasons for this: the sheer staggering number of games played, the relative ease in getting tickets and the unique characteristics that distinguish each ballpark, to name only a few.
Ever notice that random bearded guy wearing a Diamondbacks sweatshirt during the Brewers-Cubs series? Or wonder why there are Yankees and Giants fans hanging out at a Rangers-Mariners game?
It’s fun to be near the game, even when you can’t see your favorite team
I have taken baseball road trips specifically designed to follow the Milwaukee Brewers around for a bit, but I’ve also base-balled while traveling for unrelated reasons.
For example, I once watched the Indians play the White Sox in Cleveland, but it was mostly because I was nearby anyway, holding tickets to a concert at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, OH.
I attended a game at Dodger Stadium because I was going to the Coachella music festival.
I (quite randomly) saw Roger Clemens pitch for the Astros in Houston because I had helped a friend move to San Antonio.
The tally in ballparks attended has really piled up over the years:
- NL Central: Brewers (County Stadium and Miller Park, of course, a million times!), Cubs, Cardinals, Reds, Pirates (100% completion)
- AL Central: Twins (Metrodome and Target Field), White Sox, Indians, Royals, Tigers (100% completion)
- NL East: Nationals (RFK and Nationals Park), Mets (40%)
- AL East: Orioles, Rays (40%)
- NL West: Rockies, Dodgers, Padres (not bad at 60%)
- AL West: Astros (a lowly 20%)
Of the ballparks still in use, that’s a whopping 18 of 30 MLB ballparks! It’s really kind of amazing, because not only have I been to a lot of stadiums, but I’ve explored the cities in which they reside and had the pleasure of talking baseball with remarkable folks of many backgrounds and persuasions along the way. In addition, baseball was often just a bonus feature of these trips.
The Brewers were involved in a lot of these games, but certainly not all. Like many nomadic “seamheads,” I just love baseball, and it’s a ton of fun to go somewhere new and explore a ballpark that’s completely foreign except perhaps it’s been seen on TV. If you can share a such a venture with family or friends, the memories are even sweeter.
No two ballparks are alike
Baseball, unlike the often cookie-cutter nature of NBA arenas and to a lesser extent NFL stadiums, really does boast radically unique ballparks from city to city. The amenities, food, beers, location, ballpark culture, seating, design, dimensions — all can vary quite wildly.
Among my favorites are Detroit’s Comerica Park, Pittsburgh’s PNC Park and Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium. I love how Comerica is nestled into downtown Detroit and one can’t really appreciate it on TV but the architectural layout of the stands and the ballpark is quite striking, as well as the statues of legendary players and the views of the city directly outside.
Speaking of views, PNC Park in Pittsburgh is not only a whale of a baseball experience but offers stunning views of Pittsburgh and its rivers all around. That spiral staircase is fun to leisurely wander and the bullpen setup is unique to any ballpark I’ve visited. You can literally get up close and personal with the relievers and bullpen catcher warming up, virtually right next to the fans.
Kauffman Stadium has a dear place in my heart because not only does it mirror Milwaukee somewhat in its tailgate scene and working class aesthetic, but the majestic fountains and the simple but elegant design of the stadium still shine through and cut the modern din of blaring music and LED boards. Plus: that Kansas City BBQ.
A trip to KC for baseball ended up including terrific and eye-opening visits to the Negro League Baseball Museum and the National World War I Museum, the latter of which is the finest, most jaw-dropping museum I’ve ever had the privilege to experience.
Renewing my drive (to drive and watch baseball)
I recently attended the Brewers’ rubber-game loss at the White Sox ballpark in Chicago with my family and my brother and his family. Even though the Brewers wasted scoring chances and lost, we had a great time mixing it up with the Chicago fans and other traveling Brew Crewers, and it was a marvelous day for baseball at an underrated stadium.
After that successful jaunt, we all decided that perhaps we should take another baseball trip. So, we have scheduled a sojourn to Cincinnati at the end of June, where we’ll catch the Brewers on the road and pick up a Rosie Red bobble head for good measure.
That’s another cool thing about mixing travel and baseball: Many cities in the Midwest, whether they are National or American League towns, offer great ballparks to explore and many other activities and are a pretty easy drive from Milwaukee. Kansas City, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Detroit and Cleveland are all manageable for a weekend or three-day trip.
My point is not, of course, to shame you, dear reader, for potentially not visiting as many ballparks as I have over the years. I know you’ve been busy. It’s to suggest that instead of saying “Maybe next year,” take action now and check the schedule of another city’s Major League team, or even minor league team. Track down where the Brewers will be playing in July, August and September, and picture yourself relaxing in that locale to give yourself a break and something new and different. Use the wonders of the Internet to find accommodations at a camping site, Airbnb or hotel nearby. Get out and explore what’s out there in neighboring states, this amazing country of ours. It’s easy to do, doesn’t require excessive planning, and won’t break the bank.
Enjoy some new scenery and a new ballpark adventure. Whichever one of those is primary or secondary, it doesn’t matter. If the Brewers are playing, all the better!