In the United States of America, there are 29 places to watch baseball being played at its highest level.
In Canada, there is one.
Put them together and you get the ultimate sports pilgrimage ... the summer ballpark tour.
As you read this, it's likely there are thousands of groups motoring around the continent, all looking to experience what has become the experience for those of us who bleed baseball.
But while gas prices on the wrong side of $4 and laser-gunned highway cops might seem like the biggest obstacles., veterans of the road swing will tell you that getting lost along the way or not knowing where to get the full local flavor ranks as the biggest fear.
That's where Big League Stew's Big Ballpark Review comes in.
Throughout the next few weeks, we'll be running posts on each of the stadiums, laying down the basics (capacity, directions, little known-facts) but also including input from those of you who know the ballparks like you do your own house. The draw of the series will be built on your knowledge, because who wants to mess up what might be their only shot to see Camden Yards or Petco Park the right way?
So here's your weekend homework assignment, Stewies: Think about whatever park it is you call home and think about about the things that make it special. If you had guests in town, where would you take them before the game? Where would you take them after? How would you get there? What seats would you sit in and what would you order from the concession stand? If you were to get up from your seats, what would you show them? If you have an idea, make sure to send it to email@example.com.
There is only one rule for the BBR and it's that there's no such thing as too much information. If you recommend a local bar near Wrigley Field, shoot me a link. If you talk about the Roberto Clemente statue at PNC Park, don't be afraid to attach a picture. Be funny in your descriptions. Be creative. Tell us what each thing means to you. Tell us a personal story about it.
(By the way, if you've visited a ballpark in another town and have a recommendation for something you happened upon, don't be afraid to give up the info, either.)
So, to recap, we're looking for your help with the following categories — and anything else, really:
What's the best way to get there? (Car, public transportation, kayak, etc.)
What are the best spots to hit before or after the game? (Bars, restaurants, local attractions, museums)
What's the best concession stand item in the park? Why? (Don't be afraid to release your inner food critic. What makes the hot dog rule over the pizza?)
Where's the best place to sit? (Let us know about good deals, most bang for buck, etc.)
What's the one thing you like about the park more than anything else? What makes it feel like home to you? What makes you feel like it's the best place in the bigs to catch a game? (It's an open-ended question, but it's designed that way ... tell us what you really think.)
Send all submissions to 'Duk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the "BBR" and the name of your ballpark in the subject line. Also include your name, hometown and blog address (if applicable). All entries, photos and links may be used in a future Big Ballpark Review post.