Raise your steins and beer mugs, because Ben Rouse has made it.
The Milwaukee Brewers fan from Madison, Wis., attended every single game played by his favorite team this season, completing his journey at Miller Park on Wednesday.
We're not just talking about every single home game, an 81-game set which would have been taxing enough, either. We're talking about Every. Single. Game. Home and away. 162 games long. Rouse blogged all season about his unparalleled adventure, during which he missed all of 110 pitches, an average of less than a pitch per game.
[Concession speech: 2012 Milwaukee Brewers]
Rouse, 25, is in remission from a fight with leukemia that began in 2007 and that was definitely a motivating factor in his quest, he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
"Why not do it at 25? Who knows what my body will be like in 20 years, 30 years."
Rouse kept stats for his trip and they're pretty amazing:
• 100 sausages eaten
• 682+ hours inside ballparks
• 48,000 pitches
• Two ceremonial first pitches thrown by Rouse
• Nearly 43,000 miles traveled
Rouse was a season-ticket holder with a 20-game plan, but he contacted the Brewers and told them about his desire to see ... a little bit more. So they helped make it happen, starting with a full-season upgrade.
From the Journal-Sentinel:
The team also got him a ticket for every road game. (Rouse said he spent around $6,500 to make the journey.)
In return, Rouse compiled a daily blog, Ben Rouse's Brewers Mission 162, while also raising awareness for the Be The Match Registry. The registry is part of the Be The Match Foundation that helps find a donors for those in need a bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplants.
Rouse was diagnosed in 2007 with acute promyelocytic leukemia. He received chemotherapy treatments as well as intravenous arsenic trioxide treatments. He has been in remission since 2009 when he received what he called an "umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant."
Rouse's blog adds a lot of great details, and he takes some very good photos — many of food. But he obviously put a lot of work into the trip and reporting on it. We're all lucky he went and got it on the record. Here's to him staying healthy.
[More: Baseball playoff schedule set]
Ryan Braun called Rouse "an inspiration," which is a perfect description. And we should pay Rouse back by looking into bone marrow donation and supporting stem cell research. Lives depend on it. And how better to spend one's life than at the ballpark?
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