It's the trip every baseball fan has dreamed of making at one time or another during their life, and for Eric Mueller of Hartford, MI the time to live his dream has arrived as he approaches his milestone 50th birthday.
Beginning with a day-night double-header at Wrigley Field in Chicago and Miller Park in Milwaukee on Aug 16., Mueller will visit all 30 major league ballparks in a span of 30 days, and he'll be doing so for a special cause aside from his own personal satisfaction.
"I was looking to try to do something for my 50th birthday and instead of just buying some expensive toy or doing something like that, this just kind of popped into my head: 'That sounds like fun,'" Muller said. "So I started planning it last year."
Another thought popped into his head, as well. His father Jan died 13 years ago after suffering with leukemia. Another close friend is also fighting the disease. Maybe his epic journey could be a platform to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
"It's a combination of my birthday and raising money for LLS," Mueller said. "Anything I can do to raise a little awareness about the disease."
I applaud Mueller's decision to turn his adventure into a fundraiser for LLS, but man, this is obviously going to be a very challenging (and tiring) experience. How in the world does he plan on getting this done in just 30 days?
"I am taking care of everything west of the Mississippi River, with the exception of Kansas City, in one pass," he said. "Then I go east and to the Midwest. After that it gets a little weird. I'll be bouncing around a bit."
Here's his itinerary: After Cub-Brewers, he'll hit Atlanta, Texas, San Diego, Los Angeles (Angles), Oakland, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles (Dodgers), Houston, Arizona, Colorado and St. Louis on Aug. 28.
Then he comes east to New York, first the Mets, then the Yankees, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Kansas City and Minnesota before his off day Aug. 28.
And here's final leg: Miami, Tampa, Chicago (White Sox), Toronto, Pittsburgh and, last but not least, Comerica Park on Sept. 14.
Mueller adds that he thinks he'll be pretty tired when the trip is over. I think he will be too, because I'm exhausted just reading his itinerary. Maybe that's where the extra motivation of raising money for charity will kick in and help get Mueller over the top. He clearly has things well planned, too, so the travel should be smooth. But I can't wait to hear and read updates on his progress just to see how he's holding up.
By the way, if you're interesting in donating to Mueller's cause or just want to follow along once he gets on the road, you can check out 30parks30days.com.
Good luck, Eric!
Big BLS H/N: Eye on Baseball