Take Me Out To The Ball Game! – Major League Madness

Dear Parents,

After an awesome four days in Chicago and Milwaukee, we made our way to Cleveland, Ohio to see the Indians take on the New York Yankees. The Yankees won the game 11 to 7 bringing great joy to the Yankees fans amongst us.  One of the cool parts of this road trip is trying different ballpark local snack favorites. Some of the boys tried the famous hotdogs with Fruit Loops in them!  At our Hibachi Japanese Steakhouse dinner, a few of the boys displayed great skill catching shrimp in their mouths.

The next day, we put our own baseball skills to the test and went to the batting cages. Home-run caliber balls were being hit all over the place. That night we watched the 2016 Home Run Derby together. Sam C. created a home-run derby bracket for everyone and Billy and Josh won the bracket by choosing their picks wisely.

With the All Star break, we took our own break from baseball and headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame! We were all in awe of the numerous monuments and sites. Our trip was invited to watch the Hall of Fame camp hosted by past NFL player Rod Woodson. Some of the guys had luck on their sides and got autographs from him. After the Hall of Fame tour, we played a game of touch football on the Hall of Fame field. Afterwards, we went to a softball field and played some games where some impressive fielding and batting skills were on display. That night we watched the All-Star Game at the Play Arcade and Kitchen and were intrigued by the Deal or No Deal, air-hockey, and trivia game.

Next up was Cedar Point Amusement Park. Some of our more daring trip members tried the Top Thrill Dragster that takes you from 0 to 120mph in 3 seconds! Others tried Pink’s, which is a Hollywood Chili landmark. For a fun activity, our tour pretended that trip leader Nate was a celebrity and would approach him in public around other people. Lots of people in the park thought Nate was a real famous person! Some of the boys less interested in going on rides started a Taylor Swift singing group and sang their hearts out!

Our next stop in Ohio was Cincinnati. We had an incredible tour of the Great American Ballpark for the Cincinnati Reds. We had a MIND-BLOWING baseball player sighting… Joey Votto. That night, we enjoyed the movies taking in The Shallows, Ghostbusters, and Finding Dory.

After a day cooling off at The Beach Waterpark, cruising down the lazy river, tubing down slides, and swimming in the wave pool we headed out for a tour of the Reds’ Hall of Fame. We were surprised with another special guest arranged through MLB, and met Aaron Eisel, the Vice President of Ticketing and Business Development for the Reds. Many trip members took this opportunity to ask Aaron about ways to break into the baseball workforce.  After a question and answer period with him, everybody received Reds trucker hats. During the Hall of Fame tour, trip members tested out their pitching arms in a bullpen. That night, we saw the Reds beat the Brewers in a nail-biter 5 to 4. Some of us got autographs from MLB players John Lam, Ryan Braun, and Chris Carter. Nate and Eli M. got on Fox Sports Ohio during a live broadcast of the game.

Final stop in Ohio was Toledo for lazer tag and some Minor League action. Dave M. got the high score of 33,000 points for a single game in lazer tag and Noah was our trip’s first winner of Deal or No Deal with 200 tickets! That night we had an all you can eat barbeque at the Toledo Mud Hens AAA game. It was a nice change of pace to watch some Minor League ball (for many our first time) and see some future MLB players.

 

Sincerely, The Westcoast Blogger

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Alumni Spotlight: Major League Madness 4X Trip Member Brandon

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While we’re pretty used to having repeat trip members summer after summer, we’ve never seen someone with a passion for a program like Brandon. He’s traveled with us 4 times on our Major League Madness Baseball program and has shared with us what it was that just kept bringing him back. Check out our interview with this seasoned alumni on his most prized autograph, memorable moments and the time the group brought a Yankee tradition to Milwaukee!

1. Who’s the best player you ever got an autograph from on all of your 4 trips?

While watching the Washington Nationals take batting practice at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, I was lucky enough to obtain young phenom Stephen Strasburg’s autograph during his rookie season! He is now one of the best pitchers in baseball!

2. What’s your favorite stadium that you visited and why?

Definitely PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The backdrop of the ballpark, which includes the Allegheny River, the Pittsburgh skyline, and the Roberto Clemente Bridge, is breathtaking and picturesque. I also enjoyed visiting Wrigley Field because of its unique neighborhood setting.

3. Our Major League Madness Tour balances a ton of adventure activity highlights alongside baseball games. What was your favorite activity outside of the stadium and why?

Riding over 16 roller coasters at Cedar Point Amusement Park. I am a thrill-seeker; so enjoying a plethora of awesome and crazy rides such as the Top Thrill Dragster, one of the fastest in the nation, was tons of fun!

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4. Tell us about your best memory from these trips.

I have had enough memorable experiences to last a lifetime from these trips, but if I had to pick just one, it would be the time when we were watching the Milwaukee Brewers play the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on my first trip. Our group had amazing seats for the game, sitting in the first row of the right-field bleachers. With the game out of hand and the crowd thinned out, we set out to do our own version of the famous “Roll Call” that takes place at Yankee Stadium each game. We started out with the Pirates right fielder, who responded to our incessant chants of his name with a wave. We then went on to solicit a wave from each Pirate player on the field at the time. It was an unbelievable experience to recreate a famous tradition with all of my new friends!

5. Baseball is obviously a huge passion of yours. Are you planning on integrating it into your future career goals?

Combining my love of baseball and sports in general with a lifelong passion for business, not coincidentally, I have developed an interest in the field of sports business. In fact, my current dream job is to be the general manager of a professional baseball team, which combines the responsibility of running the business side of the team with the task of managing player personnel.

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6. Any other information you think fellow MLB enthusiasts would love to know about you and/or the program? 

If you love baseball, then without a doubt, the tour will be the best three weeks of your life! How can it get any better than watching baseball’s biggest stars at a bunch of new venues while making life-long friends who share the same passion as you and partaking in tons of other fun activities with them!

Ready for some serious MLB? Check out all the exciting trip details here:
Major League Madness: 8, 13 or 21 Days

The Westcoast Blogger

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