I often get asked how hard the constant travel is during baseball season. We go to every city and just about every game during the season and postseason. Heck, I was also in Fort Myers, Fla., for eight weeks for spring training.
My response? I love it.
I love getting to see all the different cities and ballparks around the country. I hope to see every single park someday (I am six cities short of completing my mission: Arizona, Milwaukee, Florida, Pittsburgh, Colorado and St. Louis). If we go to a city I haven?t been to, like when we went to Washington D.C. in June, I set my alarm and check out the sights in the morning before I have to head to the field.
One of my favorite cities, Seattle, even surprised me. Even though everyone says it rains every day there, the four times we have been to Seattle since I started with NESN, I have yet to see it rain. The weather has been gorgeous, and when the sky is clear blue with the snow-capped mountains in the distance, it is breathtaking.
We also stay at a great hotel there, the Grand Hyatt. It is a nice, modern hotel with a great bathtub, but it is also in a perfect location. Across the street is a Nordstrom that seems to plan their sales around the Red Sox' trips to town. I swear, every time we are there, it is having its annual sale.
Just five or so blocks down the street is the Pike Place Market. That?s the place where they toss the fish. It is an open-air market where all kinds of vendors come. I literally stock up on different flavored almonds when we go there. So yummy!
The ballpark is also great. It is a beautiful facility, and it has one of the greatest designs with its open-air, retractable roof. It is like a big umbrella that slides over the field when it rains. I haven?t seen it actually cover the field because, once again, it has never rained when we?ve been there. I?m beginning to think they just tell people that to keep the local population down.
Another one of my favorite cities is Tampa Bay. It?s a great beach town with a climate-controlled working environment. Now as a fan, I love outdoor baseball. But as a person who works at games, it is nice to be in a dome where I don?t have to worry about the weather — rain or shine.
We stay at a gorgeous hotel, the Renaissance Vinoy. It has a great pool. It is also right next to the water, which has a great running or biking path all along the bay. I enjoy renting a bike at this shop next to the hotel and riding along the water in St. Petersburg. It is also nice to go for a jog there, when it?s not sweltering! But there is nothing better than just relaxing by the pool, especially when we get into the second half of the season when I am exhausted.
We just had an off day there on Monday, and it was like a mini-vacation.
I could go on for pages about all the great things in the different cities we visit, but the flight to New York isn?t long enough for that. I?ll just say again that one of my favorite things about this job is the travel. Yes, it can be tiring when we get into a city at 4 a.m. and have a game that night. Then, after three games, we are off to the next city. But I wouldn?t trade it for the world. As they say, you only live once, and I want to experience it all.