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Thursday, 02 May 2013 10:46

Major League Baseball Ballpark Passport

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MLB Passport Cover Picmonkey

 

Major League Baseball Ballpark Passport

by Tim Parks

 

Leather Cover

$58.95 (book), $8.95 (stamps)

 

 

 

If It's Tuesday, It Must be Fenway

The baseball roadtrip, where travelers try to visit any number of ballparks around the country has become a popular vacation theme for many baseball fans around the country. The popularity of these vacations has risen in direct proportion to the stadium-building binge over the past twenty years as the major leagues have exorcized themselves of the soulless, cookie-cutter, multi-purpose monstrosities that dominated the landscape in the 1960's and 1970's. The new ballparks are loaded with amenities and superlative architecture that give each stadium a uniqueness all its own and a reason for fans to visit. In fact, the three oldest stadiums remaining are Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium, all of which have an excuse to exist and two of them are among the most popular of destinations.

The popularity of the baseball roadtrip has increased to the point that travel tour companies offer travel packages of various duration and scope in the same fashion that tour companies have offered travel abroad for decades -- seven countries in six days, or something like that. Now on Tuesday, Belgium can be replaced by Fenway or Wrigley or Yankee Stadium.

All of which brings us to the new Major League Baseball Ballpark Passport. This nifty little item is the brain child of ardent baseball fan Timothy Parks and serves the purpose of giving the fan the opportunity to officially authenticate his or her trip to any of the major league ballparks. Leather-bound with the MLB logo embossed on the front lending the imprimatur of officialdom, it is a simple concept, really, essentially a book with all thirty major league ballparks, arranged in alphabetical order. For each ballpark there is a diagram of the stadium, a page with a short summary of the history of the stadium, a Gameday Facts page, for the fan to record salient details of the particular game attended and, finally, a page for general notes. The Passport comes equipped with "I sat here" stickers to place on the stadium diagram. Additionally, there are sections of the Passport (it doesn't seem accurate to call it a book) reserved for attendance at All-Star or World Series games as well as a section set aside for the Hall of Fame visit. To complete the Passport are instructions on how to keep score, a skill set probably already possessed by anybody who would have a Passport.

Whether or not, Mr. or Ms. Baseball Fan elects to join the organized tour or do it on their own, the Major League Passport segues nicely for the purposes of these hardy diamond-trotting tourists. Perhaps one day there will be a minor league version.

--reviewed by Michael Eady

Editor's note: The Passport can be purchased at many major league ballparks, but we suggest checking out the Passport website, www.mlbballparkpassport.com, where you get more of the background of the Passport and purchase it directly. After receiving Michael Eady's review we contacted the author, Tim Parks, who said he agreed that a minor league version was a good idea. In fact, he's just completed one that is soon to be available at the same website.