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Marty Cole's Quest to Visit all Major League Baseball Stadiums

Here is the progress with the McCants' joining the Cole's
Click on thumbnails below for a larger picture.
To see the list of Major League Baseball Stadiums click here.
Wrigley Field in Chicago - July 2007


Buck & Marty

Miller Park in Milwaukee - July 2007

Buck & Linda McCants

Marty & Buck

Linda McCants, Marty
& Claudia Cole

Marty & Claudia Cole
and Linda McCants
Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia - June 2008

Buck & Marty


Buck & Marty

Marty & Buck
 
Nationals Stadium in Washington, DC - June 2008

Marty & Buck


Buck & Marty

Marty & Buck
 
Yankee Stadium in New York City - June 2008

Buck & Marty

 
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Progress continued in 2009 with the McCants' again joining Marty and Claudia Cole, 4 cities and ballparks in 8 days! Beautiful ballparks, rejuvenated downtowns for the most part, lots of great museums and historical points of interest, and best of all, the BEST TOUR GUIDE IN THE WORLD Marty Cole!
PNC Park in Pittsburg - May 2009

PNC Park at night

McCants and Coles

Roebling marker

With Marty's daughter & family

Marty and Buck
Progressive Field in Cleveland - May 2009


Progressive Field Seagulls


Rock n Roll Hall of Fame

Progressive Field

Marty and Buck

Progressive Field
Comerica Park in Detroit - June 2009

Comerica Park

Comerica Park

Marty, Buck and Ernie Houghton

Detroit Greenfield Village

Henry Ford Museum Mustang Serial # 1
Great American Ballpark in Cincinatti - June 2009

At Roebling Bridge

With Marty's nephew, Dr Charlie Cole

Claudia and Elvis

Great American Ballpark

Linda, Buck, Marty

Progress continued in 2010 with the McCants' again joining Marty and Claudia Cole, from June 9 to the 18th. Marty's travel log and Buck's pictures follow.
Click on thumbnails for larger images and slide show.

I want to share just a few highlights of the 2010 Baseball Trip. Buck and Linda McCants arrived as planned on Wednesday, June 9. We picked them up at O'Hare, took them to lunch at a great German restaurant on Addison, then swung by Wrigley Field (Cubs were playing in Milwaukee), before getting them settled at the Buckingham. That night we saw the White Sox begin a winning streak by downing the then second-place Tigers at 'The Cell.' Until our visit to Kansas City we thought we brought luck to the home teams we saw.

Claudia had a nice breakfast for us Thursday (in fact, all three mornings we were in Chicago), then we participated in the 'Devil and the White City' tour sponsored by the Architectural Foundation. The tour was based on Erik Larson's book, but concentrated mostly on the 1893 Columbian Exposition. Very thorough and entertaining. For example, we've known for some time that the art museum, now the Museum of Science and Industry, is the only true vestige of the Exposition (ignoring Olmstead's landscape architecture now called Jackson Park), but we learned on this tour how the city eventually, and with the help of private donors, saved the steel frame, removed the 'staff' (the temporary cladding, much like papier mache), and reclad the frame in stone.


Friday morning we flew on Southwest to Minneapolis, took the new light rail from the airport to our hotel (passing in the process the old Metrodome (still used by the Vikings), and settled into our hotel, before proceeding to the Twins' new Target Field. The Braves fell to the home team in interleague play. Target Field is very impressive, but, I must emphasize, doesn't have a dome. These people must really be tough! Also, until we got to Kauffman Field in Kansas City, we thought Target Field was our favorite. On Saturday morning, after an informal tour of downtown Minnie, we retraced our steps on the light rail past the airport to the Mall of the Americas. Very impressive, as you've heard. If you can't find it here, it probably doesn't exist. Later we returned to Chicago.

Sunday we loaded the car and drove to St. Louis. On the way we stopped in Springfield to see the Lincoln Museum (fun for Claudia and me even though we'd seen it before) and escaped from there just as a huge thunderstorm struck. We mostly skirted the storm for the remainder of the day, and that night we had a delightful dinner with Gordon at a steakhouse just steps from our hotel. Monday morning dawned clear and warm, and we drove west initially to the St. Louis Basilica. We've been to St. Louis many times (and the McCants lived at Scott AFB for two years), but none of us had seen this incredible, Byzantine-style cathedral. It's said that there are 41 million individual mosaic tiles forming the interior decoration. From there we went on to the history museum in Forest Park (the site of St. Louis' 1904 world's fair). We were surprised to learn that, again, the exposition's art museum is the only structure to have survived, and that 'staff' was used as cladding for the various structures. (The art museums at these expositions had to be more permanent and safe from fire and vandalism in order to attract loans of famous artwork.) We were amazed that the Philippines exhibit was so large, but then realized that between 1893 and 1904 the U.S. had conquered those islands from Spain, and that lately affairs there had been much in the news. Later we had a lovely lunch in St.Charles, Missouri's first state capital. Finally, we walked to the comparatively new Busch Field to watch the Cardinals beat the Mariners.

Tuesday morning we left for Kansas City, driving directly to Arthur Bryant's famous barbeque restaurant for lunch, followed by a fine tour of the '18th and Vine' museums, including especially the Museum of the Negro Baseball Leagues, in the heart of the segregation-era Negro neighborhood.



The next morning Claudia and I dropped Buck and Linda at the Truman sites in Independence, and proceeded ourselves to see the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum. The museum is grand, but the one Caravaggio of a young John the Baptist (with his head still attached) was absent, returning then from an exhibition of the painter's art in Rome on the 400th anniversary of his death. Lunch in the famous Country Club Plaza followed.

We swung by Independence for our companions and had a few drinks at the hotel waiting the passage of another big thunderstorm before walking across the road to Kauffman Field. We had time to tour the Royal's Hall of Fame in the left field concourse before play began after the rain delay.



We got an early start Thursday toward the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa. We had a pleasant stop near Iowa State's campus in Ames for lunch at a French bistro. The corn wasn't very tall at the Field of Dreams, so it was hard to imagine disappearing in the fields as had Shoeless Joe Jackson and the other old players, but we all learned something about the story, the property, and creation of the movie. We drove on to Galena, Illinois, next; checked into the Irish Cottage Boutique Hotel; and enjoyed dinner there. Friday morning we toured the quaint old town of Galena (little changed since before our Civil War), drove on to O'Hare, and bid a teary farewell to Buck and Linda.

It was a fun tour, and we definitely hope to do it again next year.

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Progress continued in 2011 with Buck and Linda McCants again joining Marty and Claudia Cole. They attended games at four stadiums and now have visited over half of the thirty major league baseball stadiums.

Click on thumbnails below for larger images
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Progress continued in 2012 with Buck and Linda McCants again
joining Marty and Claudia Cole.

We visited 3 more stadiums earlier in the spring: Miami, Tampa, and Atlanta. Pictures are below. Marty and Claudia escaped the Chicago winter by hanging out in a beautiful condo in Hallandale, FL (near Ft Lauderdale) for six months. Linda and I spent a few days with them there in mid-April, where in addition to watching the Miami Marlins beat up on Marty's beloved Cubs, we visited the Everglades and the Henry Flagler museum. This was only the 7th game played in this brand new stadium, by the way. It was incomplete in a few respects, but pretty nice. Parking is a huge problem, however, as in not nearly enough of it!

We flew to Tampa a couple of days later to watch the Rays beat the Twins in a night game, then flew back to our respective abodes the next day. The Rays play in Tropicana Field, which is actually located in St Petersburg, a definite thorn in the sides of Tampa Bay residents, and probably contributes to very poor attendance. Not one of our favorite stadiums, but the Ted Williams Hitter's Hall of Fame museum there is fantastic!

The Coles' lease on their condo expired in April, and they started meandering their way back to Chicago by car. We met them in Atlanta on May 3rd and saw Joe Blanton and the Phillies shut out the Braves, 4-0. Blanton pitched a complete game, and gave up only 3 hits as he threw only 88 pitches. A well-pitched game on the part of the Braves, too; the game lasted only 1 hour and 50 minutes! A beautiful stadium, ample and convenient parking, and the most courteous and helpful stadium employees that we've yet encountered. Linda and I told the Coles it's just good 'ole Southern hospitality at work.

That leaves eleven stadiums for our joint quest: San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, Denver, Texas Rangers, Houston, Baltimore, New Yankee Stadium, Citi Field in NY, Boston, and Toronto. Marty has been to Baltimore and Oakland before, so he only has nine that he’s never seen. I've previously been to Denver, Baltimore, Boston, and Toronto in another life, so only 7 left for me. Marty has a great plan to knock out all eleven over the next 3 years. Hopefully we'll be able to do that! We haven't made any plans for 2013 yet, but we'll keep you posted.
Buck

Click on thumbnails below for larger images

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Would you like to join Marty during one of his Quest visits?
If you live near one of the Major League Baseball Stadiums
and would like to host Marty, how about sending him an email.

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Two more stadiums in 2013 visited with Buck and Linda McCants again joining Marty and Claudia Cole on the Quest, plus Texas locals Daleys and Zyrols participating.
Click on thumbnails for larger images and slide show

Marty and BuckWe four, Claudia and I, and Buck and Linda McCants, continued the quest during the first week of May. It was a great time! We met in Dallas on May 3. The next day we saw the "best little western art museum in the country," the Sid Richardson, in Fort Worth. Then we crossed the "Metroplex" to Dallas and enjoyed the very new George W Bush Presidential Museum there.Bob, Buck and Marty After that we needed a few units of Margaritas at Uncle Julio's with friends Bob and Mercy Daley. Our dear friend Bob, with little fanfare, has fought and beaten a virulent throat and neck cancer, and he's very clearly "back in circulation." We met the Daleys the next day also, the Cinco de Mayo, at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. We sat on the visitor's side, in this case the Red Sox, so that Boston-born Bob would not lead us into a fracas we could only dream of surviving. In the event, the Rangers won it in the ninth. Bob was unhappy, but we survived to see another MLB stadium.

At the Zyrol'sThe next chapter of our quest started that same night in the Houston-area mansion of Tom and Kathy Zyroll, also great baseball fans, who had learned of our collective endeavor from your 1968 Website. This beautiful duo opened their home and hearts to us vagabonds. I hesitate to recount the hospitality in Houston, for these great Americans may never again enjoy a moment's peace from supplicants like us; but let me start: I've referred already to their hospitality, Marty, Buck and Tombut I couldn't fail to mention the breakfasts featuring pancakes and frittatas, the tours of the San Jacinto Battlefield (just happens to be a shortride and a scenic ferry trip from chez Zyroll) and old Galveston, and the crawfish boil to beat all such feasts. We were finally able to open our wallets at Irma's Southwest Grill across the street from the Houston Astros' Minute Maid Park--spectacular food with, you might surmise, a few units of Margaritas. Minute Maid Park ranks as one of the finest facilities we've seen on our quest and, although the Astros don't have many fans, they treated us to one of their rare victories by holding on to beat the Angels.

In his previous life as a FedEx pilot, Buck visited the Toronto Blue Jays' Rogers Centre Park without us, so Claudia and I plan in late July to play catch up and add that venue to our list of completed stadiums. There are still several parks in which none of us has seen a MLB game, e.g., the new, New York parks of the Yankees and the Mets, the Giants' stadium in San Francisco, and the Seattle Mariners' park. Our resolve to complete the quest is undiminished and still sufficient to overcome any minor complaints about health and budgetary matters.

Click on thumbnails below for larger images

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Photography by Linda McCants     

Would you like to join Marty during one of his Quest visits? If you live near one of the Major League Baseball Stadiums and would like to host Marty, how about sending him an email.

Marty’s Quest - 2014 Baseball Trip - again with Buck and Linda McCants
Click on thumbnails for larger images


Our travels this year took us to Boston and New York City. Buck and Linda had previously been to Fenway Park, Buck to the old Shea Stadium, and all four of us to the old Yankee Stadium. Boston is such as marvelous city that B&L jumped at the chance to go again, and of course, one can never tire of the Big Apple.

Fenway ParkWe rendezvoused in Boston on the afternoon of May 15, got settled into the fantastic Copley House brownstone cottages in the Back Bay, and proceeded to have a great three days there. Visits to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts quenched our cultural thirsts, and the night game on the 16th against the Tigers featured a super pitcher’s duel between Matt Scherzer and John Lester. Unfortunately for the Sox, Scherzer prevailed, so we had to re-evaluate our strategy for always pulling for the home team when we went to NYC.

Yankee StadiumThe Amtrak ride to NYC on the 17th was a real treat; comfortable, on-time, and sure beats flying! Effortless subway ride out to the condo we had rented via the website www.airbnb.com and we were off and running. We saw the Bronx Bombers beat the Pirates on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and were surprised to learn that we could stay for a second game for free since the Friday night game that was postponed for weather was being made up. Since the girls definitely don’t like “bonus baseball” (extra innings), we knew a doubleheader didn’t have a prayer! Unlike our previous visit to the old Yankee Stadium, we did arrive early enough to go through Monument Park; very special place.

FDR Presidential LibraryWe sandwiched in visits to the FDR Presidential Library in Hyde Park and the 9/11 Memorial before watching the Mets lose to the Dodgers in an absolutely gorgeous Citi Field night game.9/11 Memorial At Citi, we saw advertised the most expensive ballpark sandwich yet—a $22 Angus Beef Steak sandwich! Our $9 brats and $8 beers tasted just fine.

We beat feet the next morning to Laguardia and our respective abodes, having completed some more cultural and baseball checklist items. 2015 will take us to the West Coast, where Buck will complete his ballpark journeys by visiting the Oakland Coliseum, AT&T Park in San Francisco, and Safeco Field in Seattle. Marty will still have Coors Field in Denver remaining.

Citi Field
During this trip we adopted a new slogan to guide us in the years ahead: “Gotta Do Something With That RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) Money!” Marty has lots of ideas on how to do that. We’ll link up in Scottsdale for the month of March next year, take in a number of Cactus League games, hang out with Mike & Evie Langley, and figure out how to spend that RMD in the years ahead.



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                                                                                                                                     Photography by Linda McCants

Would you like to join Marty during one of his Quest visits? If you live near one of the Major League Baseball Stadiums and would like to host Marty, how about sending him an email.

Marty’s Quest - 2015 Baseball Trip - again with Buck and Linda McCants
Click on thumbnails for larger images

Buck and Linda had already been to Coors Field in Denver a few times, so Marty and Claudia journeyed there in April by themselves. Then Marty’s Quest was completed in fine style in September when we made a short and sweet sweep through two magnificent West Coast cities, San Francisco and Seattle. Super weather, wonderful accommodations, delicious food, great baseball, and best of all, wonderful company and camaraderie.

Click to enlargeSince Marty had already been to the Oakland Coliseum, Linda and Buck arrived in San Fran on Tuesday, September 8, a day prior to Marty and Claudia, and proceeded to get reacquainted with its familiar tourist attractions, to include a 438-step climb up to the Coit Tower. We linked up with the Coles briefly the next day before taking the BART out to Oakland, where we were one of only a few who saw the Astros pound the A’s 11-5 in a night game.


Click to enlargeIn San Francisco we stayed at the Marines’ Memorial Club and Hotel, an absolutely wonderful facility replete with outstanding Marine memorabilia on every floor. A modest annual membership fee entitles one to a reduced room rate, which also includes a full breakfast and two-hour Happy Hour every day, as well as access to a large number of other clubs throughout the world. In case anyone is interested, here’s the link: http://www.marineclub.com/ .

Click to enlargeClick to enlargeThe Coles and McCants’ enjoyed that delicious breakfast on the morning of the 10th and then launched off into a day and half of more sightseeing, to include the ferry out to Sausalito, Golden Gate Park, the Conservatory of Flowers, the cable cars, etc.


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Friday night found us at beautiful AT&T Park, in which Jake Peavy pitched a gem as the Giants walloped the Padres, 9-1.Click to enlarge

What we didn’t enjoy, however, was the smell of garlic fries, which seemed to find us wherever we went. Gilroy, CA, the “Garlic Capital of the World”, isn’t too far away, so maybe that’s why those things are so popular.

Click to enlarge
It was off to Seattle on Saturday morning, where interesting tours of The Seattle Underground and Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum and a great seafood meal preceded the last game of the quest, a Sunday afternoon nail-biter at wonderful Safeco Field. The light rain ceased, the clouds parted, the roof was rolled back, and we enjoyed a well-pitched game in which the Rockies edged out the Mariners 3-2.


On to Chicago the next day where the McCants’ once again took advantage of Marty and Claudia’s warm hospitality for 3 days. We made plans to renew the Quest in 2017 when the Atlanta Braves open their new SunTrust Park. Hopefully the Coles will visit the Carolinas in 2016 where the McCants can show them some more of South Carolina as well as the beautiful new AAA stadium in Charlotte, home of the Knights, a White Sox affiliate.

Nine annual trips starting in 2007, 31 ballparks visited, tremendous meals and cultural activities, great baseball: price unknown. Time spent together forming deep and abiding friendship: priceless.


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Indoor / Domed StadiumsStadiums with retractable roofs
Stadiums visited - All 31 stadiums

Team name
Stadium name
Opened
Capacity Surface Approximate cost
Government funding
Elevation at Home Plate
Distance to Center Field
Arizona Diamondbacks
Chase Field
1998
49,033 Grass $355,000,000
76%
1087 feet
407' (124m)
Atlanta Braves
Turner Field
1996
50,091 Grass $235,000,000
0%
928 feet
401' (122m)
Baltimore Orioles
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
1992
48,876 Grass $235,000,000
96%
30 feet
400' (121.9m)
Boston Red Sox
Fenway Park
1912
39,928 Grass $420,000
0%
15 feet
389' 9" (118.8m)
Chicago Cubs
Wrigley Field
1914
41,118 Grass $250,000
0%
600 feet
400' (121.9m)
Chicago White Sox
U.S. Cellular Field
1991
40,615 Grass $150,000,000
100%
595 feet
400' (121.92m)
Cincinnati Reds
Great American Ball Park
2003
42,059 Grass $297,000,000
17%
542 feet
404' (123m)
Cleveland Indians
Progressive Field
1994
43,345 Grass $173,000,000
87%
656 feet
405' (123.5m)
Colorado Rockies
Coors Field
1995
50,445 Grass $300,000,000
75%
5198 feet
415' (126.5m)
Detroit Tigers
Comerica Park
2000
41,782 Grass $300,000,000
50%
600 feet
420' (128m)
Houston Astros
Minute Maid Park
2000
40,950 Grass $266,000,000
67%
48 feet
435' (133m)
Kansas City Royals
Kauffman Stadium
1973
40,793 Grass $43,000,000
100%
877 feet
410' (124m)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Angel Stadium of Anaheim
1966
45,050 Grass $24,000,000
100%
153 feet
400' (121.9)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodger Stadium
1962
56,000 Grass $18,000,000
0%
0517517 feet
400' (122m)
Miami Marlins
Marlin Park
2012
37,442
Grass
416' (127 m)
Milwaukee Brewers
Miller Park
2001
42,200 Grass $322,000,000
64%
0598598 feet
400' (122m)
Minnesota Twins
Target Field
2010
41,000 Grass $545,000,000    
411' (125 m)
New York Mets
Citi Field
2009
41,800 Grass $850,000,000
31%
 
408' (124m)
New York Yankees
Yankee Stadium
2009
52,325 Grass $1,300,000,000
39%
 
408' (124.3m)
Oakland Athletics
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
1966
35,067?? Grass $30,000,000
100%
7 feet
400' (122m)
Philadelphia Phillies
Citizens Bank Park
2004
43,647 Grass $346,000,000
50%
19 feet
401' (122m)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PNC Park
2001
38,496 Grass $230,000,000
71%
726 feet
399' (122m)
St. Louis Cardinals
Busch Stadium
2006
46,861 Grass $346,000,000
0%
453 feet
400' (122m)
San Diego Padres
PETCO Park
2004
42,445 Grass $411,000,000
70%
121 feet
396' (120.7m)
San Francisco Giants
AT&T Park
2000
41,503 Grass $319,000,000
5%
10 feet
399' (122m)
Seattle Mariners
Safeco Field
1999
47,116 Grass $517,000,000
76%
17 feet
405' (123m)
Tampa Bay Rays
Tropicana Field
1990
36,973??? FieldTurf $85,000,000
100%
38 feet
404' (123m)
Texas Rangers
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
1994
49,115 Grass $181,000,000
80%
546 feet
400' (122m)
Toronto Blue Jays
Rogers Centre
1989
50,516 FieldTurf $570,000,000
63%
290 feet
400' (122m)
Washington Nationals
Nationals Park
2008
41,888 Grass $611,000,000
100%
17 feet
402' (122.5m)
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