I will find reasons to talk about baseball. If I see you wearing a team shirt, it’s all over. The questions begin. What team do you root for? Who’s your favorite player? Why? What’s your favorite stadium? How come? Ever been to Fenway? Do you like Minor League Baseball? Do you have a Baseball Passport?
That one always stumps them. “No, what is that?” they say with a smile on their face, intrigued by something they haven’t heard of in an industry over a century year old. This is a baseball passport:
Bound in simple, soft leather this pass-port works just like a regular passport, except instead validating your entrance into countries, this validates your visits to Major League Baseball Stadiums. Each stadium has their own seating chart, story, facts, as well as game-day facts to fill in which include temperature, attendance, starting/winning/losing pitchers, box score and more, as well as a full page just for your own notes. Some might think, “Ok, so it’s a Passport. You put it in your drawer until the next time you go somewhere.” No! It’s much more. Introducing, the “Stampeders”!
The Passport has a Facebook group that you can join when you get your book. The Stampeders are a community of baseball fans, enthusiasts and fanatics who post about the games we go to and the people we meet. We share pictures, have discussions and friendly debates, and hold meet-ups. There is some cross over into another similar group, the Ballpark Chasers, and every year they hold a meet-up at a different stadium. This year it was at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland and it was the first time Dave and I attended.
It was an ungodly hot day in Charm City but jam packed with fun activities. At 1:00PM we met most of the Chasers and Stampeders at Pickles Pub which is right across the street from Camden Yards. As much of a pub as you can get, Pickles had awesome food. Dave and I talked baseball the whole time with different people from all walks of life, and from all different states. Dodgers fans from Delaware, Yankees Fans from Long Island, Red Sox fans from Atlanta. Over beer and pub food we bonded over one common denominator; the great game of baseball.
Next we took a brief tour of the Babe Ruth Museum which was interesting and I learned a lot! It happened to be in the house he was born in, which was pretty cool. Seeing all of his home runs laid out in physical form was insane. These below are just his World Series home runs. You should see the wall of all his home runs.
Camden Yards is an incredible stadium. It’s warm and inviting, the walkways and seats are spacious and comfortable. They have tons of great food options and the god damn best hot dogs I’ve ever had. Oriels fans are fun and passionate but kind and polite. A must see it Eutaw Street, an alleyway that runs parallel to the stadium and is connected to a building next door. There are restaurants, fan assistance and merchandise stores all along it. The coolest part is that on the ground they mark the place every home run lands and place a metal coin in the spot with the name, team and date of the home run!
It’s always amazing to me how unified people become through sports. We were people who may never have met each other if not for our love of baseball. We are so different except for our love of baseball, and even though we all rooted for different teams, there was no animosity between anyone. Dave and I have met some amazing people through the Passport who we now consider friends, all thanks to the creator Tim Parks! Dave and I can’t wait to complete our Passport and visit every stadium in the US!
If you want to purchase the Baseball Passport, you can buy it on the website here, along with 25-game passports, minor league passports and much more!!