Episode 134 — Steve Acevedo: Seeing all 30 Parks in Just 5 Years, Settings Sites on International Baseball, & Which MLB Player Would Make the Best Salsa Dancer

Steve Acevedo is a long-time New York Yankees fan living in Los Angeles, California. We discuss how he became a fan of the Yankees mostly thanks to Derek Jeter and the rest of the Core Four, how he completed his ballpark journey of seeing all 30 MLB parks in just five years, and how after that he set his sites on traveling to see international baseball. We also touch on the major differences between baseball overseas and in America, and which MLB star would be the best salsa dancer.  

Mentioned in this epsiode:
Ballpark Chasers
: A Facebook group where folks converse and help each other plan their ballpark journeys. https://www.facebook.com/groups/ballparkchasers/
JapanBall: A website devoted to sharing Japanese Baseball news in English, and the leading international baseball tour company offering trips to Japan, Korea, the DR and more. japanball.com.

Find Steve Online:

Find Baseball Bucket List Online:

This podcast is part of the Curved Brim Media Network:
Website: curvedbrimmedia.com

Read the full transcript

[00:58:00] Anna: What’s up bucketheads? Thanks for tuning in and welcome to episode 134 of the baseball bucket list podcast. I’m your host Anna DiTommaso, and each week on the show I speak with a different baseball fan about their favorite memories, what’s left on their baseball bucket list, and what the game of baseball means to them. 

This week, I sat down with Steve Acevedo from Los Angeles, California. Despite living in Dodgers country, Steve is a long-time New York Yankees fan mostly thanks to Derek Jeter and the rest of the Core Four. 

Steve and I discuss how he visited all 30 MLB parks in just five years, and how after that, he set his sites on international baseball. Steve shares the major differences between baseball overseas, and we lament on how we both wish MLB fans would do just a little more and be just a little more involved over the course of a game. In addition to sharing details on his latest trip to Japan and Korea, Steve also describes what it was like to see the yanks and sox duke it out in the 2019 London Series, and gives some great insight into how to really enjoy the food and culture of the different places you might visit for ballgames. 

Steve was a blast, this one was a lot of fun so I want to jump right in. Now, without further ado, sit back, relax, and enjoy some baseball banter with Steve Acevedo.

[02:27:00] Anna: Steve, thank you so much for joining us today on the Baseball Bucket List. How are things in beautiful Los Angeles?

[02:27:06] Steve: Things are a little cold out here. A little cold and gloomy. But otherwise, great.

[02:27:10] Anna: Cold, I gotta believe. I mean, give me your definition of cold because

[02:27:14] Steve: Anything below 60 degrees.

[02:27:17] Anna: all right, that’s, that’s reasonable. That’s reasonable. So let’s just jump right in then. How is it that you got started with the game of baseball?

[02:27:26] Steve: Oh, uh, my dad and his family are huge baseball fanatics. Um, you know, coming from, they’re from, he’s from Nicaragua. Uh, so baseball is pretty big down there. Um, and I remember he, he was playing when I was born in like rec ball leagues, so. That I was around the game, he take me to the baseball games, you know, um, I have a little uniform on for the team.

[02:27:51] Steve: you know, so I was always around baseball. I started playing baseball when I was seven. Um, he didn’t want me playing tee ball or even coach, you know, was it coach pitching, whatever it is. He’s like, no, you’re going to play hardball. So the seven year old, I was playing with like nine and 10 year olds. He was like, no, you’re going to be straight there.

[02:28:08] Steve: So I’ve been around baseball my whole life.

[02:28:12] Anna: I love that. I love that he was like, nah, we’re going to skip the easy part. You’re just going to jump right in and, you know, play with the big boys. So, have you lived in the LA area your whole life?

[02:28:21] Steve: My whole life born and raised.

[02:28:22] Anna: Very cool. So then I’m assuming I have an inclination of who your favorite major league team would be, but do you want to share?

[02:28:28] Steve: actually, I’m pretty sure you’re going to be wrong. A lot of people are like, oh, you’re from LA, right? Dodger fan. Nope, wrong. I’m a New York Yankee hardcore, hardcore Yankee fan.

[02:28:39] Anna: how did that happen?

[02:28:41] Steve: Uh, well, in high school, I played high school, mid nineties. And that’s when, uh, Derek Jeter came up with the Core Four, Andy Pettitte, you know, Uh, so I just started hearing his name a lot, started following him around, you know, as far as like reading up on him, catching with the Yankees and then reading up on the history of the Yankees.

[02:29:01] Steve: And I just fell in love with it. I mean, that’s an organization that, you know, has winning championships in the forefront. And they’ve always put that on, you know, it’s been a rough couple decades, but, you know, hopefully, hopefully I get to see another championship before I die.

[02:29:19] Anna: I’m sure that’s gonna happen I don’t think the New York Yankees could continue to be the New York Yankees if they don’t get back to lifting a World Series trophy

[02:29:27] Steve: last year was really rough. Last year was

[02:29:29] Anna: Yeah. I was gonna ask you, being in LA, how you felt about the, you know, the Dodgers colossal moves this offseason. But now that I know that you’re a Yankee fan, I know that you must feel just like everybody else who’s not a Dodgers fan.

[02:29:43] Steve: I, I, you know, credit to the Dodgers and credit to Ohtani for foregoing a lot of his contract, which I don’t agree with, you know, I’m like, well, as soon as I heard about it and the $700 million contract, I was like, how are they gonna afford anybody else? They’re gonna have to unload everyone, just like another two or three players on the field.

[02:30:01] Steve: There’s no way. And then, you know, hearing the details, I was like, ah, okay, well hey. You know, it’s a, it’s a business and you get, you know, they find these loopholes so good for them. I, as a Yankee fan, was really hoping we at least get Yamamoto. Fortunately, it didn’t work out. But, you know, hopefully, we got a couple good players in Soto.

[02:30:21] Steve: Um, uh, you know, so I’m, you know, cautiously optimistic about this season.

[02:30:27] Steve: I am. 

[02:30:28] Anna: I feel like that’s a good place to be. Cautiously optimistic is probably what I would tell every fan, uh, especially after kind of watching the, the Mets implosion last year after they spent so much money, but yeah. Um, it’ll be interesting to see how the Ohtani deal in particular works out if it, if it kind of shakes up the way contracts are made moving forward or if they, you know, if, if it doesn’t go well, we’ll just have to wait and

[02:30:52] Steve: Right. I mean, we hadn’t seen this since Bobby Bonilla, of course, you know, so, you know, then I was like, wait a minute. Why, why does this sound familiar? I was like, oh yeah, it’s a Bobby Bonilla contract.

[02:31:03] Anna: So even after that deal finally runs its course and we have to stop celebrating Bobby Bonilla day We’ll uh, we’ll have Shohei Ohtani day now. So

[02:31:11] Steve: I mean, how often are you going to come across another Otani? I don’t know. I don’t, I don’t see it happening for a long time, but

[02:31:17] Steve: we’ve crossed that 500 million threshold. We crossed it.

[02:31:20] Anna: wild wild more money than my brain can like even begin to contemplate and understand. so I know you’ve been to all 30 ballparks. that’s something that, that you’ve kind of been working on for a while, but you didn’t stop there, right? I mean, you didn’t just, you didn’t just stay stateside and head up to Canada and say, all right, I’ve seen everything.

[02:31:40] Anna: So can you tell us a little bit about how your ballpark travel got started and kind of like What was the thing that just made you think hey, this is pretty cool. I think I want to start doing this,

[02:31:54] Steve: well, I first got the idea as soon as I finished, um, graduate school. A lot of my time was taken up by that. I stopped playing baseball. I played a year in college. So after college was, you know, I, uh, stopped playing college ball. I still wanted to play at least recreationally, but always go back and play it.

[02:32:12] Steve: However, when grad school came along, that was such, you know, with my internships and all that, it took a lot of my time. Uh, so I stepped away from playing baseball and honestly, like even really paying attention to baseball as much, you know, as much as I used to. so when I came back to, uh, having free time, more of a time to myself, I kind of made it a bucket listing where I was like, you know what, I want to go to all 30 stadiums now that I have the time, you know, I’ve been getting, uh, had a better job at that point.

[02:32:40] Steve: So I was able to save some money for the summers. so I made it an idea of, okay, I want to go visit all 30 baseball stadiums at some point in my lifetime. so the first year that I actually planned it, it was 2013. I originally wanted to go to, uh, the East Coast. I’d never been in New York, obviously being my favorite team, I want to go to Yankee Stadium, you know, uh, so that was my plan.

[02:33:06] Steve: Things didn’t work out. I ended up sitting on the West Coast, but, uh, luckily, I have a job where I have the summers off and work in education. So we get the summers off. So I was able to take two weeks, you know, um, and I did all the West Coast stadiums, you know, starting from Seattle, all the way down to San Diego and about two weeks in every which way or form from playing to driving.

[02:33:30] Steve: To trains, you know, you name it, we took it. Um, and so every year after that, I kind of picked a region. The year after that, I think Derek Jeter had announced his retirement for 2014, if I remember correctly, so that’s when I was like, okay, you know what, we’re going to the East Coast, my best friend and I, she, she joined me on every single trip that we had gone on for all these stadiums too.

[02:33:51] Steve: Um, and I’m glad she did. I was able to share with her amazing times, amazing memories. Um, but then the East Coast came along, so I would have picked a region. For every summer, the East Coast, uh, then it was to the Midwest and then like the Southeast and then finally we wrapped it up with the, uh, like the Great Lakes area

[02:34:10] Steve: And so every year I was able to, you know, like I said, I picked the region. The hardest part was just, organizing all the dates, like trying to figure out, you know, who’s where and when. That took, uh, you know, some pretty good Excel spreadsheets, uh, skills to do that. Uh, but yeah, I did that within a span of, what, five years, I think it was, between 2013 and 2018.

[02:34:35] Steve: you know, I was able to do all 30 stadiums within those three years.

[02:34:38] Anna: That’s wild. I mean that’s like you hear about these people who are trying to do it like all in one year Which is kind of a crazy feat in and of itself.

[02:34:49] Steve: is. Actually, the first year I did it, I came across a story on social media about this guy from Seattle who was doing a 30 in 30 days. And so I ended up connecting with him. We still keep in contact. Um, I didn’t connect with him that summer and he was kind of giving me some ideas, you know, so like, you know, I give him kudos because just doing it within like two or three weeks that I could.

[02:35:14] Steve: Was insane. That’s just insane. And for him to drive, for him to just drive cross country and be able to do that within, I think, you know, within a month, insane, insane

[02:35:25] Anna: for sure and you leave it up to so many like is it gonna rain are we gonna 

[02:35:29] Anna: you know Things like that. Right. So, you, you have people who do it like that, which is just wild and absurd and a great story in and of its own, and then you have people like me who stretch it out over, like, the course of their whole life, but I mean, for you to get through them in five years, that’s like, for me, that’s like enough time to give every ballpark its time and space, enough to appreciate it, but also not let it take 30 plus years to, to get to all of them, you know?

[02:35:55] Steve: Right. Because then you’re going to run into the problem of, well, that stadium is no longer active. Now they built a new stadium, you know, which is a problem that I had with, um, Houston, or not Houston, uh, Texas and Atlanta. Yeah. I had done the old stadiums, but I was like, Hmm, should I go back? Do I want to stay here, you know, and I mean, you know, let’s just go.

[02:36:14] Steve: I got time. I got spring break. Let’s just go.

[02:36:17] Anna: Yeah. You have to. I mean, I feel like, so I’ve hit all 30 finally and I feel like now, actually, I did 

[02:36:22] Steve: congratulations. Welcome to the club. 

[02:36:24] Anna: Thank you. Thank you. My last one was an 18 too. So that’s pretty cool. Um, but I feel like now. You know, obviously it was super easy, I live in the Dallas area, so it was super easy for me to get to Arlington.

[02:36:36] Anna: Like, there’s no excuse. I, you know, I did that in the very first year. But, you know, now we’re talking about Las Vegas, and now we’re talking about a potentially new Rays ballpark, and some other teams, there’s, there’s some rustlings about new ballparks and things like that. I have to go. Like, it’s just, it’s, it’s not a question, you know?

[02:36:53] Steve: If you’re a fanatic, you have

[02:36:56] Steve: to. 

[02:36:56] Anna: keep your 30 status. So, 

[02:36:58] Steve: They won’t let us into the club if we don’t.

[02:37:00] Anna: exactly. We’ll be kicked out, right? Um, after, so, You travel a lot internationally, too, for baseball, 

[02:37:09] Steve: yes, I just started. 

[02:37:10] Anna: okay, so that was going to be my question was, was that something that started, you know, after you checked off the 30 kind of stateside and up in Canada, or was it something that, that you kind of been working on for a while?

[02:37:22] Steve: Honestly, the first time I thought about it, um, where I even gave it a thought of like, Oh, I want to go watch baseball in other countries was the world baseball classic in, um, 2000. What was it for 2007? I think it was. and being at those games is far different than being at a regular season game. I mean the crowd in itself, it just changes the environment, it changes the game because you have, when you have, when you’re at a game for like Puerto Rico, or Cuba, Japan, Korea, I mean they bring out the bands for those games, the whole game is a, you know, is a party.

[02:38:02] Steve: So that’s when I was like, this is a whole different experience. And that’s when I first had the idea of okay, you know, as soon as I get done with my 30 here in the States, or you know, MLB. I want to go see baseball games in international countries. So that’s when I thought about, okay, what are the major countries, you know, where baseball is known for?

[02:38:21] Steve: Japan, Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic. Um, this past summer I got, I went to Japan and South Korea and watch games. Like I said, there, it’s a whole different atmosphere and it changes the game. It changes the experience. You, you get the, you know, the The bands in the, in the stands, the whole game, Japan has a different chance for every single player.

[02:38:48] Steve: it’s just a whole different culture, uh, as far as, you know, the sport is involved. So that’s what I really wanted to see and immerse myself in and I’m, I’m glad that I got to see that, that I wanted to do that.

[02:39:00] Anna: You’re wearing a shirt that, uh, you know, we’re all audio here, so listeners can’t 

[02:39:04] Anna: see it, but it’s the, uh, it says Old Rivalry, New Ground. It’s got A Red Sox player and a Yankee player, they’re shaking hands standing in front of the English flag there, and it’s 

[02:39:16] Anna: from the 2019 London series. you just talked a lot about the different environments that kind of, you know, some of the Latin areas and the Asian countries, how it’s just totally a different vibe. And so when I think about the London games, I think about how Europe is obsessed with football or soccer or whatever they call it over there.

[02:39:38] Anna: And just how. rabid that fanbase is there. So my question for you is, was there that type of environment in London at the Sox versus Yanks, or was it more like just a regular MLB game that happened to be somewhere else?

[02:39:55] Steve: right. And that London series, um, it was more like a regular series game for me. It was, it was. I mean, it was a big crowd. Obviously, it was sold out crowd for the weekend, um, but it, you know, I compared it to what it was out here, you know, it was a, just a different location, but it wasn’t that party atmosphere, um, like Japan and Korea was last summer.

[02:40:21] Steve: I mean, that was, they have DJs in Korea, you know, I was like, there’s a DJ out there, they have cheerleaders, you know, in Korea. It was just a whole different game. Not, not that it takes away from the game, but it just, Adds to it. I’m, you know, you, you love the sport. I love the sport, but this was just another level of intensity where I was like, holy cow.

[02:40:45] Steve: Like we’ve got to do like, we’ve got a lot of work America. We’ve got a lot of work to do. You know, I won’t be. And I think honestly, I know there’s talks of like, I know that, you know, speeding up the game, you know, getting it under three hours, making it as quick as possible, getting more, you know, the crowd into it more and honestly, being at those stadiums in Japan and Korea, I was like, why can’t we do this over there? You know, we get it in basketball, you get it in football. Why can’t we add that element, you know, of Let’s get the crowd involved a little more. It’s not just a, it’s not just a spectator sport where they’re just watching and, you know, hoping something happens. How quick can we make something happen? It’s, let’s add an entertainment aspect of it.

[02:41:30] Anna: Yeah, I think that’s such a good idea. That’s something that minor league teams seem to do really well. You know, 

[02:41:35] Anna: they, they kind of pull people out of the stands and they do these like games in between innings or they’ll point at the first base side and then the third base side and try to see like who’s being louder and everything like 

[02:41:48] Anna: that.

[02:41:48] Anna: But why not? You’re right. Like why? Why when you watch an NFL game? Do you have all these like sections that are devoted to a specific player or something like that? And you you rarely see that in MLB and you certainly don’t see like what you’re talking about in Japan where Everybody knows exactly what they’re supposed to be yelling and screaming at a certain time

[02:42:10] Steve: Right, right. And honestly, um, Japan, especially, I remember being a Tokyo Dome, there, there’s a level of respect for, for the game. And not only the, the, the crowd like wouldn’t, I don’t know how to explain it, but, um, you could just tell that there’s a different way that they view the game and the way, the way that they go about cheering or even like heckling.

[02:42:39] Steve: I mean, honestly, I didn’t understand what they were saying. You know, I don’t understand Japanese, but you could just tell from if I’m out here at a doctor game. My daughter’s dog is stadium. I mean, they are. They can be pretty savage with, with the heckling, 

[02:42:56] Anna: Yeah, 

[02:42:57] Steve: you know, and you get that anywhere.

[02:42:58] Steve: I’m a big heckler myself, but in Tokyo, or even in Korea, I didn’t really see a whole lot of that. I did see more of the like, you know, they knew exactly what was going on. They would cheer appropriately. They, they, they knew the nuances a little better that I think than most fans out here do. Um, When they’re at a game, you know, um, so I think I think over there, like I said, Japan and Korea, especially Japan, um, being at the game like they were involved in the game, you know, pitch by pitch, uh, situation by situation, they kind of knew exactly what was going on.

[02:43:35] Steve: And, you know, could you could see the interest build a little more when it was something, um, you know, like a guy about to score or, uh, you know, Like, oh man, how, uh, in Japan, like I said, in Tokyo Dome, I think the pitcher went, I think he could pitch a complete game too. And the ninth inning, everyone’s cheering, everyone’s, you know, rooting for him.

[02:43:56] Steve: It was a, you know, it was something that we, I really don’t see a lot of here, unless you’re talking about you know, a no hitter or a perfect game or maybe a guy going for a third home run in a game. It’s those little details, though, that I think separated the the Japan and Korea experience more so than it did out here.

[02:44:16] Anna: I’ve heard that from a couple of different people and it seems like you know as you just described that most of the people at games overseas specifically are Like true baseball fans, whereas here it seems like the teams don’t necessarily care if you come and watch the game as long as you paid the money to get in through the door.

[02:44:34] Anna: And so they’ll send you off to the bars or the, you know, activity areas or whatever, which is all fine and dandy in its own right. But you gotta wonder if there’s a way for major league teams to kind of pull some of that fanaticism in that we’re seeing from, from the other leagues and Try to replicate it a bit more, because I think it’s, it, it would make it, you know, more of a thing that fans could feel involved in, as opposed to something they’re just watching.

[02:45:03] Steve: Right. And, um, yeah, I totally agree. I think It’s not for me personally. Like I said, I’m I’m a baseball fanatic. I love the pure the purity of the game. And when they brought in the pitch clock, um, or when they brought in like the mound visit restrictions, you know that to me, I didn’t agree with that. I still don’t agree with it because it’s taken away from the timelessness of the sport.

[02:45:29] Steve: That’s the whole point. We don’t have a clock. Unlike any other sport, we don’t have a clock to deal with. So games that would go, you know, 20 plus endings. Oh, my God. I was eating that up, you know,

[02:45:42] Anna: Yeah.

[02:45:43] Steve: because, you know, at some point, you know, everything’s going right or everything’s going wrong, but both teams are suffering from the same thing, you know, and you’re getting free baseball out of it.

[02:45:53] Steve: You’re getting free games out of it. And so you don’t see, I haven’t seen that obviously in the past two seasons, but I kind of missed that.

[02:46:01] Steve: You know, I don’t like the pitch clock. I don’t, I don’t like the mound visit restrictions, although I do see the benefit of it. But again, I believe. The other portion that we’re missing is that entertainment that, okay, how do we get this, the, the crowds involved in this game, other than let’s just quickly make stuff happen, 

[02:46:20] Anna: so they could have gone one of two ways, right? And the way they did go is they, they shortened the dead space with the game, and the other way they could have gone was to fill it with something a little more meaningful, but nobody asked you or me. So

[02:46:37] Steve: me ever when I talk about trades or

[02:46:39] Steve: movements or other stuff.

[02:46:41] Anna: Oh, man, 

[02:46:42] Steve: No one ever does.

[02:46:43] Anna: When you go and you’re, you’re taking in games in other countries, do you, do you try to kind of experience the local food or do you kind of stick to like the classic ballpark fare?

[02:46:54] Anna: Mm.

[02:46:55] Steve: Oh, no, no, no, no. So, even here at, uh, you know, when I’m stateside, I don’t really eat at baseball stadiums. I don’t. I’m a big foodie myself, so I like to try everything. So, baseball stadium food is like, there might be something specific to that stadium, like, um. When you go to Texas, right, they have the three foot long hot dog.

[02:47:19] Steve: So yeah, the boomstick. So I had to have that when I was there, you know, so if there’s something specific to a stadium, uh, food wise, then yeah, I’ll have it there. Otherwise it’s the generic hot dogs, burgers, you know, I’m like, ah, I can get that thing anywhere else. but what I will try. Uh, depending on, you know, where I’m at, obviously, I’ll try local, the local food.

[02:47:38] Steve: Um, so, like, Japan, I mean, I was, you know, obviously, sushi, ramen, but I got introduced to a whole bunch of other foods from around that area, you know, Tokyo, same thing. So, I don’t, I, I venture outside the stadium more than I do, as far as food goes, more than I do inside the stadium.

[02:47:57] Anna: That makes sense. I mean, that’s where, that’s the, the authentic feel of it, so that, that totally makes sense. But living in L. A., I mean, it’s gotta be cool to, to kind of have, like, food maybe in Japan, and then L. A. ‘s got, like, such a rich food scene with, with 

[02:48:10] Anna: so many, 

[02:48:11] Steve: we do. definitely. I mean, you can Get just about anything out 

[02:48:14] Steve: here. 

[02:48:15] Steve: Yeah, I love it. I love it. Sorry. Sorry. We’re not sorry.

[02:48:20] Anna: Right, yeah, I don’t blame you at all. What comes to mind if I ask you what your favorite baseball memory is?

[02:48:27] Steve: Oh, uh, I would have to say, uh, Derek Jeter is, um, his final season. being able to go to Yankee Stadium his last year going to Boston. and catching the Yankee and Red Sox games in Boston was, I mean, that, that to me is like an ultimate bucket listing because yeah, you’re in Boston, but to see the Red Sox and the Yankees.

[02:48:56] Steve: Go at it in such a historical ballpark. it literally was exciting back in the time that that stadium was as much as I hate to say because I’m a Yankee fan. It was one of my top five stadiums. It’s really cool. but seeing him in Fenway hit a home run in Fenway. Um, and I was, like I said, fortunate enough to watch the whole weekend series, uh, you know, before he retired.

[02:49:20] Steve: So that, that to me is like one of my ultimate memories.

[02:49:23] Anna: it’s history like it just is and you know, maybe maybe there wasn’t a specific record that got broken that day or that weekend But you were sitting there recognizing that it was gonna be You know, the last handful of times that Derek Jeter, who played probably hundreds of games at Fenway over the course of his career, was going to dig into that batter’s

[02:49:44] Steve: Not with me in that seat, not with me in those seats.

[02:49:46] Anna: Yeah, exactly. Me and my dad, when we, we were on a ballpark trip in 2008 and we went to old Yankee Stadium because it was the final year, you know, they were going to bulldoze it and build a new one. And, and, It was, it was Red Sox Yankees at Yankee Stadium, Sunday night baseball on ESPN, and it ended in a walk off hit by a rookie who, I had no idea who he was at the time, but like I went back and looked it up later and it was Brett Gardner, 

[02:50:14] Steve: Oh, 

[02:50:14] Anna: You know, 

[02:50:15] Anna: yeah, it goes on to have like a very long and up and down career with the Yankees, but you’re in the moment, you don’t necessarily, you kind of recognize like, Hey, this is going to be one of the last games played here.

[02:50:26] Anna: But then you look back and you’re like, Oh yeah, that guy, that guy was just a kid at the time. For sure.

[02:50:34] Steve: miss Bredy, I wish they brought him back. But you know, he, he was like nitty gritty. He, he. Went all out, gave you everything. I mean, he wasn’t the greatest player, but man, he had a passion for the game, you know, and I love that guy. Trust me. I miss him.

[02:50:49] Anna: Yeah. I bet. Is there something that, It’s still sitting at the top of the baseball bucket list, you know, maybe it’s a place you want to go, something you want to see, a person you want to meet, something like that.

[02:51:02] Steve: so like I said, um, just recently I started international, um, you know, traveling internationally to watch baseball games. So next, uh, actually this upcoming winter, um, I hope to get down to the Caribbean league. And watch those games in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, hopefully Venezuela, if it’s, you know, if it’s safer to travel into, but that’s kind of my last thing as far as for, um, baseball goes, um, you know, because that, that’s just was my next step after the MLB city was like, okay, let’s go watch baseball, international baseball, London, um, you know, with, with the Red Sox and Yankees, I really didn’t count it. Yeah, I’d never been to Europe and it was a great trip because I got to go to Greece and, Rome as a part of that trip. but like I said, it’s not a, it’s not a country known for baseball, right? like I said, uh, the last few trip, the last trip that I have really planned out for baseball, you know, is, um, the Caribbean League.

[02:52:05] Anna: I think that’s such a good one too because of the timeline of it, right? Like you kind of, if you’re like me, you get a little down after the end of October and, but, uh, they play through the entire winter and it’s just incredible. So it kind of keeps. Keeps, uh, the, the game alive, so that’s neat. It’d be a great, great thing to do,

[02:52:25] Steve: It does. And then a lot of the, a lot of the professional players from out here will go back home and, you know, play for those teams. So, you know, but that’s not, um, that’s not a make or break, uh, you know, deal for me. It’s like, I just want to go watch these sports in countries that recognize or, Countries where baseball is is king.

[02:52:46] Steve: You know, like you said, Europe is known for soccer. That was evident and is evident when I was out there in 2019. But to go and watch these games in a country where, you know, it’s respected and loved that that’s what I want to be around that because that’s what I that’s that’s that’s how I feel based by baseball I respect it and I love it.

[02:53:07] Anna: And it’s, it’s a little different than what you get on a regular basis here, so I imagine it’s pretty special. Was there any place that kind of surprised you maybe you had a perception of it when you got there Baseball wise or otherwise and you know, you were just kind of blown away or surprised either good or bad.

[02:53:27] Steve: Hmm. Um, I would have to say Pittsburgh.

[02:53:33] Anna: Okay.

[02:53:34] Steve: TNC Park. I mean, I’ve watched baseball games on TV a lot and seen at stadium, but to see it in person and to be able to catch an evening game from behind the plate and see the alley, that backdrop, that backdrop, Is one of the most beautiful. I think it’s the most beautiful backdrop in all of baseball stadiums, you know, and so I think seeing that again having sitting on TV is one thing, but to see it in person and see the colors and to see the bridge and to see the buildings in the background all that just took my breath away and it is one of the most picturesque backdrops.

[02:54:13] Steve: Ever, ever, you know, whoever, whoever decided to place a stadium there, pure genius, that’s, that’s

[02:54:21] Steve: just, you know, yeah, it was perfectly placed, perfectly placed.

[02:54:25] Anna: for sure and we when we were there we stayed downtown and we we ended up walking to the game and it was really cool to kind of You know, see the ballpark as you’re approaching it, but then when we got to our seats and you’re looking the other direction, you’re like, Oh, wow, that we just walked across that bridge and you know, everything like that.

[02:54:42] Anna: So it’s really well done, really, really cool.

[02:54:45] Steve: Yes, yes, I agree. I agree.

[02:54:47] Anna: I have a, I have a kind of a surprise question for you here and uh, it might be a little weird, but before we turned the recordings on, you were talking about how you, you do salsa dancing, right? And you’re, you’re kind of like an instructor. I want to know who you think. Would make the best salsa dancer out of major league ballplayers.

[02:55:09] Steve: um, I, I would say. Just based on his movements, I would say Juan Soto could probably make a really good dancer. You know, just the way, just watching him take pictures and he does a little shimmies out there. I think he could be, he could learn dancing really quickly. 

[02:55:30] Anna: Yeah.

[02:55:31] Anna: I think that’s a really good answer. He does his little like Juan Soto shuffle and, um, yeah. Yeah, for sure. Good answer. I think I’d agree with you there. Is there any place we should send people online to keep up with you? Is there, you know, do you share your your trips anywhere or no? It’s okay if you say

[02:55:48] Steve: I, I don’t, I don’t, um, a lot of people tell me I need to like vlog and blog everything that I do, you know, whether it’s food related or sports or trips related. Um, you know, but no, honestly, I don’t, it’s a lot of it is just. Yeah, it takes a quite a bit of planning, but I don’t make it. Um, I guess I don’t put it in the forefront to be like, okay, I want to record everything I want to make sure I, you know, document everything so I can share this.

[02:56:17] Steve: Um, you know, just Facebook if anybody wants to, you know, I guess, I know people like Facebook. What’s that? . I know Facebook’s a big pass, but you know, like I said, I have, I just, my focus on other things, so you know, if ever you guys are on Facebook and want to message me, go for it. Uh, it’s, uh, CSU late 21. Uh, that’s kinda my handle on Facebook.

[02:56:41] Steve: I think. I don’t know. 

[02:56:42] Anna: Cool yeah, I mean I get that I like that too because I know that like when I’m at ballparks and I do have social media I feel obligated to like make sure that I’m You know, posting about it and everything like that and it almost starts to feel a little bit like anxiety producing because I’m like when am I going to take my photos, what am I going to write instead of just sitting down and enjoying the game.

[02:57:03] Anna: So I totally get it. I do. 

[02:57:06] Steve: Yeah. And I, like I said, I just, I just want to experience everything myself, you know, and like, Hey, if you want to, I’ll share stuff here and there, but nothing, you know, like a live or nothing minute by minute, you know, but, uh, I know there’s a lot of people, uh, that, like you said, they’re, they’re embarking on this journey of wanting to go all 30 stadiums.

[02:57:27] Steve: There’s a lot of resources out there, uh, yeah. The Facebook group page Ballpark Chasers is really great. A lot of people have done it. A lot of people are starting to ask a lot of questions and they’re able to connect with a lot of people. JapanBall, uh, for those people that want to go to Japan. And watch baseball there.

[02:57:46] Steve: They also are venturing out into the Caribbean League now. So, you know, there’ll be a help out there and I’ll reach out to them once I start planning my trip down to the Caribbean League pretty soon. They were a great help. Uh, you know, Shane Barclay. Uh, he was a great help in getting, uh, connecting with people to get tickets, especially in Korea too, and Japan.

[02:58:05] Steve: And tickets over there. It’s a whole different story. It’s um, Japan especially you can’t just walk up to a stadium if you’re a foreigner and buy tickets. You have to have someone, I guess, who lives in the country or resides in the country to buy tickets for you. And then yeah, it was a whole, it was, it was a, a whole like trip and a half just to get tickets to these games.

[02:58:22] Steve: But I don’t know, it happened and I’m grateful for it.

[02:58:26] Anna: Yeah, it’s good to have friends, it is, and Shane’s my good buddy, and uh, he’s uh, you’re in good hands anytime he’s involved in the process, so it’s cool to know that you guys have connected. But Steve, I have enjoyed this immensely, I cannot thank you enough for making time to do this, and um, just look forward to kind of keeping in touch, and I’ll be interested to hear about that, that winter ball travel that you get into next.

[02:58:50] Steve: Likewise, thank you for having me.


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