Episode 158 — Mike Ritz: Watching History from a High Rise, Being Forced to Visit all the Ballparks, & Playing in The Broadway Show League

Mike Ritz is a Pirates fan living in New York City. Though he was born and raised on Long Island, he became a fan of the Pirates thanks to seeing Roberto Clemente play in a game at Shea Stadium back when Mike was a kid. We chat about how a marketing job once forced him to visit each ballpark several times over, what the adult softball scene is like in New York City, and which baseball adventure Mike is looking forward to next. We also hear some funs stories about Willie Mays, Carl Yastrimeyski, Steve Lyons, and Mike’s own father.

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[00:00:00] Mike:  We’re standing outside of Fenway on Lansdowne Street, and we see a bunch of people climbing up a building that kind of overlooks the Green Monster. And these guys are like, hey, follow us. And they climb up. I guess it was a fire escape onto a billboard that’s on top of this building, overlooking the Green Monster.

[00:00:20] Mike: And we watched the game from that vantage point. It was like probably 10 or 12 of us up there kind of standing on this little catwalk underneath this billboard. And at one point, one of the guys says, Hey, if the cops come go that way. And I’m like, cops, what are you talking about? Like, you know, I’m, I’m thinking this is the worst way to start my college career.

[00:00:42] Mike: But sure enough, we got to see Carly Yastrzemski hit that 3000 hit  

[00:00:50] Anna: What’s up bucketheads?. Thanks for tuning in and welcome to episode number 158 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.

[00:01:05] Anna: This week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Mike Ritz from New York city. Mike was born and raised on Long Island, but has been a lifelong fan of the Pittsburgh pirates thanks primarily to seeing Roberto Clemente play as a kid. Mike spent several years working in the sports marketing world and even had a job that required him to visit all of the major league ballparks several times over. We hear some fun stories about Willie Mays, Carl Yastrzemski, Steve Lyons, and Mike’s very own dad. And also touch on the New York adult softball scene and hear which baseball adventure Mike is looking forward to next. 

[00:01:36] Anna: This one was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed chatting with Mike. So let’s get right to it. Now without further ado, sit back, relax and enjoy some baseball banter with Mike Ritz.

[00:01:47] Anna: Mike, thank you so much for joining us today on the Baseball Bucket List. How are things in the center of the world, New York City?

[00:01:55] Mike: Yeah, things are great. Obviously, we’re having some hellishly hot weather these last couple of days, but I think that goes for a lot of people around the country.

[00:02:03] Anna: Yeah, it’s a, it’s a A heat dome and it’s everywhere and here in Texas, it seems quite normal to us, but everywhere else, I think, uh, every, people are just, they don’t know what to do with it. So,

[00:02:15] Mike: I spent a couple of summers in Dallas, so I know how that feels.

[00:02:18] Anna: yeah, yeah, it’s, uh, it’s, uh, A great time to travel elsewhere. That’s what I always say.

[00:02:24] Mike: There you go.

[00:02:25] Anna: I know we got a lot to cover today, but the first question I always get started with right out of the gate is, How is it that you fell in love with baseball?

[00:02:33] Mike: Gosh, I’ve heard you ask this question and the only thing I can tell you is I credit my dad, um, he was a baseball lifer. I just can’t even think of a, about a time in my life that I wasn’t a baseball fan. Um, people around me, parents, older brothers said I always had a mitt in my hand, always looking for a ball game to play, or somebody to play catch with.

[00:02:59] Mike: you know, as I said, my dad grew up in Brooklyn. He worked in Ebbets Field, so he filled our little heads with all those great stories of great players from back in the day.

[00:03:09] Anna: It sounds like you didn’t really have a chance then, you know? It was just always going to be around and something that you were probably going to fall for, even if you had tried not to.

[00:03:19] Mike: Right. But listen, I’m, I’m all in. I’m still playing ball, so I’m all in.

[00:03:23] Anna: Yeah, I love that so much. I sometimes follow that up with a question and, um, you know, obviously listeners can’t see right now we’re audio only but I’m staring at the, uh, the Pittsburgh P and our teams fresh off of a weekend series against one another as I’m a Rays fan. The, uh, the first City Connect by City Connect, Game there on I think it was Friday night, but I gotta wonder, you know, you grew up in Long Island on Long Island I’m never sure how you say that

[00:03:55] Mike: We say on Long Island.

[00:03:56] Anna: on.

[00:03:56] Anna: Okay. All right. Good good, and you’re now in Times Square, New York City I mean a lot of folks are not Pittsburgh Pirates fans if they have that first few years and trajectory of life

[00:04:10] Mike: fair question. And people see me wearing pirates hats everywhere I go. and often assume I’m from Pittsburgh, right? Uh, I’m not from Pittsburgh, but the best I can tell you is the first game that I went to, or at least the first game I remember was with my dad, my grandfather, and my older brother. And it was a doubleheader at Shea Stadium, Mets against the Pirates.

[00:04:37] Mike: Um. Maybe it was the vested uniforms the Pirates were wearing at the time because those were pretty cool. Um, I do remember my dad or grandfather telling me, you know, keep an eye on that right fielder number 21, uh, who’s a special player. And he became my idol and I became a loyal Pirates fan ever since.

[00:04:56] Anna: is Clemente still your favorite player of all time? You

[00:05:01] Mike: Absolutely.

[00:05:02] Anna: Yeah, what do you think was I mean obviously one of the greatest to ever do it just such a special player such a special person too, but what do you think about him in particular made you become, you know, such a fan of him at a young age?

[00:05:17] Mike: You know, I think there was just something that was visibly different about him. you know, he wasn’t bigger than the other ballplayers, but I don’t know, something I found very mesmerizing, the way he carried himself. There was a certain elegance to the way he played, I think. Um, there was a certain unbridled passion for everything he did, whether he was swinging the bat, running the bases, catching the fly balls, making those throws.

[00:05:44] Mike: I wanted to see the Pirates play whenever I could. We went to every single Pirates Mets game at Shea. Went to a couple of games in Pittsburgh when I was growing up, still go back to Pittsburgh every year to see a game at PNC park, which I love. Um, and then of course, you know, the way he died and the, the way he just.

[00:06:05] Mike: Became such an amazing figure to players and fans alike. Uh, after he died,

[00:06:12] Anna: Yeah, I remember hearing that story. Obviously it happened before I was around, but I remember hearing that story and just thinking that it was so incredible for someone who seems so important, you know, as a little kid in my mind, someone who seems so important to be doing something so hands on and for that, unfortunately, to be the way that that he passed away and, um, just kind of having a similar sense of like awe and amazement about just who he was as an individual, even outside of his, his ball playing abilities.

[00:06:48] Mike: listen, I’ll tell you, I was out of the country. As a little kid, when he died, uh, I was in Israel traveling with my family, and, you know, as little kids do, we were kind of horsing around in the back of the bus, the parents and adults were off looking at some site, and the radio was on, and what little Hebrew I knew, I think I hear on the radio, that Roberto Clemente has died.

[00:07:15] Mike: And I just can’t even figure this out. It’s just so stunning to me. My parents come back on the bus and I say to my dad, you know, dad, I think Roberto Clemente is dead. And he’s like, I don’t know what you’re talking about. That’s ridiculous. And this is obviously in the days before ESPN and CNN. And, you know, you had no chance of ever figuring this out in real time.

[00:07:37] Mike: And I remember. Two days later, finally getting the international newspaper at the hotel. And I still get choked up thinking about it, but I went down to the lobby and saw the front page news that he had been killed in the plane crash. And it was just such a gut punch for me as a, I was 12 years old at the time.

[00:07:56] Mike: Um, just a horrible bit of news to digest and then, you know, deal with without being around my friends and just, just unbelievable.

[00:08:05] Anna: Yeah. We’ve talked about before how. These players, even if you never have a chance to meet them in real life, because the game is around so much and because you’re so invested in it, it’s almost as if they are a part of your life because they’re there every day. You’re, you’re reading about them, you’re watching them, you’re listening about them.

[00:08:23] Anna: And, uh, so I can imagine as a 12 year old kid that that, that had to be pretty heavy for you to, to kind of handle on your own, especially like you said, away from, from your community to, who might have, you know, some idea of kind of what you were going through at the time.

[00:08:39] Mike: right. For sure.

[00:08:40] Anna: Well, you mentioned getting to PNC at least once a year. I can understand why you might do that. I think it’s, uh, arguably, maybe not even arguably, I mean, I always hear it. It, it kinda jockeys back and forth, one and two, with, uh, PNC and Oracle. Those are the two that everybody puts at the top of the list. But, is it your favorite park? 

[00:09:03] Mike: You know, that’s a great question. I defer always to Fenway and Wrigley just because of the history. Um, lived up in Boston for a while when I was at school. So I spent a lot of my formative years, let’s say, sitting in the bleachers up at Fenway. But I definitely consider PNC a solid top five. and I think as a function of the pirates, not necessarily having a great team, you know, the last decade or so, uh, that seems to be turning around a little bit, hopefully, but it does give you the opportunity of getting really good seats and a really good ballpark for not a lot of money.

[00:09:39] Mike: So it’s kind of win win,

[00:09:41] Anna: Heh heh heh. Yeah, exactly, exactly. I was just at Fenway recently, and I sat in the bleachers for the first time, uh, Ever, really. And I, I just made air quotations for everyone staring deeply into their radio or iPhone. But, um, they aren’t bleachers anymore, right? They still call them the bleacher seats, but they aren’t bleachers.

[00:10:01] Anna: And I was expecting to sit on a bench, but no, there was an actual stadium seat waiting for me.

[00:10:07] Mike: Yeah. They’ve done a lot in the last, you know, 15, 20 years with the new ownership to upgrade Fenway and build out all of the little ancillary porches and different areas out there, which is great.

[00:10:19] Anna: Yeah, it was, it was really cool to be back there for the first time in about 15 years for me, and so, um, major, major differences, and I, I gotta get back there and spend maybe a couple of days, maybe a couple of games, so, uh, but it’s always a, a crowd pleaser, that’s for sure. You mentioned, too, that you have played baseball your entire life, including still currently, right? I, I would like to hear kind of your progression of play throughout your life.

[00:10:48] Mike: Wow. So, you know, I was that kid that couldn’t wait to burst out the door when, uh, our, in my community on Long Island, it was eight years old when you were first allowed to play little league. And, you know, I couldn’t wait for that day to happen. it’s amazing to think back because that became, The social currency of all of the boys in third grade.

[00:11:09] Mike: I guess you’re in. Uh, we talked about our games every weekend and dissected it through the week and then built up to who were we going to play the following weekend? Um, and then, you know, dissected those games. I try to explain to my kids. We used to do, you know, full nine on nine baseball games in the local park after school every day.

[00:11:33] Mike: just the fact that you can get 18 20 kids together to play ball. And we did. I don’t think that happens anymore. But then played all the way, you know, through high school, play club baseball in college. you know, you reach a point where you realize you’re not going to go on farther, although everybody holds onto the dream of playing Major League Baseball. Luckily, I was able to work in the sports industry, uh, after college, which kept me close to the game and other sports as well. Um, played men’s senior baseball. I don’t know where you or the listeners of the podcast land, um, not playing baseball anymore, have now shifted to softball. So I’m in a few competitive leagues here in New York City, ranging from fast pitch to modified.

[00:12:19] Mike: Um, had a double header yesterday in the 90 degree heat. So I’m feeling a little weak in the legs today, but still loving to play ball.

[00:12:27] Anna: What position do you play?

[00:12:29] Mike: So I’m on four different teams and I play four different positions on each of those teams. Yesterday I played, uh, right center field in game one and pitched game two.

[00:12:40] Anna: Okay. So, uh, a little bit of everywhere it sounds like, huh?

[00:12:44] Mike: absolutely. I grew up, I was the classic, uh, all leather. I won’t say no bat. I was a pretty sturdy hitter. but, uh, I was not a big kid growing up. So as the classic middle infielder growing up,

[00:12:57] Anna: Nice, like a utility guy, right? Kind 

[00:13:00] Mike: there you go. 

[00:13:01] Anna: you need them, throw ’em. what is the adult softball scene like in New York City, right? Because, you know, here where I’m living, we have a couple of, there are like 55 plus communities that have their own leagues like built into them or whatever, uh, but other than that, there’s not much to get into as you, you get older or even, even for younger people who are just beyond like little league ages, there’s, there’s not much to do aside from Friendly Baseball or some unorganized kind of pickup sandlot style stuff.

[00:13:37] Anna: So, uh, does New York have more to offer just because of the shear population?

[00:13:42] Mike: Um, you know, I think that, uh, you know, listen, the, the day I turned 30 years old, I signed up for the senior baseball league, which brought me back out to Long Island and other places around the tri state area. Softball has been a constant. There are certain leagues that I play in. in fact, one of the funnest is the Broadway show league where each of the Broadway shows puts up teams in the league.

[00:14:09] Mike: So I actually have been playing in that league for 20 some years, met my wife playing that league. She’s a Broadway performer. So it’s a pretty, you know, my mother said nothing would ever come with me playing ball. So I did. Okay. I found the girl I married. So that wasn’t so bad,

[00:14:24] Anna: Take that, Mom!

[00:14:26] Mike: Yeah, right. Um, but I will say that, uh, it is a very big part of the culture and it’s fair to say that my best friends through life have been people that I’ve played with and against and for, uh, all these years.

[00:14:45] Mike: Uh, those are my most enduring friendships.

[00:14:47] Anna: I love that. I had no idea about the, uh, the Broadway Play League. That’s pretty cool. That’s actually 

[00:14:53] Mike: If you, if you come to New York City, come join us in Central Park, beautiful fields on Thursday afternoons.

[00:14:59] Anna: Alright, yeah. Any advice for someone who has always kind of waffled back and forth over the idea of, you know, just trying to put themselves out there and find a place to play? Maybe they got a little bit of hesitation.

[00:15:14] Mike: Uh, first of all, I would say don’t hesitate. I’ll say further, and I say this to my own daughters, uh, you know, women who play ball are always in demand for those coed teams. So I say, go for it. You know, we joke that there’s nothing sexier than a woman, uh, you know, carrying a mitt, um, but like I said, I’ve enjoyed, Playing ball everywhere.

[00:15:39] Mike: I’ve gone, I’ve lived in Dallas. As I mentioned, I’ve lived in California. I’ve lived down in Atlanta through various parts of my career, everywhere I went, I ended up playing ball.

[00:15:50] Anna: Nice, I like it. I like that. It’s been a constant throughout your life. That’s really cool I want to back up because you you touched on the fact that you worked in sports for the majority of your career and I have some insider Information that you once had a job that required you didn’t give you the ability to but actually required you to visit all Major League ballparks. Why don’t you give us an overview as to kind of what your career has looked like?

[00:16:19] Mike: sure. so as I mentioned before, I always have this passion for playing ball. And always had it in the back of my mind, you know, I want to do something in sports. Never quite knew what that meant. Cause when I graduated from college with a degree in marketing and public relations, There wasn’t really a sports marketing industry as we know it today. I managed to get lucky enough to meet somebody who was in the business, who became a mentor to me, brought me into his company, that company was representing some of the major league baseball sponsors.

[00:16:56] Mike: Um, and he said, Hey, you know, I know you have a background in marketing. This might be a good fit for you. I couldn’t say yes fast enough. Um, and one of the clients that they had just. signed was USA Today, which was becoming the sponsor of all star fan balloting in that year, 1987. And my job was, as an account executive on this USA Today baseball sponsorship team, was to make sure that all of the, respective Major League Baseball teams were abiding by all of the marketing contracts that, uh, Um, U.

[00:17:36] Mike: S. A. Today had negotiated. So all of the in game announcements, all of the signage and everything else that goes around a sponsorship. And I remember the guy who hired me said So you’re going to have to go to every single Major League Baseball park at least twice. And gosh, I mean, I’m smiling just remembering that moment and thinking, okay, when do I go?

[00:18:01] Mike: Where do I sign up? Um, and sure enough, you know, that’s what I did. I got to know people in all the front offices, got to see how Major League Baseball stadiums were run from the inside out. And by the way, check off a lot of stadiums off my, you know, baseball bucket list.

[00:18:17] Anna: Man, that sounds like, uh, a dream job for, I bet, just about everybody listening right now.

[00:18:23] Mike: Absolutely. It was a lot of fun. And you know, I would have to pinch myself. I log a lot of frequent flyer miles that summer for sure.

[00:18:31] Anna: Yeah,

[00:18:32] Mike: Got to go to the all star game starting that year and then for the next, you know, eight or 10 years working in the business, which was also phenomenal. 

[00:18:40] Anna: Any good stories that you can share from those years?

[00:18:43] Mike: You know, I’ll tell you a story that came up this week with the passing of Willie Mays because, the kickoff of that sponsorship was a big press conference in New York City. Which was on Willie Mays birthday, May 6th of that year. Well, May 6th is his birthday. And it was my job to pick up Willie Mays at his home that morning.

[00:19:09] Mike: And of course, you know, reliving that story the past week or two, you know, after his passing. It was phenomenal not only to meet another of my childhood idols, but to be in his home, hanging out with him, taking a car into the city, so spending about an hour in the car, talking to him about everything, you know, who are his hardest pitchers that he faced, who are his favorite teammates, least favorite teammates.

[00:19:39] Mike: Everything in between. It was phenomenal. He was great. yeah, just, uh, you know, the chance to meet idols like that was unbelievable.

[00:19:47] Anna: Wow, that’s incredible. Living history and to have his ear and you know, you get a chance to ask all the questions you’ve been wondering for for years and years at that point. That’s pretty pretty cool. That’s quite a story. But what comes to mind when I ask you what your favorite baseball memory is?

[00:20:06] Mike: wow. Favorite baseball memory. I’ve had a lot of good memories. I’ve gone to, as I mentioned, all star games. I went to the Baseball Hall of Fame induction every year for a number of years. Don’t, don’t quite get back to Cooperstown for induction weekend every year.

[00:20:22] Mike: Um, but I think for me was the opportunity to take my dad to a world series game and, and just being able to kind of come full circle and being in a position where I had the access to get tickets. To a World Series game. and kind of in the same vein, uh, went to the 50th anniversary game at Shea Stadium.

[00:20:47] Mike: When they celebrated Jackie Robinson, breaking the color barrier. So 1947, now it’s 1997. And I remember being in the ballpark with my dad who was there at Ebbets field in 1947, um, working in the stadium when Jackie Robinson originally broke the color barrier. And I remember somebody in the stands even, you know, made a remark.

[00:21:09] Mike: They had introduced Rachel Robinson, his, his wife. And somebody said out loud, wow, Rachel Robinson’s here. I wonder if there’s anybody else here who was at that game. And my father turned around and said, I was there. And for the rest of the game, my dad was just kind of regaling everybody around us about, you know, how it was back in Brooklyn in 1947 at that game throughout the season.

[00:21:35] Mike: Um, and it was great to see him be able to shine in front of all those people and be kind of that, person of historical, uh, importance.

[00:21:45] Anna: Yeah, that’s incredible I would I mean if I was that person sitting behind you I would have been like okay I get access to somebody who was there and I can ask them all of the questions. I’ve been wondering for years. So 

[00:21:59] Mike: I’ll tell you a funny story. When we were when we were kids, just a quick, funny story. Um, we went to Cooperstown and my dad would joke. He said, you know, I’m in the Hall of Fame. And we’d be like, yeah, right, dad. Yeah, right, dad. And one trip we went there and we went into the library. Um, if you have ever a chance to go, you know, Kind of through the archives of Cooperstown.

[00:22:20] Mike: It’s fantastic. I would probably estimate that, you know, what’s on display in the Hall of Fame is probably 5 percent of what they have in their archives. Now, my father walks in and says, I want to see the team picture of the 1947 Dodgers. And sure enough, the guy brings out this black and white picture in a folder, and there’s my dad in the background of the team picture wearing his Ebbets Field vendor outfit.

[00:22:46] Mike: And he says, I told you, I’m in the Hall of Fame. I knew I was in that team picture. And I was like, wow, that’s, that’s fantastic.

[00:22:54] Anna: That’s fun That’s fun. Was he supposed to be in the photo? Like, did they have them included or was he just making sure he was gonna be in that photo?

[00:23:02] Mike: No, I think that, you know, the young kids who were the vendors knew where to stand when they were taking the team picture.

[00:23:08] Anna: Yeah, sounds like it.

[00:23:10] Mike: Yeah.

[00:23:11] Anna: That’s cool. That’s really neat. I want to back up because we were talking a little bit about Fenway earlier and I missed an opportunity to ask you about something pretty historic that you saw happen at Fenway. 

[00:23:23] Mike: Oh yeah.

[00:23:23] Mike: um, so I was there, I started college, I went to Boston university, and the week I arrived at school, Carl Yastrzemski was sitting on 2, 998 hits. And of course, they were in town, they were actually playing the Yankees, and my roommate and I go over to Fenway, we scrounge up two tickets. He goes hitless. So he’s still on 2998. We get tickets the next game he gets a hit. So now he’s at 2999 and the next game, as you would expect, since he was sitting on the cusp of 3000, you could not get a ticket. We, I was trying every bit of charm. I could, you know, exude every angle that a young kid from New York could try to figure out, but it was a no go.

[00:24:16] Mike: And. The funniest part was we’re standing outside of Fenway on Lansdowne Street, and we see a bunch of people climbing up a building on Lansdowne Street that kind of overlooks the Green Monster. And these guys are like, hey, follow us. And they climb up. I guess it was a fire escape onto a billboard that’s on top of this building, overlooking the Green Monster.

[00:24:41] Mike: And we watched the game from that vantage point. It was like probably 10 or 12 of us up there kind of standing on this little catwalk underneath this billboard. And at one point, one of the guys says, Hey, if the cops come go that way. And I’m like, cops, what are you talking about? Like, you know, I’m, I’m thinking this is the worst way to start my college career.

[00:25:02] Mike: But sure enough, we got to see Carly Yastrzemski hit that 3000 hit crowd goes wild. It was, it was amazing. We, we literally could see into the stadium and hear the roar of the crowd.

[00:25:13] Anna: That’s really cool. That’s really fun. Ingenuity finds a way, you know,

[00:25:17] Mike: Absolutely.

[00:25:19] Anna: oh Man You said you also have a pretty good story about Steve Lyons

[00:25:25] Mike: Oh yeah. So, um, in my sports marketing career, we used to do a lot of, uh, what we called advertiser events at various venues. Um, so. I worked for a sports media publishing company and he would reward those big clients with special, what we called high touch events. So in this case, it was a clinic on the field at Comiskey park, and this is original Comiskey, and this was the week before they were closing the stadium down.

[00:25:58] Mike: And my brother was living in Chicago at the time. I said, come with me to the game. I have a video camera. I’ll explain later what I’m going to do. So pregame we’re doing this. pregame clinic for all these advertisers and their kids. At some point the officials from the White Sox come out. Hey, you guys have to clear the field.

[00:26:18] Mike: Great. No problem. The White Sox are coming out for batting practice. And I, my plan goes into action, right? And I say to my brother, do me a favor. I’m going to be out on the field for another few minutes. Just keep the video camera on. And in my mind, I had concocted this plan to, uh, go to Steve Lyons, right?

[00:26:40] Mike: Cause I figured he was the only one who they used to call him psycho. Right. Um, the only guy that would. Buy into this pipe dream I had. And I said to Steve Lyons and I ran up to him. He probably thought I was like crazy. I said, Steve, I’ve got this idea. I just did a pregame event, but I realized that Comiskey park is about to close.

[00:27:00] Mike: This is the last chance I’m ever going to be on the field at Comiskey park. I said, I want you to throw a ball out to me in the outfield or hit me a fungo in the outfield. I’m going to catch it. Like it’s the last out of the world series and I’m gonna run in the whole way and he looks at me goes, That’s fantastic.

[00:27:18] Mike: What a great idea. Totally buys into it tells his teammates to clear out the center field outfield moves people around, goes into the middle of the diamond, hits me a long fly ball just as I plan. I catch it. I come running in like I’ve got the last out of the world series. My brother is there videotaping it.

[00:27:37] Mike: Mhm. Um, it was, it was fantastic. Um, and then he says to me, do me, you know, come with me. I want to take you to the visiting dugout. And he takes me to the visiting dugout and he goes, think about it Mike. Ty Cobb sat here, Ted Williams sat here and it’s, it was just amazing. Like he understood kind of the sense of history that I had as well.

[00:28:01] Mike: And it was just amazing to kind of get, uh, you know, that last bit of inside access to old Comiskey park.

[00:28:07] Anna: Yeah, I’m so glad he played along like he could have just said nah, I’m good and you know

[00:28:11] Mike: Nah, he was fantastic. It was great.

[00:28:14] Anna: I love hearing that. That’s fun. Oh Man, what’s left to check off on the baseball bucket list? What’s that top thing that you you want to do? Something like that.

[00:28:24] Mike: So top of the baseball bucket list. Number one is I have now have to complete the circuit of some of the new stadiums that have been built. So I need to get out to Target Field in Minneapolis.

[00:28:35] Mike: I need to get out to, uh, Bush Stadium three, I guess, in ST Louis. I have not been to the new stadium in Texas, so maybe you and I will meet there. Um, and then finally, the new stadium in Atlanta. So it’s fun that I’ve been to sometimes two predecessor stadiums in some of those markets and now need to complete that circuit again.

[00:28:57] Mike: want to get the, um, the Green Monster seats at Fenway have never sat there, but I really want to do that. Uh, you know, on a Uh, and I have to say from listening to your podcast, I really am totally jazzed about doing some international baseball touring Japan and Korea really sound interesting. So I want to do that.

[00:29:19] Anna: perfect. I know a guy who can help you out.

[00:29:21] Mike: Yes, I know.

[00:29:23] Anna: awesome. Mike, I’ve enjoyed this. I cannot thank you enough for making time to do this. Before I let you go, if folks want to follow along online, should we send them anywhere?

[00:29:32] Mike: Uh, people can find me on Facebook. I know it’s old fashioned, but I tend to post about lots of amazing baseball trivia. Uh, that clogs my head, um, anniversaries of important baseball moments. So that’s always fun. And I’m always happy to, you know, be connected with other baseball people. So that’s probably the best way to find me.

[00:29:54] Mike: And, uh, thank you for doing this podcast. Really enjoy listening and joining in on everybody’s baseball bucket lists.

[00:30:01] Anna: Uh, thank you so much for joining us today and uh, really appreciate the time.

[00:30:05] Mike: Hey, thank you, Anna. I keep doing all the good things you do.

[00:30:08] Anna: And that will wrap up this episode of the baseball bucket list podcast, special things to Mike Ritz for joining us today and sharing those stories and memories. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, if you think you might like to be a guest on the show, head to baseball bucket list.com/podcast and fill out an application. 

[00:30:23] Anna: I’d absolutely love to hear from you. While you’re there to make sure to spend some time on the site, sign up for every membership, build your own baseball bucket list, track your ballpark visits and connect with other fans. And if you find yourself enjoying the show each week, please take a moment to rate and review it in the podcast app of your choice. It goes such a long way in helping new listeners find the show. And I would really, really appreciate it. 

[00:30:44] Anna: That’s it for this week. Thanks so much for listening. We’ll see you. Next episode. 

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