Legends On Deck

A Man And His Journey

It is amazing what you can find on the internet when you aren’t looking for it.  In the beginning of Legends on Deck, one of the tasks I needed to complete was updating the minor league affiliations with all of the different teams to complete the pages we created.  I did various searches in order to find the most accurate and up to date information since things change every couple of years, and I stumbled upon a gem and a wonderful story.

Minorleaguesource.com had all of the information I was searching for.  It had all of the affiliation changes as well as team name changes and pretty much everything else I needed to complete my task.  One of the other things I found while snooping around another’s work was a journey that I was very jealous of.

You hear about people taking trips cross-country to see all of the major league stadiums, but the owner of minorleaguesource.com was taking it a bit farther.  His journey was going to bring him to EVERY working baseball stadium in the country, major league and minor league.  At the time of my discovery of this website and quest, the owner, Mike McCann, had made it to 93 of the 190 stadiums so far.  I decided that I needed to know more about it, so I reached out to him requesting an interview and he graciously accepted.

John Ginder: When did you decide that you wanted to see every stadium?

Mike McCann: I really started focusing on my quest after I graduated from college.  I had seen about 20 different stadiums by that point and decided that it would be interesting to try and see them all.

JG: Did you play baseball as a kid?

MM: I played little league, but I wasn’t very good.  I was a non-athletic, tall, skinny kid.

JG: What is your favorite part about baseball?

MM: That’s a tough one.  I would say the strategy involved.  Every pitch has so many small things involved with it.  There is a significant amount of planning and execution with each pitch.

JG: What team do you root for?

MM: I’m a lifelong Phillies fan.

JG: How do you decide what places you are going to visit for the upcoming season?

MM: I’m not always successful, but I try to see the closest stadium that I haven’t been to.  If i’m able to go on another trip, I try to see how many games I can cram into as little time as possible.  It’s much tougher to plan a string of games that you would think.  If you want to see two games in a weekend, outside of the northeast, there aren’t many options of teams close enough together to allow you to see a night game and then a day game.

JG: Have you made any plans for 2015 yet?

MM: I’m hoping to see the West Virginia Black Bears since this is their first season, and it would be great if I could see another inaugural game.

JG: What is it about the stadiums that keeps you going?

MM: Each stadium has it’s own unique architecture an character.  That no two are alike keeps the journey interesting.  Each stadium I go provides and completely different experience.  I never get bored.

JG: According to you site you have been to just about half of the stadiums.  When did this quest start, and do you have a time frame on when you want it completed by?

MM: I started in 1999, and I have no deadline.  Now that I have ticked off most of the stadiums within reasonable driving distance, and i’m married with a job, it’s been harder to see the end of the road.  I do have hopes of a RV in retirement though.

JG: You must have seen many exciting and/or crazy things during your journey.  What stands out the most?

MM: I got recognized once at a San Jose Giants game.  I was walking around the stadium before the game and someone comes up to me and asks if i’m Mike McCann.  He’d seen on my website that I was going to be at the game that day.  So i’m pretty much a celebrity.

JG: Other than taking photos of the stadiums and keeping ticket stubs, do you collect anything else from your visits?

MM: I try to get a game ball from each different league.  The nicest one I have is a 2000 World Series baseball which I got during batting practice at a Philadelphia Phillies game.

JG: What is your favorite minor league stadium that you visited and why?

MM: My favorite would be Dr. Pepper Ballpark, home of the Frisco RoughRiders, because it’s the most unique.  It has a bullpen in the stands and free standing buildings rather than a covered concourse.

JG: What has been your favorite major league park?

MM: My favorite is PNC Park in Pittsburgh.  The placement of the stadium on the river is really nice.

JG: Finally, with all of the old stadiums that have been torn down over the years, have you thought about visiting where they were to really complete the journey?

MM: No, and i’m pretty sure my wife would divorce me if I added even more locations to visit.  Also, seeing a game at the stadium is an essential part of my quest.  I have a huge wall map of the United States that I use to keep track of my progress.  I don’t mark off a stadium location unless I’ve seen a game.  Just a tour doesn’t count.

 

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John Ginder

Site Co-Founder/Senior Editor and Co-Host at Legends on Deck® The Podcast
In the past John has been a part of such successful sites as MetsMerizedOnline and MetsMinors.net.John was born and raised in upstate New York and has a love of all sports but mainly baseball. He has grown used to heartache with his teams as he roots for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres too.John has a loving and understanding wife and is the the proud father of two amazing boys.He also loves heavy metal music.