Sunday, October 30, 2011

Baseball, Beer, Movies... USA!

I made it home!  Let me tell you it sure is great to be back in the USA.  It’s been an excellent journey so far.  My first night home it was game seven of the World Series.  There is no greater way to come home to the US and enjoy a game seven and a nice cold Bud Light.  As you all know St. Louis won it.  Apparently it was one of the greatest series of all time.  I wish I could of enjoyed it all but I get to enjoy every series from here on out. 

My favorite thing in the world to do is go to the movies.  That is the thing I always miss the most when I’m away.  I grew up in a movie theater.  My grandfather ran some theaters, all of my aunts and my dad worked at one, my aunt and uncle met at a movie theater, my very first job was at a movie theater.  Today I saw my first movie since getting home.  Moneyball.  Great movie.  It kept me captivated the entire time.  I didn’t even realize that 2+ hours had passed by the time the movie was over.  Brad Pitt was excellent and believable as Billy Beane. Fat Jonah Hill was a very likeable Peter Brand.  You feel that there is a genuine love for baseball wrapped up in this movie.

Now that I’m home I can continue to work on my baseball road trip!  Now is time to get my stuff together and start making things happen.  I ordered a ton of baseball stuff from amazon.com while I was deployed.  To get myself excited I have tons of baseball movies and books!  Right now I’m actually watching a Blue Ray movie about the Chicago Cubs.  I came home to several packages waiting for me at my parents’ house.  The first one I noticed was from the New York Yankees. I got really excited and opened it up.  Inside of it was a really awesome stuffed bear, a Yankees Ball cap, a coffee mug, key chains, and stickers.  They didn’t add a letter or anything else but it was still a pretty cool package to receive.  If I do a kickstarter.com project I will be adding that merchandise as a reward level.

Just as I was getting ready to come home I got an email from the Chicago Cubs (My favorite NL team).  It was an advertisement for the Cubs Convention.  Have any of you ever been to it?  I’m incredibly intrigued.  It seems like a really great time!  It would be an excellent Christmas present if anybody out there would like to get it for me!  Does your favorite team do anything unique like this?  I would love to learn about it and attend if they do.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What am I doing?

It’s been a little while since I’ve written anything. The internet in my room was not working on my down day and other than that I’ve been really tired. It’s almost time for us to be done with the longest year of my life and I am exhausted. Not too much longer and I’ll be out of Afghanistan forever!

I really don’t know exactly what I’m doing with getting sponsorship or anything like that but I’m trying like hell. I have e-mailed every single MLB team along with the MLB itself explaining to them what I am trying to do next summer. A few of them emailed me back and offered me tickets to a game next season. I also wrote a formal letter explaining what I’m trying to accomplish and sent it to several people in every organization via snail mail. The awesome thing about being deployed to Afghanistan is that we can send letter mail back to the states for free. All we have to do is write free mail where the stamp goes and our postal service will deliver it for us. I sent those out maybe 2-3 weeks ago.

So far the teams that have responded to my mail and letter mail are: Boston, Tampa, Toronto, Detroit, Chicago WS, Kansas City, Cleveland, Oakland, Atlanta, NY Mets, Miami, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, CHC, Arizona and San Diego. That’s officially just over half the teams having responded to me already. If any of them responded by letter mail I won’t be receiving that until I’m home in early November.

All teams that have contacted me have been really supportive. I have been incredibly appreciative and I thank them for being so kind in helping me with my journey. I have also been sending the link to my blog to just about everybody I know. I even went as far as friending Mike Illitch’s grandson on facebook and sending him a link to my blog. Right now my Twitter.com account is used just to send people the link and try to get them to view my blog. Hopefully I’ll gain some loyal followers. A few of my buddies have posted a link to my blog on their websites. I thank everybody who has supported me so far but I still have a long way to go.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tension

What a wild night for us Tigers fans here in Afghanistan.  The game started at 8pm Eastern time 430am Afghan time.  We are 8 and a half hour ahead of New York if you’re bad at math.  Shortly after 0430 I was able to get on the computer in the office and log on to my MLB.com account.  I pulled up the audio for the game and it was already 2-0 Tigers.  I left the game up while I was in and out of the office.  In the facility I work in there is one TV that we have access to.  It’s in our main Operations where all the higher ranking people work.  I snuck in there pretending to drop off paperwork and stayed for about an hour.  It was such an exciting game I hated leaving that TV.  We got out of work at 7am local time.  We all rushed to the chow hall to eat breakfast.  When we arrived it was the 7th inning.  Benoit came into the game with one man on.  He loaded the bases and walked in a run.  There were about 50 soldiers sitting around one TV in the chow hall in utter discomfort.  The tension was amazing.  We were sitting there, thousands of miles from Yankee Stadium, but it felt like we were right there.  Benoit got us out of the inning and the chow hall crowd went wild.  We sat there in the chow hall watching the remainder of the game.  When the Tigers got the final out we all went wild.  It was so much fun.  I’m so excited to see the Tigers take on the Rangers in the ALCS. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Memories

Do you ever have random memories that come back to you?  That happened to me today.  I was talking to Melissa who was watching the Lion King in 3D on her super wicked TV when I asked her a random question.  “Did you have a crush on Jonathon Taylor Thomas when we were younger” She said no.  I just remembered my older sister, Stacy, had posters and Pictures of JTT all over her room.  That brought back a pretty good memory for me. 

When I was in 3rd grade my parents moved us to a new house in the small town of Findlay, Ohio (Hometown of Ben Rothlisberger).  My parents asked me how I would like to decorate it and right away I informed them I wanted it to be red!  They shot that down pretty quickly.  Apparently Red was too bold of a color.  So I went with my second choice. I chose for the walls to be blue.  The border at the top of the wall was baseball bats and baseballs.  My light switch was a baseball and my lamps were bats. 

That triggers another memory.  Around the time I had gotten the new bedroom I had to start attending a new school.  I was kind of shy so I went to the Library.  I don’t remember the name of the book or exactly what it was about.  I just remember it was about the struggle of being a pitcher.  It was a short children’s novel of 150 pages or so.  I can remember the picture of the kid standing on the mound on the cover.  I checked it out of the library like 10 times that year.  I also did my best to read every baseball book in that library.

A short time after my grandfather passed away I remember my grandmother cleaning out his office.  His office was amazing.  He had bookshelves built into the walls and they were all full.  My grandmother gave me several of his books.  The one that sticks out is a book my Sparky Anderson.  I don’t remember exactly what it said but I’m rather saddened it got ruined in a flood when I was away at basic training for the Army. 

I love that these memories came back to me.  Baseball was such a huge part of my growing up.  I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of these things in many many years.  It’s so exciting being able to take a look at my baseball past. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

An idea could equal money

I’ve had a few suggestions for a kickstarter.com project. One is to pick up something small for donors at the parks. Something small and obviously something cost effective. I was thinking there could be one price bracket for picking up one thing from one ballpark, and another price bracket for picking up one thing at every ballpark. Another suggestion is to have t-shirts made. I’ve always wanted a t-shirt with my goofy face on it so I really like this idea! Maybe have a map of the US with all the parks on it. The third suggestion that I’ve had is to make a scrapbook of all the parks and give it as one of the awards. That instantly makes me think of the books you can make on shutterfly.com.  Shutterfly is an awesome website for making photo scrap books. If you’ve never seen it I recommend checking it out. I made one for my mother’s birthday and she absolutely loved it.

Another thing I was thinking of trying to set up is getting merchandise donated by players and/or teams. That would be awesome to be able to add a few autographed things to an award block. I guess anything anybody is willing to donate would be perfect. I would also pick a charity and donate a portion of the proceeds of the project. There are so many awesome veterans organizations out there it would be hard to pick just one.

Do you have any ideas? Do you have anything you could donate to my cause? What should I pick up from each park? What are different levels of incentives I could give? What should my goal amount be?

If you have any ideas leave a comment, inbox me, or send an email at baseballdreamin45@yahoo.com.