It’s Opening Week! Time to set our sights on a new sport’s season and renew our optimism for a pennant. I’ve put together a short list of an MLB fan’s must-dos. For this bucket list, I’m going to try to stay away from the typical stuff—instead, think of this as the achievable bucket list for any baseball fan! My personal bucket list line item has been checked off…I’ve seen the curse of the Bambino broken…after that, everything else is gravy.
1. VISIT A SPRING TRAINING GAME
Ah, where each new season begins…being a New Englander, there’s just something about catching a game with a tropical feel. I feel a bit like a talent scout, looking to see where potential lies in the season ahead. Whether you’re a Cactus or Grapefruit League follower, visiting Spring Training is a must. Players are also more apt to meet with fans, sign autographs, and it’s a great way to get up close to your favorite team.
2. GO TO AN OPENING DAY GAME
At some point you have to feel the excitement of the first pitch being thrown out to usher in a new season, and what better place than with your favorite team.
3. SEE SOME MINOR LEAGUE TEAMS PLAY
If you’re lucky, you can check out some talent before they hit the majors, or you may even have a chance to see a recovering MLB player while he’s rehabbing in the minors. I was once lucky enough to throw out the first pitch of a game and get the ball signed by (albeit injury prone, but now World Series Champion) pitcher Clay Buchholz when he was still in the minors.
4. JOURNEY TO COOPERSTOWN
Visit the Hall of Fame. If you find yourself in the greater NY state area, take the pilgrimage to Cooperstown. If you go on the Hall of Fame Classic weekend you may even have a chance to meet some Hall of Famers!
5. STOP BY DOUBLEDAY FIELD
No trip to Cooperstown is complete without a trip to where the game began. Definitely try to take in a game at Doubleday—whether it’s a high school tournament or the Hall of Fame Classic, take the opportunity to experience this historical park.
6. SPLURGE ON THE LUXE SEATS
Sometimes it’s fun to see how the other half lives. While I love sitting in the bleachers with my Cracker Jack and beer, there’s something to be said about having a steak while overlooking 3rd base.
7. GO TO A WORLD SERIES GAME
It doesn’t have to be your favorite team (major bonus if it is…) but there’s something to be said for being there for the love of the game and watching two strong teams battle it out.
8. GET A PHOTO WITH YOUR FAVORITE MASCOT
Whether it’s Mr. Met or the Phillie Phanatic, there’s something about meeting the mascot that just brings out the kid in all of us.
9. EAT SOME ICONIC BALLPARK FOOD
Sure, there’s peanuts and Cracker Jack, but what about a Fenway Frank? Try the Ranger’s Broomstick (a two foot long dog!) or Chicago’s Rib Bucket (served in a souvenir helmet, of course).
10. ROOT FOR THE UNDERDOG
Red Sox fans thought they had it rough waiting 86 years for a Championship win, but the Cubs have endured 107 years. Maybe 2016 is their year? I’m rooting for the underdog…except if the Sox make it.
What’s your Baseball Bucket List look like? Use the comments to share what you must see and do.