Tag Archives: Doctor Who

Time Traveling through Baseball’s Present

When last we left this time and space we discussed certain key moments to visit in baseball’s past given the chance of time travel in honor of the return of Doctor Who.

Today, we will turn our attention on the present and what the ability to time travel within a single day would allow. Think of it as Groundhog Day meets Field of Dreams with a Ballpark view.

For several years I have thought that it would be fun to visit each of the 30 Major League Ballparks on consecutive days.

In developing my dream itinerary of the order of Ballparks to visit I learned that I was far from alone in this dream. In fact, there are countless sites dedicated to the 30 Ballparks in 30 days quest.

If I had a TARDIS, like the main character in Doctor Who I would travel through time and space checking out all of the key baseball moments. Photo R. Anderson
If I had a TARDIS, like the main character in Doctor Who I would travel through time and space checking out all of the key baseball moments.
Photo R. Anderson

The level of detail with each of these plans varies but if one is so inclined, and has the means to do so, there are resources available to plan the perfect month long baseball odyssey.

While visiting all 30 Ballparks in a month is the stuff of legend for many super fans, now consider that you did not need to leave home, job and family for a 12th of the year while taking out a loan to follow your dream.

What if you could see all of the games on a single day?

Okay granted there would not be more than 15 Ballparks hosting games on any given night making it impossible to visit all 30 in one night but one could at least see all 30 teams in action on the same night through the joys of time travel.

While the internet, and other media sources, makes it possible to watch all games on a given night from the comfort of one’s home there is certainly nothing like being in the Ballpark to see the games in person.

One could have dinner at home and then hop in their time machine and go from Ballpark to Ballpark. When one game ended simply set the time and destination to the start time at the next ballpark and away you go.

One could start on the east coast and work their way west or vice versa depending on their preference. With a time machine one need not be constrained by time zones for other factors in planning the perfect night of baseball watching.

Of course with an average game time in the two to three hour range, were one to go from game to game it would require them to be awake for 30 to 45 to catch all 15 games. This means that the souvenir cup size filled with Dr. Pepper is your best friend along the journey.

But after those 45 hours of watching baseball one could return home and sleep as long as they wanted since they could always just use the time machine to make sure they got to work on time.

As an aside with the average souvenir cup clocking in at 32 ounces, one would end up drinking 480 ounces of soda if they got a souvenir cup at each Ballpark. Add in the free refill option at some Ballparks and one is looking at downing a serious amount of cola during their night of Ballpark bliss. How serious of an amount of cola? Considering that there are 128 ounces in a gallon, one would consume around 3.75 gallons of soda if they went with the souvenir soda at each of the 15 Ballparks.

If one had the chance to visit 15 Ballparks in a single night, and got a cup to take home as a memento, they would have a lot of soda to drink. With the average souvenir cup clocking in at 32 ounces, one would end up drinking 480 ounces of soda if they got a souvenir cup at each Ballpark. Add in the free refill option at some Ballparks and one is looking at downing a serious amount of cola during their night of Ballpark bliss. How serious of an amount of color? Considering that there are 128 ounces in a gallon, one would consume around 3.75 gallons of soda if they went with the souvenir soda at each of the 15 Ballparks. Photo R. Anderson
If one had the chance to visit 15 Ballparks in a single night, and got a cup to take home as a memento at each one, they would have a lot of soda to drink. With the average souvenir cup clocking in at 32 ounces, one would end up drinking 480 ounces of soda if they got a souvenir cup at each Ballpark. Add in the free refill option at some Ballparks and one is looking at downing a serious amount of cola during their night of Ballpark bliss.
Photo R. Anderson

Realistically there will probably never be a way to simultaneously see every first pitch on a given night in person, nor should anyone drink that much soda in the course of a day, but it is certainly a nice thing to think about.

Another benefit of the traveling within the same day form of time travel would be the increased ability to catch balls in the ballpark.

There are people who try to catch as many foul balls, batting practice balls, and home run balls as possible when they attend a game.

Through the use of time travel these Ball Hawks could watch a game in advance and know exactly where the balls were going to land and then position themselves to catch them instead.

This of course would get into that grey area of changing the future and crushing someone else’s timeline that originally caught the ball. Surely changing the recipient of a foul ball would not start the process that dooms the entire planet, but then again that is the tricky thing about time travel.

How small of a change in the past does it take to totally ruin everything that follows?

Perhaps it is best just to watch the games without interfering. Of course that does not mean that one cannot have some fun with it along the way.

Since every game is televised these days, and with highlights living on the internet, one could make it their mission to be on camera in each of the games they visited on the same night.

It could be a fun sort of Where’s Waldo moment to scan the crowd shots and find yourself. Extra points could be given for wearing a hat from the home team at each of the games. Although I guess in true Waldo fashion the same outfit would be best.

So there are just a few of the things one could do on any given night of the baseball season if they had all of time and space at their disposal.

A Groundhog Day full of baseball games certainly seems more exciting than waiting to find out if a furry rodent can see his shadow or not.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to tweak my plan to visit all 30 Ballparks in 30 days in case I ever win the lottery.

Copyright 2014 R. Anderson

Time Traveling through Baseball’s Past

For fans of a certain British television show about a guy and his companions who travel around in a bigger on the inside blue police box, today marks the start of a very important week.

The week is important for fans of Doctor Who in that it marks the final countdown to the new season of time traveling adventures Saturday night.

In honor of the countdown to the new season of the show I thought it would be fun to focus on time travel here as well.

In particular the focus this week will be on time travel as it relates to baseball in the past, present and future.

If I had a TARDIS, like the main character in Doctor Who I would travel through time and space checking out all of the key baseball moments. Photo R. Anderson
If I had a TARDIS, like the main character in Doctor Who I would travel through time and space checking out all of the key baseball moments.
Photo R. Anderson

Today we will start our journey through baseball time and space in the past.

Consider if you will, all of the historic moments that have occurred in baseball.

From Babe Ruth, to Shoeless Joe Jackson, to Jackie Robinson, and every player in between, baseball is full of larger than life players who for many baseball fans exist only as black and white news reel images or statistics on a page.

With Babe Ruth having made his professional debut 100 years ago, there are few people still around who were alive then, let alone old enough to have been there to witness it.

Now consider that time travel was possible and you had the means to visit any past moment in baseball history, including the Bambino’s first game. What moments would you visit?

I have often pondered that very question and have come up with some definitive moments that given the chance I would love to see in person.

The moments are divided up into the categories of Ballparks, Ballplayers, and Ballgames.

First let us focus on the Ballparks.

Many books are dedicated to the must see sights in baseball. But what if time travel was a reality and one could visit events as they occurred instead of reading about them afterwards? Photo R. Anderson
Many books are dedicated to the must see sights in baseball. But what if time travel was a reality and one could visit events as they occurred instead of reading about them afterwards?
Photo R. Anderson

While I have had the pleasure and opportunity to visit many Ballparks, including several that have since been torn down, there are a few of the classic Ballparks that were torn down before I had the chance to see them that I would have loved to catch a game in.

With the ability to travel back to the golden age of baseball and visit any Ballpark I would visit the Polo Grounds, Ebbett’s Field, and the first Yankee Stadium.

While many new Ballparks such as Oriole Park at Camden Yards have brought back a piece of that classic Ballpark feel, there would be nothing quite like traveling to see the ones that started it all.

It would also be fun to travel to an era where people dressed up in their Sunday best to catch a game although I could probably go without the grandstands full of cigarette smoke since I am allergic.

While visiting Ballparks from the golden age would be fun, another Ballpark that I would love to visit is technically still standing but no longer hosts baseball, or much of anything else for that matter. That Ballpark is the Astrodome.

Although I covered a high school football game in the Astrodome, by the time I moved to Houston the Astros had moved to Minute Maid Park (technically Enron Field at the time) and the days of baseball in the Dome were done.

Granted the Astrodome begat many carbon copy domed stadiums that hosted baseball in Seattle, Minnesota, and St. Petersburg but there would be something hard to miss about being at the very first indoor baseball game under a dome.

Whenever I find myself at Tropicana Field I often try to picture what a culture shock it most have been for those first Houston fans to see a game without knowing what the weather was like outside or being able to see the sky.

After Ballparks the next item to travel through time to see would be Ballplayers.

I would need to use my time machine to travel to see Babe Ruth play a game along with Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, and Shoeless Joe Jackson to name a few.

Speaking of Shoeless Joe, an interesting time traveler’s paradox comes into play. Would one warn Shoeless Joe and his Black Sox teammates about being banned for life for the World Series fixing scandal, or just let history go on as predicated.

While time travel in science fiction books and films often show negative results to the future through the butterfly effect whenever the past is changed it does pose an interesting question of what one would do in that situation.

There are of course people who would use time travel to their benefit through betting on games when they know the outcome but for our purposes here let us go with the belief that all who travel back are merely going as fly on the wall observers to soak in the events without altering the outcomes or fattening their wallets.

So with that philosophy of observe, but don’t interfere in mind, the Chicago White Sox would still throw the World Series just as Pete Rose decades later would still be banned from baseball.

As a certain British time traveler would say, some points in history are fixed points in time.

The third area of our journey to baseball’s past would be specific Ballgames.

From the first World Series game, to Lou Gehrig’s luckiest man alive speech, there are countless moments in Ballgames that would be worth traveling to.

For me some of the games I would need to see in person would be when Hank Aaron broke the home run record and when Lou Gehrig and Cal Ripken Jr. played their first games.

To see the start of the two longest consecutive games played streaks and to see a home run record fall would be truly historic events.

There are of course more Ballparks, Ballplayers and Ballgames that could be revisited given the ability to travel to any point in time. Each historic moment in baseball would be at the time traveler’s disposal to visit time and time again.

While realistically time travel to that degree will remain a mere wish and the stuff of film, television and literature, it is certainly fun to consider the big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff now and then.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get ready for travels through the present.

Copyright 2014 R. Anderson