From those putting their hearts out on the field to those exploring the road less traveled, the SunglassWarehouse.com crew is pumped to introduce our latest series, where we highlight men and women committed to seizing the day and going Out & About. Check back each month as we interview individuals who have played, explored, lived, and gone the distance in the great outdoors.
Today, we’re excited to bring you our very first Out & About interview with ballpark chaser, Craig Landgren. Craig currently lives in Seattle with his wife and two children and has a goal of visiting all 30 Major League Baseball parks. When he’s not in the office working on BallparkChasers.com, he loves watching live sporting events, reading, or just watching a movie at home. But come July in Seattle, he tries to take advantage of the three sunny summer months by going for hikes or doing just about anything outdoors!
Kauffman Scoreboard Fountains
What was the first ballpark you saw a game at, and what’s the first ballpark you traveled to see?
Craig: The first ballpark I visited was Al Lopez Field while living in Florida. Al Lopez Field was the Cincinnati Reds’ Spring Training home for a number of years, and that was my first taste of professional baseball. Eric Davis hit a home run that day, and the Reds came out victorious. Fast-forward 27 years — I am still a die-hard Reds fan!
The first ballpark I traveled to outside of my home state was Kauffman Stadium (home of the Kansas City Royals). One of my favorite and most iconic features around the Majors is Kauffman’s center-field crown and fountains.
Ballpark Chasers at Chase Field
Why did you decide to start Ballpark Chasers, and what has been the most rewarding part of building a community of avid traveling baseball fans?
Craig: It all started when I bought a ballpark map a number of years ago that displays every Major League, Minor League, and Spring Training ballpark across the country. I had the map mounted in order to put push-pins in the ballparks that I visited. It’s been a life goal of mine for as long as I can remember to visit all Major League ballparks, and I thought this would be a cool way to display my progress.
As I got older, I kept meeting people that shared my same mission, so I figured there needed to be an Internet community around this. I searched online and realized no one had built one, nor was there a way to track your progress. I decided to go the route of creating a social network around this concept as not only a way to keep a scrapbook of your ballpark travels, but also a way to interact with other Chasers and receive help planning ballpark vacations. The most rewarding part of building this website has been the people that I have met and the friendships I have seen form from it.
The Green Monster
You’ve seen games all across the country. Of all of the stadiums you’ve visited so far, which is your favorite and why?
Craig: This is always the toughest question for me to answer. I have to break it up into two categories: historic and modern ballparks. My favorite historical ballpark is Fenway Park. The atmosphere there is unlike no other. I love a city where the fans are so passionate out their team. Plus, the Green Monster and the historical aspect of Fenway Park make it a favorite of mine. As for modern ballparks, my favorite so far is AT&T Park. They are known for having the best ballpark food around the Majors, and I have to agree. And the views of the Bay are incredible from inside the park.
Craig at Yankee Stadium
What advice would you give to someone who wants to see a game at every stadium, but doesn’t necessarily have the budget?
Craig: Check out our Chaser Guides. We have a travel guide for all 30 ballparks in order to help our members with where to stay, what food to eat, where to pick up your tickets, options for parking, and what else to see while in town. If you are on a budget, try to see a ballpark while traveling for other reasons. For example, maybe you are traveling for work or a wedding — check out the home team’s schedule and see if they are in town. Use online bidding websites in order to get discounted rooms, take public transpiration within the city, and eat outside of the ballpark if you are looking to save money.
Have sunglasses been beneficial to you while watching a ball game? How so, and what do you look for in a pair of shades?
Craig: Yes, I love wearing sunglasses while at the ballpark because that means the sun is out. If you live in Seattle, you can appreciate my excitement! While traveling, I make sure to pack a pair of sunglasses that are not too expensive, so I don’t have to worry about losing or breaking them. When purchasing a pair, I always look to see if they come with UVA/UVB protection.
Featured shades: SW Polarized Retro Style #540432
We are a sunglass store after all, so we have to ask: What is your favorite pair of SunglassWarehouse.com sunglasses?
Craig: I am really into the retro look right now. My favorite pair is the SW Polarized Retro Style #540432 in brown. But anytime I am in the mood for a new style, I enjoy using your page that suggests styles based upon face shape.
Special thanks to Craig for taking the time to chat with us about his love of the game and BallparkChasers.com!
Image source: ballparkchasers.com