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Take me out to 30 ballgames

Visiting the stadiums of all 30 Major League Baseball teams is a challenge many fans dream of completing. For those who do, the journey may take a lifetime to accomplish.

But what about doing it over the span of one summer? It might seem crazy, but that’s how Northeastern alumnus Ben Lavoie, E’10/MS’13, spent the summer after his senior year: traveling across the country to catch a ballgame at all 30 stadiums.

Here’s a map of all the Major League stadiums Lavoie and Crawford visited. Click on each baseball to find out which team plays at each stadium, as well as some fun facts from the duo’s trip.

Lavoie made the trip with his best friend from college and fellow Northeastern alumnus Andy Crawford, E’10. Both played baseball their whole lives, and their friendship grew through college despite rooting for rival teams—Crawford’s allegiance is to the New York Yankees, while Lavoie is a fan of the Boston Red Sox.

“It was the best time of my life,” said Lavoie. “Andy and I were talking about things to do when we graduated and eventually we decided to do this trip.”

After a year of planning, the duo set out just a few days after Commencement and kept a detailed blog of their journey. By the end of their trip in August, they had seen more than 30 games, including the 2010 MLB All Star Game and the annual Home Run Derby in Anaheim, California.

They drove the whole way, putting more than 16,000 miles on Andy’s red Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. And they only spent a handful of nights sleeping in a hotel, often opting to camp outside or stay with family and friends.

Now, Lavoie is chronicling the trip in a book titled On Baseball and America, for which he recently launched a Kickstarter campaign. The book will include photos and highlights of the trip, as well as historical information on the different teams and stadiums.

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Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins. Contributed photo

“I want to write the book to show why it’s important to take time to have some experiences that can help shape your perspective on life,” Lavoie noted.

He explained that he and Crawford had a unique experience at each park. At Progressive Field, home of Cleveland Indians, they met the team’s president and vice president of ballpark operations, who gave them the lowdown on the stadium. The game they attended at historic Wrigley Field in Chicago was temporarily stopped when the stadium lights lost power.

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Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, after the stadium lights went out. Contributed photo

Lavoie noted that one of the best games they saw was an August matchup between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in the City of Brotherly Love. “That was an intense game because the Phillies were working toward the playoffs and their fans created such a great atmosphere,” he said.

In the end, the trip proved to be about much more than baseball. Lavoie said it was an opportunity to explore different parts of the country and have exciting experiences, such as camping at Yellowstone National Park or visiting St. Louis’ Gateway Arch.

“Experiences you gain while traveling are really unique, and those were probably my favorite parts of the trip,” Lavoie noted. “We were continuously surprised with how welcoming people were and grateful for everyone’s support along the way.”