Jul 282008

Houston Astros Documentary

Some baseball fans have an incredibly odd way of expressing their love. Such is the case in Houston where we were directed by folks on the message boards toward three unique Astros fan clubs: The O’s Bros, Los Caballitos and The Little Pumas.

We made it our mission to explore the topic of fan clubism during our stop at Minute Maid Park. We found The Little Pumas’ website before arriving in Houston and met them before the game. Daren then became an impromptu member of their club, donning a puma outfit and having one of his more interesting experiences at a baseball game. He writes about it in his new blog: “Welcome to Texas … now go home!

Baseball Road Trip to HoustonAt the game we also were able to connect with the fine gentlemen known as Los Caballitos. They wear sombreros, ride stick horses and root for Carlos Lee. Check out their MySpace page here and an article we found on them here. More on them to come when we put together our video pod …

Unfortunately we were not able to connect with The O’s Bros, the loyal fans of Roy Oswalt. They’re known for sometimes wearing wizard robes and performing a famous strikeout dance every time their favorite pitcher gets another K. Oswalt was pitching this night, but we were told the core members of The O’s Bros were out of town. Sorry we missed you.

The Astros ran away with a 5-4 victory over the Reds, but once again we closed this chapter of our baseball road trip more pleased with the friends we made and the times we had. Troy has posted some pictures from Houston here, and we’ve compiled a few more here. The Little Pumas also posted their own blog about meeting us here (but you must log in to MySpace to view it).

We’re headed to Dallas to eat some cookies …

Jul 272008

Oakland A's Business Card

Twenty-seven down, three to go. We’ve parted ways with Florida, the East Coast and are headed west to mess with Texas after surviving Bourbon Street.

Troy has written a new blog titled “The business card that changed everything.” Troy takes a moment to reflect on his personal pastime, and the chance encounter with a professional scout that shaped his childhood obsession with the Oakland A’s. The business card pictured above was given to Troy when he was 7 years old, and we ask anyone who knows what became of this man to send us an e-mail. Troy goes into greater detail in his new blog.

We were stunned by the devastation still evident in New Orleans three years after Hurricane Katrina. Still photography is not the focus of this project, but we’ve posted a few new photos from New Orleans here that don’t quite do justice to what we witnessed. But we have a lot of video footage that we’ll share … eventually.

We also had another basecrawl moment and lifetime first. Shortly after passing the 15,000-mile mark, we entered Houston and promptly ran out of gas on the interstate. As we sputtered to a stop on the side of the road, we both looked at each other and said, “BaseCrawl.” For us, this word has become synonymous with “FUBAR.”

On deck is our date with the Houston Astros and their zany fan clubs.

Jul 222008

Tampa Bay Baseball Road Trip

Pictured above is Dennis “The Menace” Shrader. He has a lot of balls, literally and figuratively. Before we saw the Rays lose 8-1 at home to Troy’s A’s, we visited Schrader’s home in St. Petersburg for our upcoming video on what drives people to collect things — in this case, baseball things.

Schrader collects autographed baseballs. He has more than 3,000 of them — the largest private collection in the world. His balls have been autographed by seemingly everyone, including Babe Ruth, Marilyn Monroe, Joe Dimaggio and Fidel Castro. Schrader and his wife, Mary, were two of the more interesting people we’ve met on our baseball road trip and we can’t wait to show you why. You can learn more about Dennis and his collection at www.littlecooperstown.com.

Baseball Road Trip to FloridaIn the meantime, Daren has posted two new blogs. His first, “Quiet down everyone! I’m watching the scoreboard” recounts our experience watching the Marlins get smoked by Atlanta, although Daren wasn’t paying much attention to the game on the field. (By the way, the home team has lost the last five basecrawl games). Daren also writes about his childhood memories of Florida, and how acting young keeps you young in “I think I saw Figment on Bourbon Street.”

As always, we met many great people in Florida. Nicole and Kevin put us up — and put up with us — for two nights in St. Petersburg. Thanks guys! We also said farewell to our impromptu BaseCrawl member, Emily Rice, who brought us much joy and comic relief during our five days together. Might there be a love story developing here? Wait for the video.

New pictures are everywhere, and our map is up to date. Photos from Atlanta can be found here, Tampa Bay here and a few Marlins photos here.

We’re now headed to a place where the stars at night, are big and bright.

Jul 202008

Baseball Road Trip to Camden Yards

We recently checked game Nos. 24 and 25 off our basecrawl list, watching Baltimore and Atlanta choke at home. We’re entering the homestretch of filming and collecting information for our quasi-documentary project. Editing looms …

Troy has written a new blog on how he’d rather have an Oriole on his shoulder than dirty Sox on his feet. Troy, who was sketched by an artist at Camden Yards, wore his Tigers jersey to the game unaware — at first — that Detroit was the visiting team that day. He compares this experience to wearing the Tigers jersey around White Sox fans at U.S. Cellular Field where … well … just read about it in “I’d proudly wear an Oriole on my shoulder.”

Atlanta Braves Baseball DocumentaryWe have picked up a new BaseCrawl crew member to bring us back to three. Emily Rice has picked up where Nolan Rice left off, and we couldn’t be happier (there is no relation between these Rices). Emily is Troy’s grad school classmate. She’s been with us for four days, accompanying us to Turner Field where she watched her favorite manager get ejected for a record-setting 141st time. Oh, and her favorite team lost 15-6 against the woebegone Nationals.

Troy has written another new blog that covers Emily joining our team and the quirks of Southerners. It’s called “Southern Hospitality and my date with Moonshine.” Don’t forget to click the links on that one. A special thanks goes out to Maureen and Marshall Rice for putting us up for two nights and showing us an incredible time.

As always, we’ve updated our personal photo galleries. You can find some pictures from Baltimore here.

More to come …

Jul 132008

Baseball Protest

Our basecrawl has gone into overdrive. We recently attended five games in six days, putting 1,184 miles on our odometer as we covered both New York teams, Boston, Pittsburgh and the Washington Nationals. We would not recommend this itinerary to anyone, and if we could do it all over again we probably would have found another way. Ugh!

Pittsburgh Pirates Road TripTroy has posted a new blog on our activities in Washington, D.C. After watching the Nationals get blanked at home, we headed toward our nation’s capitol to protest and record footage for our forthcoming video. We urged our leaders to ban the designated hitter, say yes to contraction and make it strike four, you’re out. You can read more about this in “Exercising our rights.”

We wrapped up our reunion with Nolan, an original member of our crew who rejoined us for three games on the East Coast. Nolan has posted two more photo essays he calls blogs about watching his Red Sox lose at Fenway and fulfilling his childhood dream of seeing the Boston Garden.

Visiting Fenway ParkAfter Nolan left for Idaho, we drove a grueling 10 hours in one day (on three hours’ sleep) to Pittsburgh to watch the Pirates win an amazing come-from-behind victory over St. Louis. We spent some time in a boat on the Alleghemey River during the game for our upcoming video, then caught another “nap” before driving 247 miles the next morning for the Nationals’ day game. Ugh!

Our vehicle was impounded in Washington, D.C. after we left it for six hours in a two-hour zone. This left us stranded in our nation’s capitol for one night, but we eventually found an expensive hotel that absolutely destroyed our lodging budget. We were also the beneficiaries of a $100 fine for the whole ordeal. Daren discusses this incident and a few other things in his most recent blog.

There are lots of new pictures in all of our photo galleries (although we’d like to remind everyone that we’re videographers, not still photographers). Nolan has posted oodles of pictures of his girlfriend in Boston, New York and New York. You can also see photographs from Pittsburgh and Washington here and here.