Aug 312009

The Dodger Dog is one of baseball’s most notorious franks, and our basecrawl connoisseur is eager to sample this and rank it against the other hot dogs he’s devoured.

Nolan is famous for his gargantuan appetite, and as he and his friends tackle game No. 5 on their baseball road trip Nolan takes on the entire Dodger Stadium menu with a comical — and critical — look at the cost of ballpark food.

This video features an appearance by Bryan Mansell, a lifelong friend of Troy’s who hosted us for two nights in Los Angeles. Mansell, a musician who performs under the name Milking Gecko, wrote and recorded the song “Happy Go Lucky,” which we adopted as our BaseCrawl theme.

“Happy Go Lucky” plays in most of our videos, often as the outro but sometimes in its entirety (see also: Angel Stadium). “Happy Go Lucky” can be downloaded by following this link to Beta Records.

Aug 182009

Pushing down the California coast, the next stop is Angel Stadium where a monkey rules supreme and our travelers drift back to a time when baseball was a child’s game.

Feeling nostalgic, our basecrawlers — all former card collectors — head to a modern-day baseball card show in an attempt to reconnect with the past. They’re surprised to learn just how much the trading card industry has changed since the Tom Seavers gave way to the Tim Lincecums, and boys grew up to be men.

Troy writes more about the baseball card show in a blog titled, “What Happened to my Baseball Cards?” Daren touches on the Rally Monkey in: “It’s not just a monkey; it’s the Rally Monkey.”

Aug 082009

The San Francisco Giants offer some of baseball’s most peculiar spectacles, including the “splash hit” and the kayakers who lurk around AT&T Park. For this third stop on their baseball road trip, our basecrawlers jump into the San Francisco Bay in an attempt to score a rare and valuable souvenir.

A splash hit is a home run that clears the right-field fence and lands in a pocket of the bay known as McCovey Cove. The lengths some ballhawks will go to obtain one combines a high degree of innovation and obsession.

Meanwhile, it’s hard not to see just how much the departure of Barry Bonds has affected on the mood in San Francisco, especially at one local business where game-day rentals have slipped as fewer balls splash into the bay.

Aug 062009

When Troy was 7 years old, a professional baseball scout gave him a business card and made a tacit promise: “Call me in 11 years and I’ll give you a personal tryout to play for the Oakland A’s.

During a stopover in Portland, Oregon, our basecrawlers discover that Troy’s father has held onto the business card for more than 20 years. With Oakland Coliseum the next stop on their baseball road trip, our basecrawlers attempt to reconnect with one of Troy’s influential childhood figures.

Meanwhile, our three travelers also realize they’re not the only baseball fans this summer hitting all 30 ballparks in one season, and they’re humbled by another group of basecrawlers and filmmakers.

Aug 012009

The long-delayed BaseCrawl videos have finally arrived.

Chapter 1 of our story takes three friends to the Pacific Northwest. Our travelers intend to see one game at all 30 Major League ballparks in a single season, and the home of the Seattle Mariners is the site of Game No. 1.

This is the first in a series of documentary shorts that were created in the format. In each of these videos, we attempt to tell a story, profile a character or explore an idea. America’s baseball cities are the backdrop for these videos, but the baseball games are not necessarily the subject of our stories. You can learn more about our project here.

In this first video, we take a brief look at a new-era ballpark, and how it resembles a small city in so many ways. It can provide food, shelter, clothing, sanitation, medical care and security for tens of thousands.

When you set out to hit every MLB stadium in a season, it’s easy to take for granted just how much you’ll depend on these ballparks for basic needs. For our three travelers, the ballparks will be serve as second homes over the course of 10 weeks — providers as well as places of entertainment.