Jul 012009
 

All 30 ballparks in one season

We’re experiencing a minor rain delay, but are only a few innings from releasing our series of short-form documentaries on America’s 30 Major League ballparks. We have more than an hour of material ready to go, plus more in development. We know these docs have been a long time coming, but you’ll be able to find them right here within a matter of days.

In the meantime, if you’re new to this site or considering doing a basecrawl of your own, we’d like to point you two places. The first is a recent story on basecrawls titled “Heaven, hell and the ultimate baseball road trip.” Bob Harkins, baseball editor at NBCSports.com, did a feature on how to see all 30 Major League ballparks in one season, covering everything from planning your route to how to pay for it. Mr. Harkins interviewed several recent basecrawlers for the story, which you can find right here.

The second place we’d like to draw your attention — as a primer for our soon-to-be released videos — is to a little collection of stories from the road. While the three of us were traveling the country last season, watching baseball and exploring our pastime’s hidden layers, we wrote several stories from the road that provide a snapshot of what you can expect to see in our video project.

We got together, discussed our favorites and came up with the following recommendations:

1. The best seats come to those who wait
2. Ranking all 30 ballparks
3. The business card that changed everything
4. How to be a Little Puma
5. ở đâu Là Xe jíp (của) chúng ta?
6. Those are saxophones in St. Louis
7. An Idiot’s guide to scalping
8. Battle for the Bay
9. Exercising our rights
10. Coming Home
11. And then there were two

Apr 222009
 

Baseball Roadtrip Map

Welcome back to BaseCrawl! This site remained dormant during the off-season, but we’re back to deliver the goods on a project we began a year ago.

To our past visitors, sorry we haven’t written in a long time. If you’ve just recently wandered to this site, here’s the skinny. We are three very ordinary dudes who pulled off every baseball fan’s ultimate fantasy: we hit all 30 Major League ballparks in one season. And, like some other basecrawlers out there, we documented our baseball road trip and created a website to package it as a new media project.

Our basecrawl was somewhat journalistic in nature. You can learn more about our project here. The fruit of this labor was approximately 30 video segments on the people and places of America’s pastime, and we plan to debut these short docs beginning in May. We’ll roll as many of them out during the course of the 2009 Major League Baseball season as we can, hopefully in the same spirit as our original basecrawl.

We’ve made several improvements to this website during the off-season. You can cycle through all our updates by clicking the links on the right-hand sidebar, or the thumbnails on the left-hand sidebar.

We’ll have another update or two before the videos debut, including one on our ticket scalping fiasco.

Sep 162008
 

We have two BaseCrawl updates today.

First, Troy has written a new blog titled “I thought I had seen it all …” He reveals EXACTLY how much it cost to gas up a vehicle and drive it 17,000 miles to every Major League ballpark in one summer. He also writes about the secret to pulling off a baseball road trip on a relatively small budget, and all the people who made it possible. This blog features a slideshow, too, that you can find right here.

The other update, of course, is our second trailer for our forthcoming series of documentary shorts. We were not short on inspiration or motivation, but as we dove headfirst into new territory, all three of us found video journalism more challenging than expected. This teaser reveals some of the challenges we met, the stupid mistakes we made and the overall buffoonery involved in stumbling through something for the first time. In a way, it also underscores the challenges we still face as we attempt to put it all together in the editing room.

Here’s the description for the video:

“Three friends — a math professor, a freelance journalist and an unemployed ecologist — set out to chronicle a basecrawl through all 30 Major League ballparks in one summer. But the inspiration and motivation driving their documentary is tempered by technical problems, poor preparation and a general lack of experience. Yet they didn’t let little things — like learning to use their camera — get in the way of their attempt to bring humor, insight and a unique perspective to America’s storied pastime.”

You may notice that our Videos tab at the top of this page is now working. You’ll eventually be able to scroll through all our videos there. These videos are currently being hosted on MySpace and  YouTube, and may be found elsewhere shortly. Expect most of our video pods to be hosted by Current TV, the pioneering user-powered network that’s democratizing journalism and filmmaking.

Aug 262008
 

We are proud to unveil the first video associated with the BaseCrawl documentary series. We don’t mean to be a tease, but this is just a sneak peek of our project. There’s a second teaser trailer on its way, too, that we’ll post soon.

If you’re curious, all the footage you see in this teaser was shot with “Gobbles,” the name we assigned Camera No. 2. It contains no footage from “Timmy,” our name for Camera No. 1. We’re still busy converting that footage to a digital format.

The videos are coming … eventually. They’ll begin appearing here concurrent with the 2009 baseball season, possibly as early as spring training. There will be one video associated with each game we attended during the summer, for a total of 31 (including the College World Series). But these short-form documentaries will not be about the games themselves. They’ll be about the people we met, the stories we heard and the baseball culture we observed. Each pod will range between 5 and 12 minutes. If you want to see an example of the style and format, feel free to check out a non-baseball video Troy submitted to Current TV regarding the 2008 election here.

In other BaseCrawl news, Daren has written a heartfelt eulogy to the trip, reflecting on his emotions and thoughts now that our journey is over. It’s called “I hate hot dogs” and gives subtle clues to his current whereabouts. Also be sure to check out his rankings of all 30 ballparks.

Again, if you’ve made your way to this site and followed our adventures, we cannot thank you enough. Please stay tuned …

Aug 042008
 

Best Friends and Baseball

Three friends began this journey May 24 in Missoula, Montana. Two finished it Aug. 4 in Phoenix, Arizona. After watching the Diamondbacks pummel Pittsburgh, Daren and Troy completed the first part of the mission: attend one game at every Major League ballpark in one season.

Arizona is a relatively new baseball team. So we spent the day asking fans: “Who was your favorite team before the Diamondbacks?” As you can imagine, the answers varied widely, and with each team mentioned we were able to reflect on our journey. This will be the subject of our last video in our documentary series. Daren also reflects on all the parks we’ve seen by ranking them in his latest blog: “Wait! It’s Over?

baseball road trip to ArizonaOur project has gone through many incarnations, beginning as a wild idea for a vacation, then manifesting itself as a platform for journalism, storytelling and a series of short-form documentaries. We pooled our resources, drained our bank accounts, charged our credit cards and went on the most amazing adventure of our lives. But this really isn’t the end.

The quest is technically over, but the mission is just beginning. There will be a few updates in the next few weeks as we go through our footage and assess a plan to release our videos. We are very appreciative of everyone who has taken an interest in our little project, enjoyed our scrappy photo albums and followed our updates and read our blogs. We’ve had so much fun doing these things, but this is actually a video project. And that part of BaseCrawl is now getting under way.

We met great people, saw incredible places and heard amazing stories. We can’t wait to bring these to you in moving pictures.

In the meantime, we’re still blogging. Again, don’t forget to read Daren’s eloquent ranking of all 30 parks here. Who’s No. 1? Is it PNC Park or Yankee Stadium? All our photo galleries are up to date, too, including a few new pictures from Chase Field.

We’ll be back shortly with some more closing thoughts, a summary of how much money we spent on gas (the most asked question we get) and updates on the progress of our project.

Thank you for following our journey.

Sincerely,

Daren, Troy (and Nolan)