During the offseason, most of us “seamheads” try to find a way to sustain our baseball fever until Spring Training rolls around. Some immerse themselves into other sports, some go back and watch classic games(I am guilty of doing this fairly often) and some go to find something baseball related to read. I have read a couple of baseball related books so far this winter and one of them might be one of the funnest baseball books I have ever read; it’s called ‘Rally Caps, Rain Delays and Racing Sausages’ by Eric Kabakoff.
The book is a simple science project; what happens when one fan tries to attend a game at every major league ballpark? It’s something we have all thought of(yes, it is a part of my baseball bucket list) and the author actually did just that, even if it wasn’t his initial plan. Basically, Eric kept going to different games in different stadiums, then at one point decided it would make a great book. What you get is a fan’s perspective of his journey all across the United States(and Canada) to fulfill this dream/project.
What you get is a very unbiased(well, for the most part unbiased; Kabakoff is a Yankees fan, so there is some favoritism there. Honestly, we all do that to a degree for our hometown team) opinion of the cathedrals of Major League Baseball. There are some great stories in here, like the chapter on visiting RFK Stadium in Washington, which is a hoot to read or a visit to the Metrodome in Minnesota that was a bit different than anywhere else he had gone. There is not only lots of discussion about the games that are attended, but also visiting other baseball attractions around these areas. There is a visit to the site of the old Tigers Stadium and a tour of Wrigley Field before actually attending a game there.
One thing that I really love about this book is the attention the author takes to not only the game, but all the nooks and crannies around the stadium. You get a history in each chapter about the home team and history about each stadium as well. I love that we get a deeper look at not just the product on the field, but also the extra entertainment at the stadium. Anymore when you visit a ballpark, you have a lot of options to keep you entertained if you aren’t worried about the play on the field. Kabakoff does a great job of taking in all of this while also paying attention to the action on the field.
Then there is the food. Obviously every ballpark has different food on their menu and Eric spends a lot of time discussing this. Hey, I can’t blame the guy; it’s always interesting to get a sneak peak into the meals that are available at each park you might visit if you are taking on a tour of each stadium. Since a good portion of us enjoy our food, Kabakoff ‘s deeper look into stadium menu’s is an extra bonus and can be taken into consideration if you are going to a new park. Also, he mentions places you can go and eat around these ballparks if you are wanting to get a bite before or after a game. If you are a food connoisseur, Kabakoff will give you something to look forward to if you bring your appetite to the ballyard; or he will give you a reason to go elsewhere before the game.
Overall, I really loved this book. It is a fun read that seems to fly by fast, as you want to see how every stadium rates for the average fan. Kabakoff has done a great job of putting together a book that anyone could read, whether you are new to the game or you are a diehard that lives the sport. I highly recommend picking up this book and it is easy to buy on Amazon whether you want it in paperback or your Kindle. I also recommend following Eric on Twitter; I have had many a conversation with him and he might be one of the nicest guys I have interacted with on social media. This book would make a great read for yourself, a friend or as a gift. Hopefully after reading it, you too will want to visit all the Major League Stadiums and compare your notes to Eric’s. Oh, and also remember to bring your hat to the ballpark or else you’ll have to wear an A’s hat no matter where you go!