April 13-16 - @ New York Yankees (4 games)
Yankee Stadium: capacity 47,309 - 2022 attendance was 3,136,207 (ranked 1st out of 15 AL teams)
Yankee Stadium screams “we own you” to Twins fans. Last year was the first Twins victory there since May of 2019, and the Twins have gone 3-24 at Yankee Stadium since 2015. So yes, four games in a row seems a bit _______ (I’ll let you fill in the blank here).
But what Yankee Stadium lacks in hospitality to our chances for success, it makes up for in baseball history and charisma. Monument Park shares the rich tradition of the pinstripes and is the place to be before the first pitch. The tiered outfield seats provide a few too many flashbacks to Twins crushing defeats of the past, but being present for the “roll call” tradition of the Yankees' outfield bleacher bums and knowing that millions of humans are within blocks of you offers a lot of excitement.
Then there’s the rain. Assuming Josh Donaldson is still around the Yankees by then, he won’t be the only bringer of rain, as April in New York often does the same. This stretch of games carries the most significant weather risk of the season, and financially I’m not sure how I could handle it if I have to come back to this zone for a rainout make-up later in the season. Luckily, MLB appears to have also thought this through and scheduled a mutual off-day for the Monday after the series. Multi-layered and thick-skinned, I’ll make my way to the enemy’s lair with confidence. At least for the first game…
Yankee Stadium resides in the heart of the Bronx, so parking and any “quick” travel to destinations don’t happen. With at least four days in the area, I shouldn’t have to rush through the tourist situation either. The Statue of Liberty takes most of a day to visit appropriately. I would love to see Ellis Island, where rumor has it my last name became something new (not every letter makes it to the next generation when immigration workers and penmanship get involved). Broadway, TV show scenery, and Central Park are must-sees. Or I might sleep in my car and eat ham sandwiches for four days. Budget TBD!
Mitchell, SD, to Yankee Stadium gates is 1436 miles. Whether to drive or not to drive is the question. Its 21 hours to get there by car, and flying and utilizing mass transit while in the region is a no-brainer if I’m going by myself. However, if it becomes a family trip of sorts, the options grow broader and more complicated.
April 18-20 - @ Boston Red Sox (3 games)
Fenway Park: capacity 37,755 (actually listed at 37,305 for day games because they tarp the batter's eye) - 2022 attendance was 2,625,089 (ranked 4th out of 15 AL parks)
One of two remaining “jewel box” ballparks (Wrigley being the other), Fenway Park serves as a must-see for any baseball road-tripper. Across the Charles River from the likes of MIT and Harvard, the Red Sox’s home field carries a history of curses and triumphs. From the house that Babe Wrecked to Big Papi’s stomping grounds (ouch), Fenway speaks to the iconic and cultural power of baseball in Americana.
Even my backyard wiffle ball set-up had a “Green Monster” set of evergreen trees…temptingly close but impossible to clear. I didn’t make that up; Fenway did. At 37 feet tall, the Monster serves as the biggest batter distraction in baseball. Pesky’s pole in right field sits a mere 295 feet away from home plate if you believe independent measuring services (“officially” 302, according to the Sox). The pull-happy Twins should do great there, as long as they can remember actually to watch the ball and not the scenery.
Boston uniquely ties into my family tree as well. My father-in-law attended seminary in Boston, so my wife started kindergarten amid this baseball lore. My trip to Fenway will necessarily explore some of these connections. Being the birthplace of our nation also provides numerous places for investigation. Boston Harbor, Paul Revere’s home, and the replica of “Cheers,” the bar! In 2022 the Twins were in Boston for Patriot Day, the third Monday of April, with an 11 o'clock game time so that fans could catch the end of the Boston Marathon. The whole town shuts down and remembers who they are. This year, the Twins come into town on an off day, and the Angels will be in town for that event. This should save me some serious cash and traffic issues! I get Boston’s hangover with a post-Patriot Day Tuesday-Thursday series. Is it worth it to try to make it into town for the marathon? Should a guy try and catch a dose of Ohtani and Trout while in the area?
Mitchell, SD, to Fenway Park gates is 1,616 miles. Yankee Stadium to Fenway Park gates is 204 miles. Rental car or train from Yankee Stadium? Again the type of transportation that I bring will determine where lodging occurs. These larger cities are set up so well for mass transit that it seems ridiculous to try to drive everywhere. And yet, the freedom of having your vehicle is engrained in my midwestern heart quite profoundly. Again, amount of travelers and distance to accommodation will impact this decision. Hotels aren't as plentiful around Fenway as there are in the Bronx.
Now it's your turn to plan!
If you have been to either Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park, please post your list of "best seats" and "must-sees." Is anyone else planning on going to this series?
Grace and peace, Twins Territory! Thanks for the help!