The strike of 1994 took a lot out of Major League Baseball. For the first time, a World Series was cancelled, something that hadn’t even happened during World War II. When play resumed, people stayed away from the ballparks in droves, and attendance was at an all-time low.
Then, in the summer of 1998, balls started flying out of the ballparks in St. Louis and Chicago. Suddenly baseball was fun again. The Great Home Run Derby between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa resulted in both men breaking Roger Maris’s 37-year-old record of 61 home runs in a single season. When the season was over, McGwire had hit 70 home runs and Sosa 66, and the New York Yankees had won the first of three consecutive World Series championships.
Among the fans in the ballparks that summer were two recent graduates of Stanford University who had decided that before launching into their careers they would indulge themselves in one of the ultimate baseball fantasies: to see a game in all thirty ballparks of Major League Baseball. To make matters interesting, they decided to view these thirty games and visit the thirty stadiums in less than forty days.
This is the chronicle of that adventure, the story of their experiences at the ballparks and at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, the Louisville Slugger Museum, and the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa. Each chapter offers a fan’s-eye view of the stadiums and a description of their experiences at the ballparks — Kaval and even give advice on what not to miss at each stadium. The notoriety the authors gained while making this pilgrimage earned them special treatment by representatives of the host teams, ballpark officials, and concessionaires.
These storiesfocus on all that is good and enjoyable in Major League Baseball. And they are illustrated throughout with photographs from The Summer That Saved Baseball.