This year, my friends and I went on our 19th annual "Boys of Summer" trip. The Washington Nationals lost, but that did not detract from a great trip.
Borrowing the name from Roger Kahn's great baseball book, "The Boys of Summer" started in Cleveland with a win in 2001. The original "boys" consisted of Chuck Gekas, Jim Gekas, Jason Farber and me. The first four have been on every trip. Over the years, Cuzz Gekas and Jason Fleigel joined for many trips, while John Roelke and Louie Atsaves finally joined us for the last two trips.
We have now been to 29 ballparks, only needing to add the Los Angeles Angels, Houston Astros (although I have been there), Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners and Atlanta Braves to complete the current stadiums. (I purposely named the teams and not the stadiums, because those names seem to change so often).
Back in 2001, I was very grateful to do one baseball roadtrip. I had hopes that there would be more, but I never thought we would manage to take group trips for 19 years straight. I consider myself blessed to be a part of this, to have been to so many cities and , most of all, to have such great friends.
In the end, the baseball is the backdrop (or the excuse to go). While we enjoy the games, they have increasingly taken more of a secondary role to trying new things (like this year's Segway tour) and simply hanging out.
It is way too early to start thinking about our 2020 trip. I certainly hope most of us can coordinate things enough to have our 20th trip. I know we all work hard at being flexible in scheduling. We shall see, but for now until spring, I am happy to simply recall the fun times with great friends in beautiful places.
I wrote more about this year's "Boys of Summer" trip online for Global Traveler at Segway Touring Around the Nation's Capitol and Capitol Dining. As you see, activities and food are a big part of the trip.
Jason Farber, John Roelke, Chuck Gekas, me, Jim Gekas and Louie Atsaves in Washington, D.C.-June 2019.