The "Boys of Summer" started in 2001. Jim, Jason, Chuck and I went to Cleveland, OH for the weekend to watch the Indians play the Anaheim Angels. The Indians won 4-2 to start a great win streak for us and an even better trip experience which has lasted 17 years and counting.
Over the years, we have added Cuzz Gekas (2003) and Jason Fleigel (2007). We have seen 28 teams in 27 ballparks. We have included a few extra activities (white water rafting, the Baseball Hall of Fame, ziplining and more). We visited other areas (Las Vegas, Washington D.C., LaJolla (CA) and others). We have yet to see home games of the Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners, Colorado Rockies and Washington Nationals.
Cuzz has missed the last couple, but is always welcome to return. In 2015, we combined the Boys trip with Matt Parker's bachelor party in Las Vegas, which included Louie, Scott Parker and several others.
In 2001, we had no idea this experience would last 17 years. I hoped for a few more, but 17 trips was more than I could have imagined at the time.
I love these trips and these guys. I soak in the experience every time, knowing it might be the last trip. I'm even at peace if the trip ends. I feel blessed to have been on 17 trips and I know it won't last forever.
For now, I am just happy to have 2017 in the books. It was a bit of a struggle and we ended up just "traveling" to see the Chicago White Sox. Despite the lack of a "trip," we enjoyed the ride down to Guaranteed Rate Field, the game, the park and the meal after the game. Most of all, I enjoyed spending a relxing and laughter-filled day with my friends.
Jason, Jim, Jason, me and Chuck in Chicago, IL-June 2017.