(Diamond Kinetics’ Coach Concierge Matt Geyer will be heading to California for the upcoming week. Here is a look from Matt himself on what you can expect and how to get an inside look at Matt’s unique, one-of-a-kind experience)
PITTSBURGH – It’s the middle of July and the dog days of summer are quickly approaching. That can only mean one thing.
We’re in the prime of family vacation season.
My family is no exception to this timetable. However, where we set ourselves apart is the type of vacation we take whenever the calendar flips to July.
Unlike the typical family in the Mid-Atlantic region who will spend an off week at the beach relaxing with warm weather and toes in the sand, every year our vacation takes us to the city that hosts the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
It’s a non-traditional approach to vacation that my parents instilled from a young age.
They wanted to avoid the annual routine of going to the same beach to do the same activities, so they decided that each year we would explore a new city instead.
What better way to discover a new city than to follow the rotation of the Midsummer Classic?!
This tradition started in 2006 when Pittsburgh hosted the game, took half a decade off starting in 2010 while us kids were in college, and now picks back up this year with a west coast trip that surely will be one for the ages.
Who Am I?
My name is Matt and at the conclusion of this trip, I’ll be three days shy of my 22nd birthday.
My day-to-day life revolves around sports, as I’m sure a lot of your lives do as well. I really mean it when I say I’m a fan of all sports. Baseball, soccer, hockey, football, golf, lacrosse, you name it and I’ll probably watch or play it.
The thrill of competition runs deep in my blood.
Obviously I enjoy some sports more than others, but there is really no question or doubt that baseball is at the top of the favorites list. You can always find me watching games whether the action and suspense happens to unfold live before our eyes or NESN is replaying the Angels 21-2 drudging of the Red Sox from earlier in the day.
The passion for sports, baseball in particular, is what drove me to add a minor in Sports Marketing while in college. The desire to work in the sports industry led me to Diamond Kinetics, first as an intern then as a full member of the team after graduation earlier this spring.
This week I will have the opportunity to share my All Star fan experience as my family and I visit two more MLB stadiums on our quest to see a game in all 30 major league cities.
The Trip Itself
The trip starts out bright and early on Saturday morning with a 6:45 flight out of Pittsburgh.
I’m not a morning person by any means, but the early alarm will be well worth it as soon as I remember that later that evening I’ll be watching the San Diego Padres play the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
I should say that I am a Pirates fan 100% through and through, being born and raised in Pittsburgh will do that to you, but I’ve always enjoyed watching the Dodgers play.
There’s an unquestioned aura that surrounds the team.
The lengthy history of the club stemming from Branch Rickey in Brooklyn to Sandy Koufax, Kirk Gibson, Manny-wood, and now Clayton Kershaw in Los Angeles all are giant pillars that support the storied foundation of this organization.
Of course we remember about the legendary Vin Scully, but we can’t forget other facts like that Dodger Stadium is the third oldest venue in Major League baseball or that the Dodgers have the highest opening day payroll in the game this year! All of these tidbits make catching a game at Dodger Stadium incredibly special and an experience I am really looking forward to. To top off the visit, one of my favorite pitchers, (and follows on Twitter), Brandon McCarthy, is scheduled to be on the bump for Saturday’s matchup.
The next baseball phase of the trip will be Tuesday July 12th as our family makes the two-hour drive from LA to San Diego. We’ll catch the tail end of MLB’s All Star Fan Fest before settling in at a quality San Diego establishment around the stadium to catch the All Star Game.
For those who have never experienced Fan Fest, it is a great event that allows fans to interact with all aspects of a baseball organization. For me, though, my favorite part of this event is how prevalent the history of the game is around the convention center.
Major trophies are on display and there are exhibits that showcase the AAGPBL and the Negro Leagues, among other aspects of baseball history.
I’ve never been to Cooperstown, but I get a small sense of what it’s like every year while at Fan Fest. Since I haven’t been to Fan Fest in a few years, I’m really interested to see if and how the emergence of sports tech is represented within the event.
The final leg of this eight-day journey comes to fruition on Friday July 15th as the Padres host the Giants in their opening game of the unofficial second half.
My interest in the Padres is not as strong as it is for other teams in the NL West, but I’m still very much excited to experience the quirks that Petco Park has to offer. To watch a baseball game in another city is, to me, is a fan’s way of paying respect to the legends that helped build that city’s team.
To me, watching a game in San Diego will be special due to the greatness of Tony Gwynn, a player I idolized growing up.
That’s All She Wrote…
So that’s the trip!
Well, the baseball aspect of it anyway… When I touch down back in Pittsburgh, I will have crossed off my 16th and 17th Major League stadium.
Along the way, I’ll be sending updates via Snapchat of all the weirdly awesome facets of baseball that I come across on this west coast quest.
If you’re familiar with the LA or San Diego areas and have any recommendations on things to do outside of baseball (this is a vacation after all), feel free to leave a recommendation in the comments or tweet it to me @Matt_Geyer. To follow along for the All Star fan experience, add us on Snapchat: @diamondkinetics!