30 Major League Ballparks

11,000 Miles

6 Months

1 Bicycle

 

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This page has some miscellaneous emails, links to some stories, etc.

Here's a link to a Rocky Mountain News story. Or, if you prefer kilometers, you can read this. These were stolen from an article released by the AP, which appears at the bottom of this page. I've gotten tons of emails as a result of this story, and a couple of donations.

The Bolton Common wrote a story about me here.

WB56 ran a story last Friday, the 27th.

The Boston Globe put an article in the "Names" column on March 25th. I don't have the link handy.

The Herald ran an article on March 27th. You need to be a subscriber to read it, and I also don't have the link handy.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette ran a story on the front page of the sports section (beating out a story about Nomar's sore foot - ha!) last Sunday, March 28th. You need to pay to see the article, and again, I don't have the link.

NECN ran a story last Monday the 29th. You can see the video (or could as of a couple days ago) by going to the NECN website. I hear the video is no longer available.

An AP photographer took shots of me at Fenway.

 

The AP Story:

Going for the cycle: An 11,000-mile trek to see every ballpark
PAUL NEWBERRY, AP Sports Writer
Wednesday, April 7, 2004
©2004 Associated Press

(04-07) 15:00 PDT (AP) -- Charlie Hamilton enjoys cycling and always wanted to see every major league ballpark. Hey, why not combine the two passions?

The Red Sox fan set off last weekend on a six-month, 11,000-mile sojourn that will take him from Atlanta's Turner Field to Boston's Fenway Park -- with Dodger Stadium, Wrigley Field and 26 other big league stadiums sprinkled in along the way.

Excusing the mixed metaphors, this is hardly a slam dunk.

"I hope I can pull it off," said Hamilton, sounding a bit worried about keeping his 80-mile-a-day schedule. "It's going to be tough. There might be times when I have to cheat and take a bus, just to make up time."

At first glance, Hamilton's quest seems, well, a bit kooky.

He gave up his job as a software engineer, with no guarantee it will be there when he gets back. He left behind his wife of seven years, knowing they won't get many chances to see each other over the next six months. Though he's trying to go on the cheap -- camping out along the way, relying on the generosity of friends, family and strangers -- the trip could cost $20,000.

"When I told my parents, they were like, 'OK, next subject,"' Hamilton said. "It took a while before they finally believed I was serious about it. My boss was like, 'You're crazy."'

Actually, the genesis of this big adventure was a question from Hamilton's wife, Molly. She asked if there was anything he had always wanted to do. "Gee, I'd love to see all the ballparks," he replied. Hamilton also had done some cycling over the years. "Why not combine them," he thought to himself.

The idea grew from there. Last September, as the pennant races were winding down, Hamilton geared up. He unfolded a map of the country and began planning things out.

"I didn't know if it was even possible," said Hamilton, who couldn't finalize his plans until baseball released its 2004 schedule.

While the trip started out as a purely personal endeavor, he wound up with a higher purpose: raising money for cancer research.

Hamilton got together with the Pan-Mass Challenge, which runs the country's most successful cycling event for charity in his home state. Since 1980, more than $102 million has been generated for research and treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The arrangement made sense -- Dana-Farber's work is supported by the Jimmy Fund, the official charity of the Red Sox.

Hamilton hopes to raise $125,000 for the Jimmy Fund, using his Web site and business cards -- made up by his wife -- that he'll hand out along the way. He's asking for donations of a penny per mile, which works out to about $110.

"I really don't care about getting publicity for myself," Hamilton said. "But if I can help raise money for charity, that's great."

Through the Pan-Mass Challenge, Hamilton met 15-year-old Eric Donovan, who is being treated for bone cancer in the Boston area. They plan to stay contact via e-mail and cell phone.

"It gives him a different focus," said Donovan's mother, Kathie. "We can at least help raise some money."

Billy Starr, executive director and founder of the Pan-Mass Challenge, said the organization has worked with plenty of other cyclists on cross-country treks.

"But Charlie is the first one using the ballpark motif to propel himself across the country," Starr said.

Hamilton, who lives in suburban Boston, flew to Atlanta last week to begin his trip. He watched the Braves play an exhibition game against the Red Sox at Turner Field, then headed off for an eight-day ride to Miami's Pro Player Stadium. He'll attend Sunday's game between the Marlins and Phillies.

Checking in from the road Wednesday, Hamilton said a couple of flat tires were his only problems thus far. Oh yeah, his rump was a little sore, too, but he was a bit ahead of schedule, pedaling 110 miles on his third day.

"I stop to eat a huge lunch," Hamilton said by cell phone from Marineland, Fla., south of Jacksonville. "It's great. You can eat whatever you want."

He plans to end his trip Sept. 26, the Red Sox final home game against the New York Yankees ("I hope I can get a ticket," he writes on his Web site).

By then, if all goes according to plan, he will have experienced a big part of Americana. Chicago's Wrigley Field is No. 1 on his list. Dodger Stadium is another prime target, along with the new parks in San Diego and Philadelphia. Even Tropicana Field, a generally reviled dome in Tampa, will get a look.

"I definitely want to see them all," Hamilton said. "I'm not real thrilled about Tropicana Field, but I definitely want to see it."

The schedule is tight in some places. A rainout could mess things up, since he'll make some stops right before the home team leaves on a long road trip. Riding in stormy weather is another concern.

Already, though, the trip has given Hamilton a new view of life. He got a couple of free lunches, plus a free haircut, from those who admire the magnitude of his journey.

"I'm usually kind of a cynical person," Hamilton said. "People have been great to me about the whole thing. It's been a really nice experience."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On the Net:
Hamilton: www.hitforthecycle.org

Pan-Mass Challenge: www.pmc.org

©2004 Associated Press