(PRWEB) September 09, 2013
This past July, some very devoted baseball fans were inducted into the Sports Travel and Tours Stadium Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place in Cooperstown, NY and coincided with The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Induction Weekend.
Twelve years ago, Sports Travel and Tours (STAT) of Hatfield, MA developed this program for fans that have attended games in all 30 Big League ballparks with Sports Travel and Tours. “We hear from our avid baseball fans all the time, that their dream is to see a game in every stadium,” said Jay Smith, President of Sports Travel and Tours. “So we contacted the Hall of Fame and they allowed us to honor these special fans in Cooperstown,” said Smith.
Travelers receive a custom Passport to Baseball and a stamp for each ballpark visited. Once a fan has visited all 30 ballparks with Sports Travel and Tours, they are inducted into the Sports Travel and Tours Stadium Hall of Fame. “This was our fourth class since we initiated the program,” said Teresa Weybrew, Director of Sales for Sports Travel and Tours. “In 2001, there were 6 inductees, 2005 brought us 17 fans and in 2009 we had 26. This year, 38 fans were inducted into the STAT Hall of Fame,” said Weybrew.
“Inductees come from all over our country and beyond,” said Christopher J. Switzer, Creative Director for Sports Travel and Tours. “We have inductees from Tennessee and Ohio, Florida and Missouri, and brothers from Texas and a resident of the UK has traveled the farthest. The common thread throughout these inductees is their love of baseball and the monumental achievement of visiting every Big League ballpark.”
2013 Inductee Merle Freeman explained the reason her induction meant so much to her: “Among my fondest memories of my mother are the many summers we spent together going to all the ballparks across the country. Several trips we shared with others on Baseball Road Trips...She acquired the love baseball from her dad, and mine came from her. Often we would arrange to see friends or relatives in the cities we visited (Cincinnati, New York, Washington, D.C.)...and we always tried to find out the special food item at each park (Boog Powell's BBQ stand at Camden Yard, or the foot long Dodger dog in LA).” Freeman’s travels gave her what most fans receive from these trips– memories that last a lifetime. “Now when I watch the games on TV, I remember when I was there with my mom, and it always brings a smile to my face.”
2001 Inductee Red McGarry said, “I’ve enjoyed the Baseball Road Trips with Sports Travel and Tours as I’ve gotten to meet baseball fans from all over the world, and being in Sports Travel and Tours’ Baseball Stadium Hall of Fame makes for some great conversation when on tour from ballpark to ballpark. I call it a ‘Cruise of the Ballparks’ because all you need to do is sit back and enjoy each ‘port’.” When McGarry was asked, “Why do you go on Baseball Road Trips?”, he replied, “As the movie says: For The Love Of The Game!”