Some things are worth waiting for.
After a lifelong career in school administration, one man finally found the time to go after his dream — to visit all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in one trip.
Dave Baker completed his “Journey of a Lifetime” in 42 days the summer of 2011, and this July he will be inducted into the Sports Travel and Tours Stadium Hall of Fame.
Sports Travel and Tours is a national tour operator based in Massachusetts that arranges trips of a lifetime for sports fans, and about every four years it inducts its latest group of super fans into the Hall of Fame.
Six fans were inducted in 2001, 17 in 2005, and 26 in 2009. This July, coinciding with the National Baseball Hall of Fame weekend, nearly 30 fans are eligible to be inducted at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., including Baker.
“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 to honor these special fans in Cooperstown.”
There is an exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame devoted to these fans, and an official register of STAT Hall of Famers.
“Inductees come from all over the country and have diverse backgrounds,” said Christopher Switzer, creative director for Sports Travel and Tours. “We have inductees from Tennessee and Ohio, Florida and Missouri, even a husband and wife from Minnesota and brothers from Texas. A resident of the U.K. 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.”