Crocker brothers visit nearly half of MLB stadiums

Grace Kirtley

The start of a tradition: 15 days-12 stadiums. In the summer of 2019, Derek Crocker, junior, Ethan Crocker, Class of 2019 and their father, Patrick Crocker, took a trip to see nearly half of all the baseball stadiums in America.

Since they were young, Derek and Ethan have enjoyed watching and playing baseball and the St. Louis Cardinals have always been the favorite of the Crocker family.

On Saturday July 20, Ethan, Derek and Patrick Crocker watched the Cardinals lose to the Cincinnati Reds at the second stadium tour of their summer trip.

As a senior trip idea, Ethan was given a budget and he began planning the fast-paced trip a year in advance. The idea was to see as many Cardinal games as possible while hitting the most stadiums in the least amount of time. The trip followed a detailed spreadsheet of each hotel and stadium to stay on track.

Although the trio got to all 12 stadiums, there was not a lack of stress on the trip.

“We spent a lot of time together and we drove a lot in close quarters. We were definitely closer by the end of the trip. There was a lot of stress, a lot of driving and late nights,” Ethan said.

For both Ethan and Derek, the coolest part of the trip was the Pittsburgh game and stadium.

“In Pittsburgh was the coolest part of the trip, we stayed in a hotel right across from the stadium and we got to the game early and got autographs,” Ethan said. 

The Cardinals played the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 22, 2019 and the Cardinals won in an extra inning, 6-5. Along with the exciting game, Derek enjoyed the architecture of that particular stadium.

Ethan and Derek Crocker enjoy the architecture of the Pittsburgh MLB stadium. On July 22, the Cardinals played the Pirates and won in an extra inning six to five.

“The Cardinals game we saw in Pittsburgh was the most interesting. We saw Paul Goldschmidt hit a grand slam in it and it was pretty awesome. Pittsburgh also had the bay in the back with the Roberto Clemente bridge and that was really cool. They had a really nice stadium,” Derek said.

Another favorite of the trip was Fenway Park in Boston. That game featured the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox in a stadium filled to 99% capacity according to ESPN.

“Fenway had a great atmosphere [and everyone singing] Sweet Caroline was really cool to experience,” Ethan said. “Every game, the whole stadium will sing Sweet Caroline, and it was one of the coolest parts of the whole trip.”

As the trip continued, the Crockers began to find aspects of the stadium and culture that they enjoyed learning about.

“Each stadium has its own little quirks. Fenway has the Green Monster, so we made sure to to look at that. We made sure to look at statues and Halls of Fame. Also, we made sure to have the local foods. They’re all so different so it’s fun to find the unique qualities,” Ethan said.

Ethan’s goal was to see as many Cardinal games as possible, but if not he searched for particularly interesting match-ups, like the Yankee versus Red Sox game. But ultimately, the father-son trio enjoyed the 15-day trip that had constant baseball focus.

“We are a big baseball family. We enjoy seeing all the stadiums and some of the scenes along the way,” Derek said.