Visiting sports stadiums is a popular bucket list item. I am proudly part of that club. My family has a goal to see a hockey home game at every stadium-so far I'm only up to 5 so we've got a long way to go. The number one sport by far for sport stadium bucket lists though is Baseball and completing that goal in 2006 led reader and school teacher Thomas DeAngelo to reach for an even greater goal-seeing all 50. As he contemplated his achievement of visiting all the stadiums, it dawned on him that he'd already been to 38 states so "completing the circuit just seemed like the next logical step". This summer Tom visited the last remaining states on his list, Iowa, Nebraska and North Dakota and South Dakota and has now officially been to all 50. If you love baseball or are looking for some awesome travel tips, check out my hard hitting interview with seasoned and spirited road trip warrior and Explore All 50 reader Thomas DeAngelo.
A.-What is your favorite baseball stadium and why?
T.-I love the history and atmosphere of Wrigley Field in Chicago and look forward to returning in July. It's a great experience for any true baseball fan.
A.-Any cool baseball related souvenirs you want to tell me about?
T.-The foul ball I caught barehanded, and on the fly, off the bat of Torii Hunter of the Minnesota Twins in the Metrodome in June of 2005. My son got Hunter's attention at Shea Stadium 2 weeks later and he signed it for us!
A.-As a teacher, what important lessons can be learned on the road-specifically that one might not learn in class?
T.-Much of what I do as a teacher involves understanding and respecting people of different cultures and backgrounds. By learning to be a good "guest" when away from home, we learn to be respectful of peoples' different perspectives.
A.-What tools and resources do you use to plan your trips and which would you recommend?
A.-What is it you most look forward to as you are packing your bags?
T.-I have been involved in photography since I received my first Kodak Instamatic in grade school, and moved into 35mm in High School. My interests are diverse, but my ultimate goal is to always in bringing back quality still images.
A.-Favorite souvenir of all time?
T.-I caught up to a moose mom and calf in a pond in Grand Teton National Park. The close-up photos I took of them are my greatest travel accomplishment.
A.-It seems like having now seen all 50 may have inspired another goal. What's next on your bucket list?
T.-Perhaps visiting all the National Parks. I've been to a number in the US: Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Acadia, and the Everglades along with a large number of historical sites and monuments. I want to visit Yosemite and the Great Smoky Mountains in the coming years.
We wish Tom the best of luck pursuing his new goal and continuing to check off those life experiences on his awesome bucket list. Most importantly, I hope Tom's students are inspired to see and experience all America has to offer.