In trying to think about what exactly to do for Nick's birthday, I had the notion that maybe, just maybe, the Central Blood Bank and the Pirates may be willing to schedule one of the Pirates' blood drives (the Pirates typically sponsor a few over the course of the season) to coincide with a gathering of friends & family. Kind of an opportunity to gather donors united by a common cause, and to draw attention to the deeply personal impact blood donors can make on total strangers' lives. So, I contacted the individual at the blood bank whom I had contacted about Nick's death, and pitched the idea. I don't know if it'll go anywhere, but wouldn't it be nice if it does?
In other news, I'm exploring just what (and how much) this visit all 30 ballparks venture is going to take-- and how much this former baseball fan is going to have to bone up. Starting in Pittsburgh at PNC Park is not only the obvious choice, but it's easy. I'm a Pittsburgher born & bred and I'll be a Pittsburgher through & through until the day I die. Then Baltimore, as I live here & all, plus Camden Yards was the site of the last game I attended with my brother (which is also the last game I attended, period), as well as the most memorable for being the single hottest day I've ever experienced. DC is next, and Philadelphia is reasonably close- as is NYC for the Mets and, Nick's other favorite team, the Yankees. I'll never forget his reaction when I told him I was taking him to New York to see a Yankees game- it was pretty much the best gift ever.
From there, things get a bit more hairy. Luckily, Megabus (which itself became an inside joke between Nick & I after his pilgrimage to Yankee Stadium) has a pretty respectable network in the upper midwest, which expands my options. I think that, between Pittsburgh, Baltimore, DC, Philadelphia, and two trips to New York (let's not forget that the Yankees and Mets are hardly ever in town at the same time), that might be my limit for this summer. Maybe Fenway-- the awesome and amazing Megabus does run from Baltimore to Boston. Another concern: how exactly am I going to pay for all of this?