Covering All the Bases

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A lifelong fan, Stan 'the Man' Curtis settled into his seat near the Green Monster for his third World Series game when he realized it was being played in his third World Series stadium too. That was in 1986, the night he might have imagined a possible quest: to see a game in every major league ballpark. When he reached his goal during the 2010 season, he had seen games in fifty-three ballparks, no mean trick given there are only thirty teams in the majors.

Stan Curtis saw games in those twenty-three extra stadiums because, of course, ballparks have come and gone. Teams have moved from many cities, stadiums have been razed and replaced. Stan saw his first game in Griffith Stadium, home field of his hometown Washington Senators, when Early Wynn took the mound in the 1940s. Later he moved to Baltimore and faithfully followed the Orioles in their first home, Memorial Stadium.

Since then he has seen World Series games, division playoffs and four All-Star Games. He has attended ten debut games in new stadiums, and ten consecutive season openers at Minute Maid Park, home of his now-long-time hometown team, the Astros. In pursing his quest, he saw Nolan Ryan get his 5,000th strike-out—of Ricky Henderson—and was there when Iron Man Cal Ripken Jr. appeared in record-breaking game #2131.

Stan was inside Camden Yard under false pretenses that night. He went to the sold-out park without a ducat, as he describes in Covering All the Bases, for this is not an orthodox baseball book. Hailed by such luminaries as sports writer David Barron, retired managers Larry Dierker and Phil Gardner, and Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig himself, this fan's memoir recalls a fan's work as well as his thrills—the frequent trials to get tickets, the disappointments in not getting them, the travels, the adventures of visiting new cities to see new ballparks, the joys of introducing grandsons to the Game.

As Bud Selig writes, Stan Curtis has "a unique understanding of the wonderful history of our game... You have really captured what is so remarkable about our sport. Your passion for the game is extraordinary, and I thank you." As Astro Larry Dierker writes, "It's a lot of fun. Read on."

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