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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    South Central Orange County

    Default 30 Ballparks in 35 days

    In today's Wall Street Journal there's an article about how to visit all 30 Major League Baseball parks in 35 days while driving 18,267 miles (starting in Kansas City and ending in St. Louis). Ben Blatt of the Harvard Sport Analysis Collective built a computer program figure out how to visit all 30 parks in the shortest possible time. For every 12 hours of driving the program had to allow at least 8 hours of rest.

    While I see this as a dream vacation, my wife tells me that would be her nightmare vacation.

    WARNING: Mark will tell you not to try this!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Love the Concept, but the Geeks screwed up!

    This is the specific article from the WSJ.

    As a huge fan of baseball roadtrips, I certainly love the effort gone into the simulation. Although as a veteran of doing similar trips, I can tell you that actually pulling off this plan would be close to impossible in the real world. I did 8 parks and the HoF in 11 days and that proved to be much harder than it seems on paper. (a planned minor league game got dropped from the original plan, but we camped almost every night adding to the challenge and needed time)

    I'd love to know more details about the exact details of what they put into the plan, but it looks like they really didn't factor in the time it takes to actually get to and see the games! I also am guessing they are using a rather unrealistic estimate of how far you can travel in 12 hours before getting that 8 hours of rest. In fact, I get the impression it is only factoring the 8 hours of rest if the actual driving leg requires more than 12 hours of driving, resetting the clock at each game. So if it took you exactly 12 hours to get from point A to point B and 12 hours from B to C, it doesn't insert an 8 hour break anywhere between A and C.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wall Street Journal
    DET@COL, 6/19, 1pm (6,620)
    TB@MIL, 6/20, 7pm (7,667)
    BAL@PIT, 6/21, 7pm (8,219)
    SD@BOS, 6/22, 1:30pm (8,808)
    The one area that is truely fantasy is the Colorado to Boston via Milwaukee and Pittsburgh in 4 days. If you got out of Denver at 4pm after a 1pm game, you simply couldn't make it to Milwaukee by 7pm the next day even taking just 8 hours to rest. Milwaukee to Pittsburgh could probably be done in a day (although its unlikely you'd have time for 8 hours of sleep after leaving a night game at Miller Park), but then the other real impossibility would be getting from a night game at PNC to a day game at Fenway the next afternoon. I'd like to know where the 8 hour break for 12 hours of driving fits into that!

    There are a few other very questionable legs, but the biggest single thing to remember when planning a trip like this is that going to a game itself takes up a large chunk of a day. A hour to arrive, park, and get into the stadium, a 3 hour game, and then another hour to fight traffic out of town and you've blown 5 hours of the day.

    Again, its a fun concept, but this "perfect" plan is certainly one that is only perfect in a computerized world.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default More Details

    I did find the Blog from the Study Author Ben Blatt which does go through some of the exact details of what was used in the calculations.

    He is using Google map time estimates (which of course don't reflect real world) which account for some of the "fantasy" travel times.

    He did assume 4 hours to attend each game, and he designed it as a loop (which does potentially add more time than if you say started in Boston or Miami and finished in Seattle.) He also has a list of the shortest way to visit every major league city in a loop, if you ignore schedules.

    I'm going to have to dig more deeply into this now that I see his exact formulas, as some things still don't seem to add up....

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