Matt Stoltz is cycling to all 30 ballparks this season for the charity Biking for Baseball. He’ll be at the Monday, August 3 Washington Nationals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks game. Recently, he answered several questions about his journey.
WFY: What compels a man to embark on an 11,000 bicycle ride to see every ballpark?
B4B: I love baseball, I love biking, and love youth mentoring. Combining all the efforts really turns it into something special and provides an opportunity to really make a difference. I’ve always wanted to visit all 30 MLB ballparks and doing so by bicycle represented a challenge that I couldn’t pass up. On top of that, raising awareness for Big Brothers Big Sisters and youth mentoring really presents the opportunity to help bring attention to a noteworthy cause.
WFY: How long did you spend mapping your transcontinental route? Have you been able to stick to it?
B4B: It took a good while to figure out the logistics of the trip. Obviously, the team has to be home when you pull into town in order to attend a game. Thus far, I’ve been able to keep to the schedule and haven’t had any delays [knock on wood]. The route has had some difficulties with weather while riding in the form of snow, flooding, lightning, and the like, however, I’ve been fortunate not to have had
any postponed games.
WFY: Tell us about the charity you are supporting through your ride, Biking for Baseball.
B4B: Biking for Baseball works alongside the motto that every kid needs a coach. Whether that be a teacher, parent, coach, whomever, we realize the importance of youth mentoring in the lives of youth. We encourage people to sign up to become mentors, to make a difference in a life of a youth, and really help change a life! We also encourage people to donate directly to Biking for Baseball as well work to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee, and assist us in supporting youth mentoring programs!
WFY: How much training did you do before beginning the trip?
B4B: I did a lot of training before the trip on a stationary bike through the Wisconsin winter. However, nothing really prepares you for the real thing. You just gotta get out and start riding. After you do that, everything else will fall into place.
WFY: Which has been the most challenging part of the ride thus far?
B4B: The Month from Hell as I dubbed it was undoubtedly the most challenging. I had to ride 3,050 miles in 29 days to make it to each ballpark in time. That’s crazy! I was exhausted, tired, and drained, but I made it in time to every ballpark!
WFY: For the gear heads, what do you ride?
B4B: I ride a Novara Randonee, it’s held up pretty well considering all the miles that have been ridden on it! Can’t complain!
WFY: Why doesn’t MLB more aggressively market bicycle jerseys? I know they briefly sold them, but I didn’t get one in time.
B4B: I’m not sure. It sure would be cool, and if this trip proves anything it demonstrates that there are a lot of baseball and biking fans out there! You hear that MLB? Make those jerseys!
WFY: Which ballpark has been the most bicycle friendly thus far?
B4B: Most bicycle friendly? I would have to say San Francisco. But that’s a really tough one.
WFY: How many of the ballparks had you been to prior to this trip?
B4B: I had only been to five. AT&T Park, Marlins Park, US Cellular, Wrigley, and Miller Park.
WFY: From time to time, I’ve done Q&As with fans of the teams the Washington Nationals were playing. What happened to the Milwaukee Brewers over the last few years? They seemed like the were on the edge of contention, but have generally been middle of the pack. What’s the best part about being a Breweres fan? What’s your favorite Racing Sausage?
B4B: As a small market team we aren’t able to keep our big name free agents, nor are we able to sign big name free agents. What you’ve seen recently is the results of signings of players who are just past their prime (Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza, Aramis Ramirez) and once they age all at once, you have a drastic fall off in production. Thus this year, and as you’ve seen recently we’ve made a number of trades to try to replenish the farm system and stay competitive for future years.
Best part of being a Brewers fan is the tailgating. Every game, rain, cold, snow, sleet, sunshine, whatever it maybe. You’ll find some fans tailgating. I’m always down for a bratwurst and some cheese curds.
Hot dog. Always the hot dog. Most aerodynamic suit, thus the greatest chance of winning the race.
WFY: When do you get to DC? Are there any events scheduled?
Yeah, I’ll get to DC tomorrow, and there are some big pregrame events scheduled at local bars to help raise money and awareness for Biking for Baseball. Check out Half Street Irregulars on Twitter for the details!
WFY: I’m looking forward to biking over there Monday night!