Cycling For Kids And Baseball

Cycling For Kids And Baseball

A 22-year-old bicycles solo to all 30 MLB parks for youth mentoring programs.
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Around the U.S. in 180 days.

On April 6, a man named Matt Stoltz began a solo bike ride from Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington to Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. However, he will not go the most direct route to the home of the Brewers, but rather take a detour and visit all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums. This difficult task has a purpose that goes beyond every baseball fan’s dream; Matt wants to raise both funds and awareness for Biking for Baseball and Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Metro Milwaukee. Biking for Baseball is a non-profit based out of Denver, CO that connects youth with mentors through cycling and baseball while directing attention to BBBS clubs across the nation.

This trek is more than 11,000 miles long and will take about six months, or 180 days to complete. As of July 17, Matt has made it halfway through his journey by stopping at number 15 on his list: Turner Field. He has traveled over 7,500 miles to get to the home of the Atlanta Braves, where he watched the series opener against the Chicago Cubs. With around 5,000 more miles and 3 months to go, he’s not done impressing us quite yet.


About Matt Stoltz.

As stated on Biking for Baseball’s website, Matt is a 22-year-old Wisconsin native who has a history of charitable tasks, but nothing close of what he is currently doing. Matt rode a train from Wisconsin to Washington State to start his mission, shortly after attending a Biking for Baseball clinic in Milwaukee for BBBS, which he posted about in his blog on Biking for Baseball’s site. He also said he was nervous, but very determined. Nothing would get in his way.

In addition to staying in hotels for this trip, Matt also stays with host families, whom he mentions in his blog. He’s met a lot of people while traveling from ballpark to ballpark, some who have even bought his ticket to watch the game. While this ride is solo, he mentions having a few riding companions keeping him company for a small portion of his trek. Matt also talks about his love for the Milwaukee Brewers, and he has been able to see them play along the way. While he posts to his blog every couple of days, he also posts to the website Reddit.com, in the subreddit /r/baseball, where he has gotten a lot of positive response.

To keep up with Matt’s blog, visit www.bikingforbaseball.org/blog/.


Current Progress.

Matt has now visited 15 of the 30 MLB ballparks, which are more spread out compared to the latter 15. This probably attributes to “the month from hell” as he refers to his recent travels between the sporadic placements of ballparks. These are the stadiums he has visited so far:

  • Safeco Field—Seattle, WA
  • AT&T Park—San Francisco, CA
  • O.co Coliseum—Oakland, CA
  • PETCO Park—San Diego, CA
  • Angel Stadium—Anaheim, CA
  • Dodger Stadium—Los Angeles, CA
  • Chase Field—Phoenix, AZ
  • Coors Field—Denver, CO
  • Kauffman Stadium—Kansas City, MO
  • Busch Stadium—Saint Louis, MO
  • Marlins Park—Miami, FL
  • Tropicana Field—Saint Petersburg, FL
  • Turner Field—Atlanta, GA

While visiting all those stadiums via bicycle is impressive on its own, it is also impressive that he planned the most efficient route he could while making sure he could attend at least one game in each ballpark. His next stop is Cincinnati, where he will watch the Cubs again, but this time against the Reds, obviously. For the remaining fields, he’ll have shorter trips in-between, but that does not mean he doesn’t need our support.

To see where Matt is headed next, and how soon he will be there, visit www.bikingforbaseball.org/live-tracking/.




How You Can Help.

Matt Stoltz’s mission has a purpose even greater than accomplishing this task: to benefit Biking for Baseball and Big Brothers Big Sisters. To monetarily support his cause, visit www.bikingforbaseball.org/donate/.

Another way to help benefit these programs would be to find out about becoming a mentor for a BBBS club or attending a Biking for Baseball clinic.

If your favorite team is still on the list for Matt to visit, be sure to keep an eye out for a man with a bike wearing a Brewer’s hat. It’s probably this awesome guy.


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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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The Warriors' Fans May Need To Be Concerned About Stephen Curry

The six-time All-Star point guard's PPG has dipped over the past few games.

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The Golden State Warriors have been the most dominant NBA team over the past five years. They have claimed three NBA championships in the past four seasons and look to pull off a three-peat as they currently hold first place in the Western Conference more than halfway into the 2018-2019 NBA season. Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has been one of the primary reasons for their sustained success and is regarded by many around the NBA as the greatest shooter of all time and one of the best point guards in the league today. However, his points per game (PPG) total has dipped over the last few games. Should this be concerning for Warriors fans?

Curry got off to a hot streak early in the season and has had a few notable games like every season. He scored 51 points in three quarters while tallying 11 three-pointers against the Washington Wizards in the fifth game of the season and has delivered in the clutch with high-scoring games against the Los Angeles Clippers on December 23, 2018 (42 PTS) and Dallas Mavericks on January 13, 2019 (48 PTS).

However, Curry's consistency and point total have slipped over the past few games. He only put up 14 points and had a generally sloppy three-point shooting performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 2, and only 19 points four days later against the San Antonio Spurs, who were resting two of their best players, Demar Derozan and Lamarcus Aldridge due to load management. In addition, he only managed 20 points against a hapless Phoenix Suns team who made an expected cakewalk win for Golden State much harder than it should have been.

Perhaps Curry's numbers have dipped because he is still adjusting to having center Demarcus Cousins in the offense, or maybe I am simply exaggerating because Curry's standards are so high. The Warriors have won fifteen of their last sixteen games and are currently in cruise control heading for the top seed in the Western Conference. Perhaps the Warriors will ask more of Curry if the situation gets direr.

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