Interview: Navin Vaswani’s Trip of A Lifetime

Posted on by Kerel Cooper

Journalist and Blogger Navin Vaswani is taking the trip of a lifetime. Navin is visiting all 30 MLB ballparks in 60 days. He recently dropped in to see the Mets. Read below as Navin gives his thoughts on Citi Field, Ike Davis’ first game and the parks he’s looking forward to visiting the most.

Q: Tell the viewers a bit about yourself and
A: The name’s Navin Vaswani, and I’m a journalist and blogger. I’ve been blogging for about four years at Sports and The City, and for the past two and a half years, ending in January, I was an associate producer with a current affairs television program called “The Agenda With Steve Paikin,” broadcast on TVO, which is public broadcasting in Ontario. It was a fruitful experience, and I worked with some great people, but sports are my passion. I’m now pursuing a career in sports writing. which has me on my current project, called “The Baseball Road Trip Of A Lifetime.” The Globe And Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, picked up the project, and I’m documenting my experiences as I visit all 30 MLB ballparks in 60 days in a blog called “Stealing Home.”  I can also be found on Twitter.

Q: Your journey to 30 ballparks is my dream summer vacation. What’s your motivation behind the trip?
A: I was doing some traveling in India in February and March, and reached out to some friends for some book recommendations. A friend suggested I read Joe Posnanski’s “The Soul of Baseball.” Once I did some research on the book, the thought of visiting every MLB ballpark came to mind. Again. I’d considered it before, I think we all have, but not as seriously as I did at that moment in time. I’ve always enjoyed watching sporting events in other cities. I’m a big Toronto sports fan, hockey, baseball and basketball, and have always enjoyed the experience of following my team on the road. What I love about baseball, and what makes it different from other sports, is that each venue, each ballpark, is different. And what’s better than spending the summer watching baseball, and writing about it? I figured it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I’m putting my head down, and doing it. I’m “stealing home.”

Q: What are your thoughts on Citi Field? Jackie Robinson Rotunda and the Mets Hall of Fame?
A: I enjoyed my experience at Citi Field. It’s a beautiful ballpark and, like most of the new stadiums in baseball, didn’t disappoint. I enjoyed talking baseball with Mets fans. They’re very easy to talk to, and know their baseball. One of the motivations on the trip is to get into the psyche of each team’s fanbase. I was interested in finding out how a New Yorker decides his baseball allegiance in a city with two two teams. One note about the stadium: I loved that the foul poles are painted orange. The Jackie Robinson Rotunda is special, and a worthy tribute to an amazing man, first, and an amazing ball player, second. I love that the Rotunda is modeled after Ebbets Field. Great idea. And reading Jackie Robinson’s famous quote on the archway was special. I think it was a fantastic idea by the Mets organization, and they deserve their props for it. To be honest with you, I didn’t spend as much time as I would have liked at the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum, but it’s a nice touch, and it was cool to see the infamous ball from the 1986 World Series. You can read all about my Citi Field experience here.

Q: Tonight’s game was Mets prospect Ike Davis first MLB game. What was the atmosphere in the park?
A: It was fun to be at Ike Davis’ first game. He got a rousing ovation when his name was mentioned in the lineups announcement before the game, and another very loud cheer when he came up for his first at-bat. The best part: the kid didn’t disappoint. A couple of hits, and an RBI, and a great way to get his career started. The fans are excited about him and, it looks like, rightfully so. Here’s hoping he continues to make Mets fans proud.

Q: What parks are you most looking forward to visiting?
A: One of the parks I was most looking forward to visiting was PNC Park in Pittsburgh and, while it was a wet and cold night, it didn’t disappoint. I really loved my experience in Cleveland, too. From here, I’m looking forward most to Wrigley Field in Chicago, AT&T Park in San Francisco, and Safeco Field in Seattle. I’ve heard nothing but good things about all of them. But, really, I’m looking forward to the experience at all the stadiums I visit. Even Kansas City, where I’m excited about seeing the fountains I’ve only always seen on TV.

Special thanks to Navin for taking time out of his busy trip to do this interview. Be sure to check out Navin and follow his trip at Global Sports.

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