Interview with Craig Landgren of Ballpark Chasers

May 15, 2016
If you haven't heard of the Ballpark Chasers website and Facebook page, it's a steadily growing community of baseball travelers who post photos, share stories, and best of all, help each other out when traveling to see baseball all over the country.

This August the third annual Ballpark Chasers Meetup will be happening at Camden Yards in Baltimore, so I caught up with site owner Craig Landgren and he was kind enough to answer my questions about the Meetup and the Chaser community.

What made you start up Ballpark Chasers?

I kept meeting baseball fans that shared my same passion of visiting all 30 MLB ballparks within a lifetime. I researched online and was surprised that there wasn’t any sort of online community for fans to collaborate around this life-goal. This was around the same time of the emergence of social networks so I thought it would be a great opportunity to start one.

Who came up with the meetup idea?

I created a tool on our main website where members can organize their own meetups. It’s a way for members to invite others to the game they are attending.

However, it was a Chaser by the name of Josh Robbins that suggested we should hold an annual gathering at a ballpark in order to meet each other. I couldn’t agree more!

Can you tell me about the first two meetups? Has it been increasing in popularity?

Yes, every year our attendance has increased!

Our First Annual Meetup was held at Coors Field in 2014. There were around 25 Chasers that attended the first year. It was a lot of fun! We first met at a local brewery and then walked over to the National Ballpark Museum. We had a private tour of the museum which I highly recommend for any baseball fan. Unfortunately, that was the infamous night of the water main break outside of Coors Field which cancelled the game.

Our Second Annual Meetup was last year in our backyard, Safeco Field. Ballpark Chaser, Ken Lee, hosted an amazing BBQ for us and served his homebrew, Manfish Brewery. We then went to Safeco for a private tour of the ballpark. We had over 60 members attend last season.

This year our demand for tickets has been extremely high. We are nearly sold out of tickets for our private tour of the Babe Ruth Museum and tickets are limited to the Orioles game. We expect to have 80-100 in attendance.

How did Camden Yards get selected this year?

After developing the idea of an official meetup, we sent out a survey to all members and had them vote on which ballpark was their top choice to start this annual tradition. Camden Yards came in second place so I made sure our first East Coast meetup would be held there.

Can you describe to me the Ballpark Chasers community, and the mentality of the people in it?

One of the biggest surprises I have come across since starting the website is the friendships that have formed from it. When meeting other Chasers at the ballpark, the most common feedback I receive is how thankful they are that I created it because of the friendships they have made.

Although we have only one ‘Official Ballpark Chasers Meetup’ each season, there are numerous Meetups across Major League ballparks throughout the season that are organized by our members.

As for the mentality of the people in it, we have a few different types of Chasers.

One group is like me that are in no rush to see all the ballparks. We take our time seeing one or two a season. Then you have the extreme Chaser that will see all 30 ballparks within one season, or even in one month!

I would say your average Chaser makes one or two trips per season, seeing one or two ballparks.

How popular has the site gotten, including the Facebook page?

We are very pleased with our growth over the years. It’s a small but tight community of over 3,000 members on our main website and just under 2,000 in our Facebook group.

Most days we have Chasers at every Major League ballpark!


What's New at The Ballparks 2016 - American League

April 2, 2016
This time of year, there are so many changes being announced to every home team’s ballpark…especially with new food items…that it’s impossible for me to get the Ballpark E-Guides updated so quickly. So until I do, here is what you need to know about changes that aren’t yet contained in Ballpark E-Guides.

Here is what’s new in the American League:

Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles)

The Orioles have raised ticket prices for 2016, to help pay for their re-signed cleanup hitter. The averag...
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What's New At The Ballparks 2016 - National League

April 2, 2016
This time of year, there are so many changes being announced to every home team’s ballpark…especially with new food items…that it’s impossible for me to get the Ballpark E-Guides updated so quickly. So until I do, here is what you need to know about changes that aren’t yet contained in Ballpark E-Guides.

Here is what’s new in the National League:

Citi Field (New York Mets)

You may have heard that the iconic Pepsi Porch is now the Coca-Cola Corner; obviously there will be Coke pro...

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Kurt's Top Five Ballpark Destinations in 2016

January 17, 2016
It’s January, and it’s cold, which can only mean one thing: baseball season is coming!

And if you’re like me and love traveling to see another ballpark, you’re probably starting to plan your next trip to see one of the great homes of baseball in North America.

So if you haven’t decided where to go yet, Ballpark E-Guides is here to help, with my top five ballpark destinations of 2016. Here we go:

5) PNC Park, Pittsburgh. PNC is one of the best post-Camden ballparks; the view of the Cle...
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The Best Gift For A Baseball Fan

November 30, 2015
If you're looking for the perfect Christmas or Hanukkah gift for the baseball fan in your life, Ballpark E-Guides is here to help.

Tickets always work for me, but if you want to give an extra special gift to the baseball nut, how about a detailed, fun to read insider's guide to their favorite ballpark, or a ballpark that they'd like to visit?

Below I've made this very easy for you. I've included links to holiday specials that teams are offering, links to search for tickets on SeatGeek, and most...
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Twenty Years Later

September 6, 2015

On Lou Gehrig’s bust in Monument Park in Yankee Stadium, there is no mention of his .340 lifetime average, 493 home runs, two MVP awards or his 1934 Triple Crown...Hall of Fame statistics all.

But it does point out that Gehrig played 2,130 consecutive games, and that the record “should stand for all time.”

It also reads that Gehrig was a gentleman, something that has never been disputed.

Often one of the reasons we elevate the status of an athlete or musician from “talented performer” ...

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How I Saved $75 At Citizens Bank Park: Ballpark E-Guides Case Study #1

August 9, 2015
I live in New Jersey, about a 15-minute drive from Citizens Bank Park. Recently a few of my wife’s relatives visited from North Carolina, and they asked me about going to a game, since none of them had yet seen the “new” Philly ballpark.

I get nervous about things like this, since I have something of a reputation to keep. But we did fairly well.

There were five of us, and I saved us $11 each on the face price of tickets ($55 total), and found them a parking spot that was $6 cheaper than t...
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How to Avoid Lines at the Ballgame

July 26, 2015
It seems almost impossible to go to a ballgame and not stand in line...for tickets, to get in, to get out of the parking lot, to get a train ticket, to get something to eat. At the more popular ballparks, even the newer ones, waiting in line for anything is almost a given. And it’s not fun.

So since Ballpark E-Guides is all about making your life more fun at the ballgame, I’ve come up with a few tips based on my own experiences about how to avoid standing in line (or sitting in line in you...

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Ballpark E-Guides’ New Partner: Parking Panda!

July 12, 2015
Regular readers of the Ballpark E-Guides e-mail newsletter know how strongly I recommend reserving your parking in advance for baseball games.

Imagine driving to a ballgame and setting your GPS to the address of the garage or lot where you'll be parking, facing a minimal amount of traffic, and parking in a great affordable spot...which you've already paid for. Isn't that better than sitting in crawling ballgame traffic, just looking for a spot that isn't miles away and ridiculously overpriced...
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Buying Baseball Tickets Online

May 31, 2015
Isn’t it great to be able to buy tickets for a ball game while still wearing a robe and drinking coffee? I remember when I was a younger Orioles fan and had to use the telephone or the box office, and that’s one thing I don’t yearn for when fans talk about the “good old days”.

The best part is the choices you have; you can buy tickets through any of dozens of different outlets, and they have to compete for your entertainment dollar.

Since it’s part of my job to help you get the...

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