“People ask me what I do in the winter when there’s no baseball,” the Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby once said. “I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”
Plenty of baseball fans sympathize with Hornsby. Unless you’re a Rangers or Diamondbacks fan in 2023, you’ve got that same sense of longing. Who needs NFL and NBA action when pitchers and catchers report in about three months?
Well, Houston journalist Timothy Malcolm has your offseason covered! His new book Moon Baseball Road Trips: The Complete Guide to All the Ballparks, with Beer, Bites, and Sights Nearby, from Hachette Book Group, is a literal travel manual for the baseball fan.
You know exactly the books I mean. The ones that sat in our parents’ bedrooms and simply titled Italy or Tokyo. Cue generic stock photos and a general list of things to do throughout a city or country.
Malcolm’s book follows the same model, but adds one key ingredient: Love. The book is a love letter to America’s pastime, so much that the author even recommends Amtrak as a means of travel (within reason, of course). As someone who’s ridden the rails from New York to Los Angeles, this clearly resonated.
It helps that Malcolm did his homework on each city. Both the Yankees and Mets trips within the book are devoid of any tourist traps disguised as local institutions. Not only does he drop great local spots or watering holes like the Queens Museum and Stan’s Sports Bar, but also iconic late night haunt Gray’s Papaya. If you don’t know it, get to 72nd and Broadway for a hot dog and papaya shake, ASAP.
Even better, give the author some extra bonus points for recommending a trip to Roosevelt Island. Quite possibly the best kept secret of the Five Boroughs.
Waiting for spring can be tough, but Baseball Road Trips does more than just help pass the time. It satisfies that special type of wanderlust that can only smell like summer, hotdog grease, and peanut shells. Timothy Malcolm almost channels Field of Dreams in reminding us that America’s one constant, her heartbeat, her soul, is baseball.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to sit down with the wife and plan next summer’s vacation to Fenway.