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 Becoming Irrelevant –

Why does one decide to travel across three countries to experience baseball in every way imaginable except for actually playing the game? In my case, I became irrelevant – at least from a business point of view.

Moreover, it clearly wasn’t my decision.

For two decades I worked for an advertising technology company and was considered a relatively strong performer. I rose through the ranks, was well paid and had a good stock package. However, in October my company restructured and I was no longer needed. In other words, I was considered irrelevant from a business point of view.

I was frustrated – my separation wasn’t because I couldn’t do the work, I clearly could. Instead, the company changed its policies – I worked remotely and that was not acceptable anymore. Additionally, an underlying factor was likely that I was considered too old – I was 60 at the time.

I was also very tired – somewhat burnt out. In Silicon Valley, you work six to seven days a week, long and odd hours. I also travelled a lot.

I’m not complaining. I know I’m not alone. Job loss and career change happens to many people my age. Frankly, it’s my second twenty career to end abruptly. However, this time I am older, near the end of the road and it feels much different.

Long story short – I needed a change, I couldn’t go back to my old life, but didn’t know what else to do. I still don’t.

So I started thinking, what does a 61 year old, lifetime baseball fan with time on his hands do now?

I’ll Have A Baseball Adventure

The answer came to me quickly. I had a series of consecutive thoughts that added up to a brilliant idea – at least I think so.

My ideas:

  • Why not take some time, break with the past and really find something rewarding to do with the rest of my life?
  • I can indulge my baseball fantasy and travel to every Major League Baseball stadium in the country – I’ve always wanted to do it?
  • A thirty-stadium tour will be great, but a really rewarding baseball experience needs to include some other stops. Spring Training, the Little League and College World Series, international games, the Negro League Museum and more.
  • I’ll need to keep a journal to support this journey of self-exploration.
  • I’m a budding photographer so I’ll certainly take pictures.
  • It stands to reason that I can transform my journal and photos into a book that someone can be convinced to publish.
  • My friends will want to keep tabs on my progress – so I’ll post updates on Facebook, maybe learn to Tweet and I’ll have photos to post on Instagram.

The Adventure Needs Meaning

Now, the reason I have a blog and you are hopefully still reading it.

Note that I am very sensitive to the fact that you are likely wondering what the point of this story is.

The trip needs to contribute to the common good. I can’t just travel around the country eight months, selfishly enjoying baseball and contemplating my life. It’s time to make a difference.

Last summer, a close friend from work cycled through the Himalayas with his son. Yes, you can do that if you have the energy, money and are physically capable. In contrast, a baseball trip through the United States, Mexico and England doesn’t sound quite as crazy and the bathrooms are much nicer.

They posted photos and commentary on Facebook – just like I plan to do but also asked their friends to donate to a charity called “Take Her Back” which focuses on liberating children from forced prostitution.

Clearly, I should do something similar. I can include a link on my facebook page directing my friends and followers to donate to a cause associated with the trip’s main subject – baseball. How about supporting youth baseball in low income and inner city areas?

However, if I just “market” the idea to my Facebook friends, I won’t raise that much money. I possibly can generate a few thousand dollars, but I want to raise as much money as possible. Instead, I can raise much more money if I step out of my comfort zone and take the idea public. I can build a website where I post blog updates after each baseball experience. Additionally, I can maintain branded social media accounts that link with the website. Moreover, I can coordinate with existing youth baseball organizations to validate and publicize the program.

Becoming Relevant

So that is my story and this is my plan. I have a list of 42 stops on my journey – please see the schedule. The journey starts in the middle of March during spring training and will hopefully end in October at the last game of the World Series. In the meantime, I am doing outreach to get organizational support, I have built a website and am buying tickets and reserving hotel rooms.

I want to reiterate that the trip is entirely self-funded – all donations minus the collection fees will go to the selected charity. I hope you follow my progress and please donate to the cause. It’s a good way for all of us to become relevant again, don’t you think?

Thanks for reading my article.

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