Man’s baseball trip stops in Alexandria
John Reimer was one of more than 800 fans in attendance for the Alexandria Blue Anchors’ game against St. Cloud on Monday evening at Knute Nelson Ballpark.
But it was almost a guarantee that he has been to more baseball games this year than anyone in the stands.
The Blue Anchors game was the 126th on a journey that has Reimer going to different baseball venues every day from February 14 through the World Series.
The idea for the trip started as Reimer’s father recovered from heart bypass surgery. A question he was asked by his dad made him realize that he wanted to do something memorable.
“He was realizing that he is a mortal, and he was just asking, ‘What would you do if you could do anything?’” Reimer recalled about his father. “And I said, ‘You know, Dad, I would travel around the country and I would go to a baseball game every day.’”
After his daughter Sami, a freshman at the University of Wisconsin, gave him the OK to attempt the trip, the decision was made to start in February. Since then, Reimer, a resident of Milwaukee, has been to a total of 126 games in 114 days as of Monday evening.
“I’m lucky in the fact that I have the money that I can do it,” said Reimer, who is 47 years old. “I had some big sponsors early; people have been very gracious and very supportive to me.”
Often Reimer sleeps in his car to save money on hotel rooms. So far he has not faltered on his goal to attend a baseball game every day. With baseball being his favorite sport, Reimer has not grown tired of watching the game every day.
“Everywhere I’ve gone, people have just welcomed me with open arms,” he said. “It’s just been awesome.”
Reimer does enjoy Major League baseball. His favorite teams are the Brewers and the Dodgers, but his preferred brands of the game are college baseball and small summer leagues such as the Northwoods. His Monday stop in Alexandria was during a portion of his trip with stops to most of the Northwoods League venues in Minnesota. Before Monday he was in North Dakota where he watched American Legion teams and also attended a Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks game.
Reimer said smaller venues such as Alexandria offer the chance for him to see members of a community who enjoy coming together for baseball.
“I love Northwoods League games because I love the kids that are playing,” Reimer said. “These college kids that are coming in, they have this consciousness of the game.”
Reimer offers almost daily updates on his website, baseballbuddha.com, giving his followers a chance to see the stories of his adventure. One of his favorite stories to date involved meeting a player who spent time on two of his favorite MLB ball clubs – the Dodgers and Brewers.
At an Arizona high school baseball game in March, Reimer found himself chatting with some of the local fans who were watching the game. The conversation evolved as a man started talking about living in Milwaukee and working for the Brewers. It took him a while to realize that he was talking to former MLB first baseman Greg Brock, who had replaced longtime starter Steve Garvey’s spot on the Dodgers early in his career.
The realization that he was talking to a player he often watched as a member of the Brewers in the 1980s was humbling.
“That is absolutely my favorite story,” Reimer said.
There are many other stories that have stuck in Reimer’s memory throughout his baseball adventure. As an enthusiast for the game, Reimer said his feelings toward baseball have only strengthened as he drives across the country in his search for unique venues.
“When I want to escape, I read a historical baseball book,” Reimer said. “There’s a lot of crap that goes on in the world and people need a diversion.”