One day ballhawking trips from Pittsburgh

I have my 2012 season all planned out, and it looks like I’ll be hitting up five cities that I’ve ballhawked at before.  It looks like best case scenario I’ll make about 12-20 games in Cleveland, six to Baltimore, maybe six-ten in Cincinnati, two in Washington, and two in New York City.  Of course, much of that is subject to change.  I only attended 16 away games total during the 2011 season, down from 28 in 2010 and 22 in 2009.

It’s important to try and keep the costs of these trips to a minimum, which is why many times, I’ll team up with Nick Pelescak to split the cost of the trips.

Take a look at how much one trip costs for one person.  These prices don’t include hotels, because usually when I go, I come back right after BP or the game.  Also, tickets for the game aren’t included, this is strictly a transportation chart:

I calculated the trips at various amounts depending on the gas prices.  Right now, it’s about $3.50 in the local area, but it’s expected to approach and possibly top $4 per gallon during the summer.  Also, the miles in the chart above are round trip.

The easiest way to eliminate hefty transportation costs would be to team up with one or two other ballhawks and split the expenses or take a low cost bus carrier, like Megabus.

I took megabus to Cleveland three different times last year, saving myself about $210 in gas, tolls, and parking.  My total cost for those three trips?  $9.  If you book early enough on megabus, you can get tickets for $1.

Currently, megabus only has one trip to Pittsburgh to Cleveland and one returning trip from Cleveland to Pittsburgh.  Last year there were at least 4 different trips.  I caught a bus around 11:45AM in Pittsburgh and made it to Cleveland at 2:30ish, went to batting practice, and then hopped on a megabus around 8PM and arrived home just before 11pm.

The site currently is only accepting reservations through the end of March.  I typed in Wednesday March 28th to see what routes were available.  The only ticket to Cleveland from Pitt departs at 7AM, arriving in Cleveland at 9:30AM.  The only returning ticket leaves Cleveland at 8:15 PM and arrives in Pittsburgh at 10:55 PM.  This is a real bummer, as I won’t likely take the bus if I have to get up that early and spend all that time waiting around in Cleveland.

So, hopefully I can team up with some fellow ballhawks to make some trips.

Any of you have any tips for keeping costs down?

67 more days until Opening Day…



  1. mlblogsbigglovebob

    The cost of road trips and gas certainly factored in to my trading in my V8 Infiniti for a 4 cylinder Kia Optima. It makes a big difference. I just got back from a 500 mile round trip to Des Moines. In the winter, my baseball road trips are replaced by concert road trips. A big issue for me is that I really prefer going by myself or with really close friends or family that know my quirks. I don’t like to comprimise at all. I don’t share hotel rooms and I like things exactly like I like them. I don’t like having to take others wants into consideration. Your best bet seems to try to generate some interest among the PNC ballhawks other than Nick to drive costs down. Also, if you don’t mind sharing cheap Priceline hotel rooms, taking fewer trips, but staying a few days at a time to catch more games may be cheaper. But, when you factor in lodging and food costs, it may just be a wash. You may have answered this in the past, but why don’t you ballhawk in Philly?

    • mlblogscountingbaseballs

      Gas milage is very important. I’m taking a trip across the country this summer to some ballparks in the midwest and west, and am considering renting a car as I may save money on the gas mileage. I ballhawked once in Philadelphia and hated it. Only got 2 balls that day. I think it was 2009. I haven’t been back since. It was just way to crowded for me to enjoy myself.

  2. Big Glove Bob

    Exactly! That is why I love going down to KC 6 hours away to catch games as opposed to going to Target Field. It is just way too crowded. I did the car rental thing a few times myself when I had the V8, but now with the Optima, I am using it exclusively. It has an Eco mode that will get me in the low 30’s MPG even when driving 80-85MPH. Where in the midwest to you hope to get to?

    Big Glove Bob