The End

Now that I’m back from Las Vegas I figured I should write a post to wrap up the 2012 season. This is probably the best picture I took in Vegas (besides the ones of my sister and her now-husband).

Ok, I lied, here’s a second one:

Back to Mission 162!

First off: I would like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout the season and made this goal of mine more attainable. I’d like to thank the Brewers as an organization for helping out and making this mission much easier on the pocketbook. While I was prepared to pay for everything on my own their assistance made it a heck of a lot easier to not fret about paying $1.33 for one banana at an airport. With their backing I was also able to reach a lot more people to help promote Be The Match. Kathy Schwab and Tyler Barnes deserve a lot of credit for convincing other people in the organization to jump aboard the Mission 162 bandwagon. Thanks to Jill and Nathan within the merchandising department. They helped get me the licensed apparel that the Brewers were providing. Thanks to my season ticket representative, Chris, who worked with other staff members to get my season tickets sorted out and helped me throughout the season.

I’d also like to thank Be The Match for allowing me to be a spokesperson for the Be The Match Registry (You can join the registry here). I feel like I could have done more earlier in the year, so personally I feel a little guilty. I might do a couple of speaking engagements so that should help make up for it.

To the twitter followers that joined me at games and donated to Be The Match: THANK YOU! I went with 31 twitter followers who donated between $20 and $100 for their ticket. There were also people who just handed me cash or check donations. In all I raised over $3,700 from the sale of my extra ticket or people just handing me donations. Another $2,000 or so was raised through my donation site.

Travel:

To everyone who let me stay at your place at some point this season: THANK YOU! I only stayed in hotels 12 nights this year (and 2 of those were comped by the Hilton in downtown St. Louis). I couldn’t have done it without your help.

Alex and Jess in Chicago – 12 nights on their couch. They always had Honey Nut Cheerios for me and were amazing hosts. You guys are awesome!

Annette and Dave in Atlanta – 3 nights on their couch. I hadn’t seen (or talked to) Annette in over 3 years and she let me crash at her and Dave’s house. Dave is a huge Brewers fan, and we hit it off (I saw that Pawnee book in the basement; awesome sauce). Thank you Annette and Dave!

Jan and Ron in Sussex – 10 nights in a spare bedroom. Victoria’s aunt and uncle allowed us to stay at their house whenever we wanted. It was a great help and we would stay there mostly on Saturday nights to save at least an hour of driving time before the day game the next day. Thank you!

Mike and Anne in St. Charles, MO – 8 nights across 3 stays. Anne is my aunt on my father’s side and Mike is her husband. They have six cats but since I love animals I had no problem whatsoever. They treated me and Victoria to dinner in April and were great hosts. They get up extremely early and yet got up to welcome me when I arrived very late after my flight from Miami in September. Thank you!

Allison in San Francisco – 3 nights on her couch. She is a friend of mine and Victoria from the dorms freshman year at UW-Madison. She took us on a tour of her workplace (PIXAR!!!) and joined us for a game. Thanks Allison!

Luke in Brooklyn – 1 night on the couch (I was there for part of another night but slept for only 1 hour and left at 4 AM to catch a flight to Houston). Luke graduated from Fort but we never knew each other. He writes for Sports Illustrated and is a big Brewers fan as well. Thanks Luke!

Dustin in Denver – 4 nights on his air mattress. Dustin is a true friend and he drove back to Denver (by himself) after joining me in Phoenix and Los Angeles. He also came to all three games with me when the Brewers made their August trip to Denver. Thanks Dustin!

Danielle and Tommy in Kansas City – 3 nights on an air mattress in their spare bedroom. Both of them were in the same dorm as I was freshman year. They came to the three games in KC, I didn’t sit with them but did tailgate with them and a few friends before one of the games though. Thanks Danielle and Tommy!

Chris and Amber in Minneapolis – 3 nights in their spare bedroom. Amber is friends with Victoria and I had met her and Chris once before. Chris is a big Twins fan and we had some arguments regarding team supremacy but it’s all good. I’ll be seeing them in December for their wedding. Congrats and thank you!

Prince in Cincinnati – 6 nights on his couch. Prince was a hotdogger three years before Victoria and I met him a few times before. We went to the premier of The Dark Knight Rises in July and I’m very grateful for his willingness to let me stay. Both times I stayed he got me Honey Nut Cheerios and some bananas (breakfast essentials). Thanks Prince!

Mike and Meg in Philadelphia – 3 nights on their futon in the spare bedroom. A friend of my sister’s friend and we started as complete strangers but they opened their home and were great hosts. Mike joined me at a game and does charity work for The Dude Hates Cancer. Thanks Mike and Meg!

Annie in Houston – 4 nights on her couch. Annie graduated from Fort a year after I did and I didn’t even realize she lived in Houston. I stayed at the Holiday Inn the first two times but after she joined me at a game in July she offered her place during the Brewers’ next visit in August. Thanks Annie!

Mark in Pittsburgh – 3 nights in a spare bedroom. Mark is the friend of a friend (Chad) of a friend (Dustin). Mark is in med school and we didn’t see much of eachother but he’s a great guy and I can’t thank him enough for helping me out. Thanks Chad and Mark!

Claire and Bond in Miami – 3 nights in their condo. Claire is the cousin of a friend of my sister. We were complete strangers but I enjoyed my time in MIA. Bond owns a few Asian restaurants and he treated me to an amazing lunch including the best Pad Thai I’ve ever had. Thank you Claire, Bond (& Bas)!

Mike (and Eirwen) in Pittsburgh – 3 nights in a vacant bedroom. Mike’s girlfriend, Eirwen, moved in with him and her apartment was vacant so I had my “own” apartment for three nights. It worked out great and I didn’t feel like I was stepping on any toes when I got in late after the games. Thank you both!

John and Candy in Ellicot City, MD for the Nationals series – 4 nights in their spare bedrooom. John is my late father’s brother. What can I say, I’ve been to DC three times to see the Brewers and they’ve let me stay each time. This time John brought home some tasty crab cakes from Baltimore: delicious. Thank you John & Candy!

Mary Kate in Cincinnati – 3 nights on her couch. Another hotdogger friend of Victoria’s. I didn’t see much of her because when she was at work I was at her apartment and when she was home I was at the games. A great host and a very nice person overall (despite the fact she’s a Pirates and Penn State fan). Thanks MK!

Brandon (and parents Gary and Ginny) – 1 night in the basement. Brandon (a twitter follower) joined me at a few games. He’s currently going to UW-Madison and his current place and my former apartment on West Washington for three years share a backyard; small world. He came home (Germantown) for the last weekend series and I stayed at his parents’ house Saturday night. Thanks guys!

Pie Charts!

I made some pie charts for various things I kept track of during the season.

The pie chart below details where I stayed throughout the season. The number after each description is the number of times I stayed there. The percentage is pretty self explanatory, it’s out of 180 nights. Four nights out of the 180 I didn’t get enough sleep to qualify. I either didn’t get any at all or got less than an hour or two. The nights without sleep gets it’s own slice. You’re probably going to have to click on the first chart in order to read it.

Travel

I created some charts that detail my travel during Mission 162.

I also kept track of time spent traveling. And yes, it was just as tedious as it sounds. Every time I got in my car or stepped in an airport I was keeping track in my notes app on my phone.

 

In kind I kept track of time spent on air travel. I broke it down into three categories, and it’s a little alarming how much time was spent just sitting on the ground in airplanes (and I didn’t experience a single tarmac delay).

Expenses

I kept detailed notes on the money I spent throughout the season. The Brewers did provide a per diem, so the amount displayed below does NOT take that into consideration. So for you technical folk, the below includes my expenses but not my income. You may be wondering how I spent $1,280 on “tickets for others.” I had paid in full for a 20 game pack with the left over money from the unused World Series tickets. The Brewers upgraded me to a full season package so in effect I paid for a 20 game pack but got a season’s worth of games. That accounts for $640 of each tickets for me and tickets for others. Since I couldn’t sell my tickets for profit I sold them for donations to Be The Match. The Brewers were fine with this. The other $600 comes mostly from the first St. Louis series, where I splurged and bought nice seats for me and Victoria. Miscellaneous expenses include money spent on 50/50 raffle tickets ($158 for one ticket every home game, save 2).

Pitches

I kept track throughout the season of pitches seen. I considered seeing a pitch as actually seeing the pitcher throw the ball to the plate. One exception is if I miss the pitch but the ball is put in play and I see the resulting action of that play. This only happened a few times because most of the time I missed pitches that were balls or strikes and nothing else happened. Someone called me out one time and said that they didn’t believe my pitches seen percentage. I will admit that it is not 100% accurate. There were likely times where I was looking at my phone and looked back in time to see the pitch, not realizing that I had missed one in between. If you joined me at games you saw my dedication to not missing pitches. I pulled off countless bathroom breaks and concession stand visits without missing a pitch, and for that I thank myself for being so efficient (and other people for not being sneaky [like me] by going to the concourse with two outs and watching the rest of the inning from there). This is probably my favorite pie chart. I was in the park for every pitch of every single game, if that counts for anything. I should also note that the total of 48,444 is the most pitches a team was involved in this year. The Indians were second with 48,320.

SAUSAGES!!!

I finished the season having consumed 100 sausages. Some were very good (polish with sautéed onions at Miller Park), some were not (chicken apple sausage in San Francisco).

I would also like to thank my parents (Sue and Robert) for allowing me to move back in for the summer. Staying in Fort instead of Madison saved me an hour of travel time about 55 times this season (that’s over 2 days!). Love ya!

Victoria was skeptical about my crazy idea and was unsure if our relationship would last the season. We both agree that it has brought us closer. I suggested that if I do it in 2013 it will bring us even *closer* together; she disagrees. Victoria joined me at 34 of the 162 games which is a feat in its own right. She was very supportive throughout the season and I can’t thank her enough for sticking with me (and paying my half of the rent while I was gone). I love you and I’m looking forward to our future.

I want to thank all of my followers who read my posts. While I know a lot of my following came from friends and family (love you guys!), there were also a lot of strangers who were intrigued by my insanity to follow through with this.

It’s been one heck of a journey, and taking all those game number pictures paid off. Here’s the final slideshow of the season. The last 30 seconds is a quick overview of my travels from day one. I exported the movie as 1920×1080 (HD quality). I think wordpress compressed it because watching the preview it appears to be of lower quality. Either way I still think it’s pretty cool. I chose the three songs I did because they’re the ones that you’re guaranteed to hear at a Brewers home game.

I apologize if I forgot to mention someone. I was introduced to more people this year than at any other point in my life. I know that’s not saying a lot since I’m only 25, but it was still a little overwhelming. Believe it or not I’m somewhat antisocial at times and I like to mind my own business, so this season had some added challenges. I knew I’d have to become more outgoing if I was going to make a difference for Be The Match and I think I did to some degree. I’m going to be speaking in front of a couple hundred people at Fort Atkinson’s High School Athletic Banquet in two weeks so I should probably get working on some talking points as to not embarrass myself.

I almost forgot to mention that I made the most recent edition of Sports Illustrated (along with Braun). My Grandpa called me on Wednesday morning to let me know (I get the digital edition on my iPad but I hadn’t seen it yet). He’s been a subscriber since 1954 so he was very excited. Before the season he was probably the most skeptical about me quitting my job to go to baseball games, but he’s come around. He said that he’s had to make a lot of donations at his Rotary Club meetings because he brags so much. Love you, Wally!

If anyone has any employment leads for a 25 year old with an economics degree, let me know (back to the grind I go). Thanks again for the support and if you’d like to get ahold of me my email address is benrouse03@gmail.com.

2 Comments

Those are impressive stats!!!! I hope you enjoyed the season.
Thanks for taking us along on your journey.

Job well done, Ben! An experience you’ll never forget, I’m sure, and it was fun to share it; thanks! God bless you.

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