Column: Line Drives — Sports bucket list will shorten

[This is my column in the April 17 issue of The Commercial Review.]

Everyone has a bucket list.

There are things we all want to do before our time on earth is done.

I have two bucket lists — one just for sports and one for general life goals.

I’ve been fortunate enough over the last few years to cross some items off my lists.

Become a first-generation college graduate. Done. Travel overseas. Done. Start my career. Done, although it took some time. Visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Done and done.

Next up is shortening my sports bucket list.

I’ve already checked off a couple items since I moved to Indiana: cover a major sporting event — I shot photos at Hinkle Fieldhouse of a basketball game between Butler and Villanova — and watch Michigan State win the Big Ten Tournament.

There are some items that may never happen, like witness a no-hitter, attend an Atlanta Braves World Series game, go to a Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup Finals game or dunk a basketball.

On the other hand, I have some very achievable goals:

•Visit all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums
•Get media credentials to a game for each of the four major sports
•Hit a grand slam in softball
•Go to the Indianapolis 500, either as a reporter or as a fan
•See the Kentucky Derby and place bets
•Visit some of the historic sports venues — the Rose Bowl, L.A. Coliseum, Assembly Hall, Madison Square Garden, Wrigley Field, Fenway Park

But the two I am closest to reaching can be done this summer.

As I’ve written about before, I plan on going to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Three Atlanta Braves will be inducted to the Hall this year.

There will most likely never be a time where three members of the same franchise, let alone my favorite team, are inducted in the same year.

But also on my list is to attend an international soccer match that doesn’t involve the U.S. National Team.

And I don’t even have to leave the states to do so.
Manchester United and Real Madrid will play a friendly at the University of Michigan Aug. 2.

There’s no better place to host the most valuable sport franchise in the world than the biggest college football stadium in the country.

Real Madrid of La Liga has arguably the best player in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United of the Premier League has Wayne Rooney, the best English player who isn’t named David Beckham.

Two of the top teams in their respective leagues will be playing just a short four-hour drive from Portland, and I will not pass up the chance to see some of the best soccer in the world.

I don’t care how much the tickets cost, this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance, for diehard soccer hooligans or even the most casual of soccer fans, like me.

It’s about time my sports bucket list gets shorter.


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