On January 24, 1848, a man named James W. Marshall changed America forever. While working on his sawmill in Coloma, California, he spotted a speck of gold in a stream below. This small discovery soon reverberated throughout the country as Americans trekked West in hope of profiting from the Gold Rush. The Gold Rush transformed the demographics of America as hundreds of thousands of people made California their home. Families courageously gave up everything they had for the promise of a better future out West. These pioneers were admirable, brave, and true representatives of the spirit of the American dream.
Today we are embarking on a westward journey of our own. Driven by an irresistible magnetic pull, we will fly west toward our Californian tomorrows. The hills and deserts sleep unsuspectingly as we begin our ambitious quest. But unlike those in 1849 who risked their lives to find gold, we have chosen to go West because we want to see some baseball. Our journey is less noble, less risky, and less historically significant than that of the Gold Rushers, but should be at least a bit more fun. Think of our trip as the Oregon Trail but with way less dysentery and way more dingers.
And who are we intrepid explorers, you may ask? Our names are Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman. If you’ve heard of us it’s most definitely because you’ve seen our blog/twitter account Cespedes Family BBQ or listened to our podcast. Maybe it’s because you went to high school with us or are friends with our mothers on Facebook. Who knows? For those of you unfamiliar with us, we are two rising college juniors who prefer to view, think, and write about the game from a humorous perspective. Jake plays college baseball at Washington University in St. Louis and Jordan has seen Sandlot at least four times and Fever Pitch twice.
Last year we went on a trip from our homes in Maryland to Texas and back and chronicled it here at Baseball Prospectus. This year, you can expect more of the same: daily summaries of our ridiculous experiences interspersed with game recaps and player interviews. Our 18-day quest will take us from sunny San Diego to rainy Seattle and everywhere in between. We’ll see baseball in some of the West’s most popular locations like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Bakersfield. We even made time to check in on the Sam and Ben’s Sonoma Stompers. Not even this fake 9.8 magnitude earthquake can stop us.
These are our favorite weeks of the year. There are very few things more liberating than being on the road with your buddy watching baseball every day. We hope we succeed in conveying that feeling to you and we hope you enjoy our series. This is the West Coast By Us.
(Shoutout to Chris Crawford for lending us his car; we promise we won’t go over 110 mph.)
May 22: Stockton Ports (OAK) @ Lake Elsinore Storm (SD)
May 23: San Diego Padres @ Los Angeles Dodgers
May 24: Inland Empire 66ers (LAA) @ Lancaster Jethawks (HOU)
May 25: High Desert Mavericks (TEX) @ Bakersfield Blaze (SEA)
May 26: Colorado Springs Sky Sox (MIL) @ Las Vegas 51’s (NYM)
May 27: Lake Elsinore Storm (SD) @ Inland Empire 66ers (LAA) 3:05 PM and San Jose Giants (SF) @ High Desert Mavericks (SEA) 6:35 PM
May 28: Detroit Tigers @ Anaheim Angels
May 29: Bakersfield (SEA) @ Visalia (ARI)
May 30: Lake Elsinore (SD) @ Stockton (OAK)
June 1: Pittsburgh Pirates @ San Fransisco Giants
June 2: Pittsburg Mettle @ Sonoma Stompers
June 3: Driving Day
June 5: New Orleans Zephyrs (MIA) @ Tacoma Rainiers (SEA)
June 6: Tampa Bay Rays @ Seattle Mariners
June 7: Tampa Bay Rays @ Seattle Mariners
Follow Jake and Jordan @CespedesBBQ
Follow their trip on Snapchat: CespedesBBQ
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