One on One: Baseball Fan John Salvo Witnesses Every Possible MLB Matchup
John Salvo was sitting in Houston's Enron Field in April 2001 when he overheard a fan behind him tell of his travels to see every possible matchup within both the American and National leagues. Salvo, a school administrator from Racine, Wis., wheeled around and told Jim Waddell, "You can't do that; I'm the only one doing that." The two became fast friends, even attending 68 games together out of the 422 necessary for each to complete the feat. It took Salvo 55 years and cost him "well into six figures" (he purposefully didn't keep track) — making as many as 10 stops in a single youthful East Cost road trip and later flying to and from the West Coast to check single matchups off his to-do list. Retired by the 2003 season, Salvo (who's married) typically spent 60 to 70 summer nights away from home. On the eve of his final pairing — Houston at the New York Mets on Oct. 2 — he told Paul Steinbach that he can't explain what it is about baseball that drove him to such lengths of devotion (after all, his favorite team, the White Sox, play in nearby Chicago), but he shared some thoughts on the game's destinations.
Q: What are your keys to a pleasurable experience at an MLB park?
Q: Is it a Catch-22, with more amenities attracting more easily distracted fans?
Q: Do you have a favorite ballpark amenity?
Q: Are there parks that leave you wanting more?
Q: Any regrets?
Q: Are you preparing for turnstile retirement?
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Ithaca College Athletics and Events Center