Prior to this pandemic, I had big plans that included adding a couple new baseballs to my collection.

It’s a tradition I’ve started over the last handful of years – each year I visit a ballpark I’ve never been to for a game and pick up a baseball from that ballpark. I was hoping to add at least one or two new baseballs from the west coast.

My oldest niece is about to officially graduate from high school. The plan was to fly up to Oregon where she lives for her graduation and while there, make a slight detour up to Seattle to catch a Mariners’ game. Heck, California is right there. Maybe I could have found my way to a Giants game.

Shoulda’, could’a would’a. Obviously for now, that’s all a pipedream and there’s a good chance I won’t be able to keep my streak alive of being able to travel to new baseball ballpark that I haven’t been to yet and my ballpark journey might have to wait for 2021.

I still have a long way to go before completing that journey. I’ve only been to 10 MLB parks – the two Chicago ballparks, the two Texas ballparks (Globe Life Park, obviously, not Globe Life Field), the two in Missouri, as well as Atlanta, Minnesota, New York (Yankees only, Mets were on the road) and Boston. The baseballs currently sit on a case that’s mounted on the wall of my living room, with a couple of empty spaces just staring at me, rubbing it in that I have to wait to fill those empty spaces.

I so badly want to also go to Baltimore and Washington D.C. and eventually make a trip up to Cooperstown.

It’s not just the ballparks I miss. I miss the game. I miss watching athletes break out of slump to hit a home run into the upper decks, or seeing a young star on the rise throwing his first strikeout. I just hope we don’t have to wait for 2021 to see any of that.

Hopefully baseball will be in full swing next year. My niece who’s graduating has a sister who’s right behind her. Hopefully I’ll be able to attend her graduation and maybe knock out some of those west coast ballparks and add at least a baseball or two to my collection.

I’m still planning to go to Oregon this year for my niece’s graduation party. The trip just won’t include seeing her actually walk the stage and I won’t have a baseball to add to my collection, all because of a stupid virus.