Baseball and road trips are two of America’s favorite summer pastimes. Lyndon Suvanto, 27, and Dusan Krstic, 26, decided to combine the two and make it their summer mission to see every top-tier American baseball team play in their home stadium.
The Canadian natives and ardent baseball fans hatched their cross-country plan while playing professional handball overseas. They began saving up funds and planning their two-month road trip in late 2018.
“I figured now was the time to make it happen,” says Suvanto. “I wasn’t in a committed relationship or in a career I couldn’t get away from. Also, a lot of my favorite players are approaching retirement.”
To get to all 30 stadiums, the friends would have to be smart and strategic, and put in some very long hours behind the wheel. They purposely chose Krstic’s 2017 Jetta to make the trip because of the car’s fuel-efficiency1 and highway sureness. “It was amazing for us,” says Suvanto. “We put 35,000 kilometers on it and never had an issue.”
The pair kicked off their patriotic journey in Seattle on July 4 and drove the California coast before hitting the southern states and East Coast. At each location, they would snap a photograph with their homemade sign, which was outfitted with a giant stadium counter that would increase as each game passed.
The sign garnered the pair much attention, leading to screen time on jumbotrons and on television. People, in turn, would often offer to chip in funds for gas money and road trip grub. “I was pleasantly surprised at how friendly, kind and open-minded everyone was along the way,” Suvanto said.
At night, they would take turns sleeping and driving, and often crashed in their royal blue compact sedan — a slight challenge for two men over 6’3” in height. Suvanto would often take up the entire back seat while Krstic would sleep towards the front of the car.
The baseball buffs also added fun, cultural stops along their route, including the Vegas strip, the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park. They even built in a break in Scranton, Pa., to pay homage to one of their favorite television sitcoms. They also created social media accounts devoted to the trip, so friends and family members could check-in regularly on their adventures and progress.
Suvanto and Krstic completed their mission on Sept. 1 in Denver. “I think 95% of people believed we were full of [it] or would give up before we even got to the border,” says Suvanto, laughing. “We almost couldn’t believe it ourselves that we had made it and got to our final stop … It felt like we had really accomplished something.”