I Don't Care if We Never Get Back: 30 Games in 30 Days on the Best Worst Baseball Road Trip Ever

I Don't Care if We Never Get Back: 30 Games in 30 Days on the Best Worst Baseball Road Trip Ever

by Ben Blatt
     
 

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Ben, a sports analytics wizard, loves baseball. Eric, his best friend, hates it. But when Ben writes an algorithm for the optimal baseball road trip, an impossible dream of every pitch of 30 games in 30 stadiums in 30 days, who will he call on to take shifts behind the wheel, especially when those shifts will include nineteen hours straight from Phoenix to Kansas City

Overview

Ben, a sports analytics wizard, loves baseball. Eric, his best friend, hates it. But when Ben writes an algorithm for the optimal baseball road trip, an impossible dream of every pitch of 30 games in 30 stadiums in 30 days, who will he call on to take shifts behind the wheel, especially when those shifts will include nineteen hours straight from Phoenix to Kansas City? Eric, of course. Will Eric regret it? You might ask, Are Dodger Dogs the same thing as Fenway Franks? As Ben and Eric can now attest, most definitely.

On June 1, 2013, Ben and Eric set out to see America through the bleachers and concession stands of America’s favorite pastime. Along the way, human error and Mother Nature throw their mathematically optimized schedule a few curveballs. A mix-up in Denver turns a planned day off in Las Vegas into a twenty-hour drive. And a summer storm of biblical proportions threatens to make the whole thing logistically impossible, and that’s if they don’t kill each other first.

Charming, insightful, and hilarious, I Don’t Care If We Never Get Back is a book about the love of the game, the limits of fandom, and the limitlessness of friendship.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/03/2014
When sports analyst and baseball fanatic Blatt first came up with an algorithm that figured out how one could see every pitch of 30 baseball games in 30 different ballparks in 30 days, it seemed like a pipe dream. That is, until his best friend Brewster, who “didn’t like baseball,” agreed to come along for the 22,000-mile ride. As expected on such as trip, the games themselves take a backseat, so those looking for exciting sports writing or an in-depth baseball history best look elsewhere. It also takes a little time getting used to the writing combination of two different third-person narratives plus the first-person plural as well as the way the friends talk in witty rejoinders (Eric: “I thought you didn’t want children.”/Ben: ”But everyone wants grandchildren”). The story doesn’t start to get interesting till something bad happens, and here it occurs about a third of the way through the trip when Ben messes up the start time for the Rockies game, putting the 30-in-30 streak in serious jeopardy. As the two friends put their heads together to figure out how to salvage the trip, the journey picks up steam, and from there it’s the fun road trip/ballpark adventure with pranks, missed exits, a misadventure with a scalper, and a sellout on the worst possible day that has you rooting for them to accomplish their goal. The result, like any good road trip tale, is less about the destination and more about the bonds formed and experiences had trying to get there, and in that respect Blatt and Brewster have definitely scored. (May)
From the Publisher

“A fun ride that evokes the spirit of sports stunt journalist George Plimpton and the dazed road-trip fever of Hunter S. Thompson, minus the mind altering substances. . . . It’s great watching Blatt and Brewster race home.”Boston Globe

“A cross between The Cannonball Run and The Great Race, with portions of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World thrown in for good measure. . . . The road trip—and narrative—zigzags across the country, with the authors (helped by three other drivers at times) driving 22,000 miles in 716 hours. They watched 8,913 pitches and completed their quest with a few hours to spare. . . . The dynamic and back-and-forth tension and sarcasm between Blatt and Brewster is funny. . . . Worth reading.”Tampa Tribune

“An ambitious attempt to see every pitch of 30 games in 30 stadiums in 30 days . . . [Blatt and Brewster] humorously encounter more problems than just Brewster’s disdain for baseball.”Chicago Tribune

“An oblique view of baseball full of hijinks, havoc, and humor, this is fandom to the extreme.”—Daily Beast

“Consistently engaging. . . . [A] fast-moving and hysterical road trip book . . . written in a style that will fondly recall the gonzo fiction of Hunter S. Thompson, as well as the great Jack Kerouac. . . . If you love baseball, you will thoroughly relish I Don’t Care if We Never Get Back and most likely will finish it in one sitting. But even if you are not a fan, you still will be able to sink your teeth into the non-stop witty banter that hits a bullseye in its description of life in America and the ever-present baseball obsession. . . . This is a unique saga that will please everyone who jumps in the backseat to ride along.”—Bookreporter

“If Catfish Hunter and Hunter Thompson mated, their grandkids would be Ben and Eric, whose gonzo baseball road trip glows with humor, insight and the Service Engine light of their Toyota RAV4.”—Steve Rushin, author of The 34-Ton Bat

“An honest and hilarious look at what it’s really like to drive across America for baseball, I Don't Care if We Never Get Back is a highlight reel of triumphs and mishaps.”—Zack Hample, author of Watching Baseball Smarter

“This is a wonderfully crazy, wonderfully stupid idea. I'm glad someone—someone other than me—did it. The result is hilarious and amazing.”—Steve Hely, author of How I Became a Famous Novelist and The Ridiculous Race

“The road-trip memoir has become so tired that there’s almost no premise good enough to resurrect it from endless cliché, and a frenetic race to an arbitrary goal didn’t seem promising. But that wasn’t accounting for two things: Moneyball-worthy mathematical algorithms and the sharp, hilarious prose that has made Lampoon alums famous for generations. . . . Nate Silver numbers and James Thurber wit turn what should be a harebrained adventure into a pretty damn endearing one.”Kirkus Reviews

“[A] fun road trip/ballpark adventure with pranks, missed exits, a misadventure with a scalper, and a sellout on the worst possible day. . . . Blatt and Brewster have definitely scored.”Publishers Weekly

“Reads like a mix of Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson, Neil Simon and National Lampoon. You’ll laugh the whole way through.”Jersey Journal

Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-10
Two former Harvard Lampoon writers attempt a road trip of epic logistical proportions: 30 baseball games in 30 stadiums in 30 days. The road-trip memoir has become so tired that there's almost no premise good enough to resurrect it from endless cliché, and a frenetic race to an arbitrary goal didn't seem promising. But that wasn't accounting for two things: Moneyball-worthy mathematical algorithms and the sharp, hilarious prose that has made Lampoon alums famous for generations. Slate writer Blatt is passionate about two things: math and baseball. His travel companion, Brewster, is passionate about neither. But when Blatt wrote a computer program that plotted out the trip—an entire game every day, hitting every stadium, using only a car—Brewster reluctantly agreed to join his friend. The math assured the pair that the trip was possible, albeit illogical (requiring several dizzying loops of the country) and stupid (the average leg between games was a 12-hour drive). But math also didn't account for things like weather, traffic and human error, turning what should have been a month of leisurely summer fun into a suspenseful series of high-speed hauls through the night. Blatt and Brewster pepper their adventure with statistics—there was, they cheerfully point out in response to parental concerns, only a 0.5 percent chance that they would die in a vehicular accident—and anecdotes. At one point, they even constructed an OK Cupid profile for the romantically challenged Blatt and set him up with a date to a St. Louis Cardinals game. Our intrepid narrators are charmingly self-deprecating and keenly aware of the pointlessness of their journey, and yet they still imbue it with some meaningful thoughts about friendship, community, and the beauty and total absurdity of obsessive fandom. Nate Silver numbers and James Thurber wit turn what should be a harebrained adventure into a pretty damn endearing one.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802192165
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
05/06/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
679,996
File size:
4 MB

Meet the Author

Ben Blatt is a staff writer at Slate and a recent Harvard graduate whose sports analytics studies have been picked up by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Deadspin, and others.

Eric Brewster, a recent Harvard graduate, was the president of the Harvard Lampoon. He is one of the writers of The Wobbit: A Parody and the New York Times bestselling The Hunger Pains: A Parody.

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