Today is not a good day. Earlier this morning in another timeline, 6 of your Stittsville SweatSox boarded a flight from Ottawa to Dallas (via NYC), officially kicking off this year’s version of the annual SweatTrip. Unfortunately, Ross Hughes let one of his many STI’s get away from him, infecting the world, and cancelling our travel plans indefinitely.
Originally, the 8-day 7-night 7-game SweatTrip started off in Arlington and finished in St. Louis, with stops in Houston, New Orleans, and Kansas City along the way.
- Ottawa to NYC to Dallas (FLY)
- Dallas to Houston (PIMP BUS)
- Houston to New Orleans to Kansas City (FLY)
- Kansas City to St. Louis (AMTRAK)
- St. Louis to NYC to Ottawa (FLY)
The MLB games we had tickets for were some of the best matchups we would’ve seen yet, making this cancellation that much worse:
- WED: Texas Rangers vs Toronto Blue Jays
- THU: Texas Rangers vs Boston Red Sox
- FRI: Houston Astros vs New York Yankees
- SAT: Houston Astros vs New York Yankees
- SUN: Kansas City Royals vs Los Angeles Dodgers
- MON: Kansas City Royals vs California Angels
- TUE: St. Louis Cardinals vs Atlanta Braves
Along with being unable to watch any live baseball, we also will not get a chance to explore the sights and sounds of each city’s culture. Here are just some of the pre-planned activities we had locked-in for #SweatTrip2020:
- Tour of AT&T Stadium, drinks with Jerry Jones
- The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
- Texas Sports Hall of Fame
- Tour of Globe Life Field
- Hang out in the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders Lazy River
- Space Center Houston, lunch with Mark Bond’s favourite astronaut
- Tour of Minute Maid Park
- Nolan Ryan Museum in Round Rock
- Austin Live Music Crawl
- Blues Bars on Bourbon Street
- Negro League Baseball Museum
- Visit the Former Site of Municipal Stadium
- Tour of Kauffman Stadium
- See the World’s Largest Baseball
- Lunch with Bill James in Lawrence, Kansas
- Excursion to the Ozarks
- St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum
- Tour of Busch Stadium
- Busch II Infield
- The Gateway Arch
Perhaps most importantly, we need to know the best places to find a drink in each city. After probably somewhere between 68 and 70 hours of research, here’s every place we would’ve stopped in for a pint or two or fourteen at, all of which are Kent Johnston’s Star Rating approved:
- Legal Draft Beer Co.
- Division Brewing
- New Main Brewing Co.
- Turning Point Beer
- BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
- Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co.
- Trinity River Distillery
- Acre Distilling Co.
- BlackEyed Distilling Co.
- Saint Arnold Brewing Company
- 8th Wonder Brewery / Distillery
- True Anomaly Brewing Company
- Platypus Brewing
- Yellow Rose Distilling
- Grateful Dane Distilling Co.
- Boulevard Brewing Company
- Rochester Brewing and Roasting Company
- Double Shift Brewing Company
- Casual Animal Brewing Co.
- Border Brewing Company
- City Barrel Brewery + Kitchen
- Torn Label Brewing Co.
- Stockyards Brewing Co.
- Mean Mule Distilling Co.
- Lifted Spirits – Kansas City Distilling
- Tom’s Town Distilling Co.
- Morgan Street Brewing
- 4 Hands Brewing Co.
- Square One Brewing & Distillery
- Charleville Brewing Company
- Anheuser-Busch St. Louis Brewery
- StilL 630 Distillery
To counter all that beer, we needed to balance it out with the right amount of BBQ. Here are just some of the places we had reservations at:
- Hurtado Barbeque
- Lockhart Smokehouse Arlington
- Jackson Street Barbeque
- Moon Tower Inn
- Jack Stack Barbeque | Freight House
- Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque
- Plowboys Barbeque
- Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que
- Sugarfire Smoke House
- Summerhays Grill
All of that was just the stuff we had pre-planned, who knows what else we would’ve done on the fly.
It really would’ve been a great trip. I asked each would-be SweatTripper what they were looking forward to the most:
CORY: The baseball.
MARK: All the walking I was going to make everyone do between breweries.
CRAIG: I was really looking forward to seeing some great ballparks, the Negro League Museum, and hanging out with a fine group of men eating barbeque and enjoying some cold beverages.
KENT: Oh boy. Endless BBQ and beer. I was going to eat all of the bbq.
JOSH: Astros games in Houston. Been a fan of the team as Jeff Bagwell was one of my favourite players growing up.
I, SHAUN KEAY: Nothing specific, beer, baseball and friends in Texas. What’s not to look forward to.
With #SweatTrip2020 now in our rear-view mirrors, it’s time to start looking ahead and planning #SweatTrip2021, not to be confused with #SweatVegas2021.
Final #SweatTrip2020 Notes/Thoughts:
- “Fuck Covid” -Mark Bond
- “Yeah fuck Covid” -Josh Ramage
- “I’ll fuck Covid” -Ross Hughes
COMING SOON: More Things I’ve Learned So Far In Quarantine, Recap of the NCBL Spring Meeting, Recap of the Top Secret Super Classified NCBL Executive Meeting, and if I have time maybe a few thoughts on the 2019 Tier 3 Championship Series.