Among the mountains of press releases and assorted mail we received in the last week came a rather interesting publicity piece about a baseball fan in Racine, Wis.
For the past 55 years, John Salvo has been attending baseball games, which can be said for a lot of people. But he claims with the Oct. 2 game between the New York Mets and Houston Astros, he will have personally witnessed every possible Major League Baseball matchup in both leagues – 442 games total, with 13 games at every American League location and 15 at every National League venue.
As part of the release, there is some neat background on Salvo and his baseball-watching career. He attended his first game in 1954, when Cleveland visited the Chicago White Sox. He began travelling long distance to attend games in 1962 and guesses he has spent more than $100,000 in completing the quest.
As part of the tally, Salvo said he has been to 955 games and attended 57 different stadiums, half of which are no longer in use. As you might have guessed, he’s witnessed a few milestone events along the way, including two no-hitters and a triple play. He’s even caught 15 foul balls. Among the irritants of jet lag, traffic jams and the like from so many travels, Salvo said the most irritating aspects of the journey are “the wave” and “the chop” in Atlanta, along with fans stating some variation of “suck” in their taunts to opposing players.
But here is something that might even be more impressive. I’m gong to straight from the source for this one: “In the mid-1980s, I determined from my travel records that I had driven about 70 percent of the interstate highway system. I set out to systematically finish the remaining 30 percent,” Salvo said. “In October 2007, I completed the goal of driving/riding on every mile of every interstate highway, excluding three-digit spurs/bypass routes. As new interstates are built, I go there to drive them.”
Sounds like Mr. Salvo is in the business of achieving lengthy milestones. He either has a good car, or some serious rental miles.
Salvo said his favorite player of all time is Nellie Fox, and the best baseball moment in his life was the next-day celebration of the Chicago White Sox 2005 World Series Championship. He even named his dog Ozzie Guillen.
Here’s hoping the Mets faithful hold a celebration for such loyalty to the game on Oct. 2.