Editor’s Note: This is the first in a summer long series about area people who travel for sports experiences. If you or someone you know has a unique sports travel experience, please email sports@newstrib.com.

In 2015, Thomas Fauth and his father took a trip out East to catch several baseball games.

The Fauths saw a New York Yankees game and a New York Mets game before heading to Philadelphia to watch the Phillies.

The next year, they scheduled a trip to Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, but this time, Thomas asked if he could bring a few friends, and a tradition was born.

Since the trip to Cincinnati, Fauth, Carter Moss and Billy Samek have taken an annual baseball vacation.

In 2017, the group went to Minnesota, while last year they went to Cleveland, Detroit and Pittsburgh.

“The trips started just from our passion of not only watching the Cubs, but our love for watching all kinds of baseball,” Moss said. “We wanted to see all of the different experiences each park offers.”

This summer, as “one last hurrah,” the group, which graduated from La Salle-Peru on Thursday, will fly to California to visit Angel Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Oracle Park and the Oakland Coliseum.

“What I like most about the trips is spending quality time with my friends and dad watching good games,” said Fauth, who added Dodger Stadium and Fenway Park are atop his wish list of stadiums to see due to their history. “We always try to get a couple Cubs games on the road. It just adds to the experience of being in a new park. There’s never a dull moment.”

Samek said what he enjoys about traveling to different stadiums is learning what each has to offer.

“I like all of it — the different cultures of the stadium,” Samek said. “There are little traditions at each stadium and it’s fun to see all that stuff. Milwaukee is great for tailgating. Cincinnati has chili everywhere. Pittsburgh had good burgers.”

Samek and Moss said PNC Park in Pittsburgh has been their favorite stop so far.

“My favorite (stadium) has to be Wrigley, but for traveling somewhere, Pittsburgh was really nice,” Samek said. “The river was right there. The employees were super nice. The food was great and it was a great atmosphere.”

Moss said PNC provided a great fan experience.

“It’s super cool because of the river and skyline in the backdrop,” Moss said. “Everything there is super fan friendly.”

While Fauth said PNC was the most aesthetically pleasing and the Clemente bridge outside the park is the most unique thing he’s seen in his baseball travels, his favorite stop has been Citi Field in New York.

“My favorite park for overall fan atmosphere was Citi Field in New York,” Fauth said. “The fans are crazy up there.”

For people thinking about traveling to different stadiums, Samek said it’s key to arrive early to take in the whole experience.

“Get there when the gates open so you can walk around and take in the stadium so you don’t have to miss as much of the game,” Samek said. “We get there as soon as possible and take a big loop around the stadium to see everything.”

Of course, traveling with the right people is important too.

“Advice I’d give is to find people who really love the sport and are committed to taking time out of the year to take a road trip,” Fauth said.

Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at sports@newstrib.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.

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