Why This Texas Woman Visited All 30 MLB Ballparks in One Season

What started as a dream for Katie Russell became a memorial trip to honor her mother.

By Hady MawajdehOctober 13, 2015 6:25 pm

If you haven’t noticed, the state of Texas has caught a fever. It has nothing to do with mirrored balls or flare-legged pants, despite our fondest hopes. It’s even better.

Suffice to say as two Texas teams – the Rangers and the Astros get this close to advancing in the playoffs – we’re excited.

But baseball is much more than just a game for Katie Russell, who as a child she played on a Little League team while following her favorite team – the Cubs.

As an adult, she did something many fans only dream of doing. She visited all 30 Major League Baseball ballparks in one season, a goal she and her mother shared until the day her mom passed from colon cancer in 2009.

In fact, Russell, who now lives in Austin, decided to go on the ballpark tour several years after her mother passed. She had just finished her Ph.D and was declared cancer-free herself, two years in remission from Hodgkin’s lymphoma and melanoma.

“I think when we’re faced with situations that are bigger than your everyday life, I think you start to think about what it is you want for your life,” she says. “You feel like you get a second chance and I certainly wanted to use that second chance in a new way.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

-Why baseball means so much to her and why the Cubs are her home team, despite growing up in New Orleans

-How this voyage brought her closer to her mother’s courageous spirit

-What it is about baseball and ballparks that Russell finds centering