Curious about who’s going to win the World Series next week, or maybe looking to place a little wager?
Check with Andy and Gina Puck.
Around summer and fall volleyball seasons that keep the first family of Princeton Tigresses volleyball busy, the Pucks have made it a mission to go to all 32 MLB ball parks. They have made 27 so far.
Here’s the catch. For four straight years, they took in a game at the home park of that year’s eventual World Series winner during the regular season.
It all started with a trip to San Francisco in 2014, whose Giants went on to beat the Royals in the World Series.
Then it was the Royals in 2015, the Cubbies in 2016 and the Astros in 2017.
While technically the streak snapped in 2018, the Pucks did go to Toronto, and while the Blue Jays didn’t win the World Series, its Raptors won the NBA crown. And the Pucks had already been to Fenway Park, the home of 2018 World Series champion Red Sox.
Coincidence? I think not.
“At first it was just kind of funny and coincidence and really didn’t think anything of it,” Gina said. “It was in 2015, when we had been to both the Mets and Royals that year that we thought about how crazy it was that we had just been to both ball parks. Then with Houston in 2016, we just laughed it off, but this year we saw the Nationals when they were 20-31.”
That’s right. The Pucks went to Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., over Memorial Day weekend, the home park for the newly crowned NL champions. They already have Yankee Stadium (2015) and Minute Maid Park in Houston covered.
In reality, Gina said there’s no weird voodoo.
“We pick ball parks based on schedules and who is home when we have the opportunity to take a quick vacation,” she said.
“Yes, most definitely a coincidence,” Andy said. “We never had intentions of going to ballparks with future World Series winners, it just ended up that way. As it stands now, maybe our last ballparks to visit will be playing in the Fall Classic.”
Andy was hoping a late trip to Busch Stadium in St. Louis for the NLDS would be the magic for his beloved Cardinals.
“I am not usually superstitious, but in this rare event, I was,” he said.
The first park the Pucks hit was Wrigley Field in 2009. Gina was living just four blocks away at the time.
“That summer, we made it to four parks and just thought about how cool it would be to see them all,” she said.
They have only five parks left — Philadelphia, Baltimore, Colorado, Cincinnati and the newly named Guaranteed Rate Stadium in Chicago. They plan to make the White Sox home their last stop in the city that started it all.
• Happenings: While the chances were fading after Thursday’s loss in the ALCS to the Astros, St. Bede’s J.A. Happ was hopeful to make it back to the Fall Classic with the Yankees. The veteran left-handed pitcher had made one appearance in the ALCS through the first four games, tagged for a walk-off homer by the Astros’ Carlos Correa in Game 2.
Happ is a veteran of two World Series appearances already, with the Phillies, beating the Rays in 2008 and falling to the Yankees in 2009.
Kevin Hieronymus is the BCR Sports Editor and as a Cardinals fan, was also wishing the Pucks’ trip to Busch Stadium meant the Cardinals would win the World Series. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.