Road trips! (The baseball way)

CWS and MO

You don't have much time to make the first part of this trip -- the College World Series ends in Omaha, Nebraska, early next week -- but everyone should go to the CWS at least once (even though my Washington Huskies failed to reach it again this year).

A great way to extend the trip (or enjoy a completely new one) is to go on to Kansas City, Missouri, where the Royals are currently in first place. (Like I said, hurry!) Kauffman Stadium is a great place to see a game; but more importantly, you must also visit the Negro League Museum. This superb museum is so informative and inspiring that big leaguers often tour it when in town. How many museums can you say that about?

And since you're in Missouri, drive over to St. Louis to show yourself the Cardinals' new Ballpark Village outside Busch Stadium. Just be sure to wipe the Gates Bar-B-Q sauce from your hands before getting in the car when you leave.

West Coast Swing

ESPN might be in love with the Yankees and Red Sox, but the rest of us know this year's best baseball is on the West Coast. There are just 12 teams with a positive run differential this season, and five border the Pacific Ocean.

Any time is good to tour the West Coast, what with Yosemite, Big Sur, Disneyland, world-class wine countries, the Cascade Mountains, the Olympic rain forest, etc., from which to choose. But summer is the best. Start in Seattle and work your way south, or start in San Diego and head north. Or select any section of that coast -- you'll love it all. But whichever direction and location you decide, be sure to time your trip so that you're in the Bay Area near the end of July when the Giants and Dodgers square off in San Francisco at one of the game's top ballparks, while the Athletics play in Oakland, California, just before that series. The Coliseum gets a bad rep, but the Athletics might be baseball's best team and their tailgating is some of the best west of Milwaukee. Plus, it's another film site ("Moneyball").

If, however, you don't have time for such a trip this summer, don't worry. Most of those teams will be playing in October as well, when the weather can still be pretty awesome.

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