Matt Stoltz has set an ambitious goal for a good cause. The Wisconsin native is currently bicycling to all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums, an 11,300 mile cross-country ride.
The 22-year-old hopes to raise around $100,000 for Biking for Baseball, a Denver-based nonprofit that helps raise awareness and money for Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
“I want to raise awareness and encourage people to become mentors themselves,” Stoltz told ABC News. "I’m taking donations and as people hear about it, a lot of people are willing to donate and every single penny goes to Biking for Baseball.”
Stoltz, a recent University of Wisconsin graduate, kicked off his ride April 7 in Seattle, the day after he attended a Mariners game at Safeco Field.
He has since cycled to five more stadiums, all in California, and is now headed to Phoenix to watch the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Stoltz cycles completely on his own, with no support vehicle, and tries to get free lodging where he can from people he meets on the road or in the stadium.
“So far I’ve only paid for lodging one or two nights,” said Stoltz, who expects to pay about $5,000 out of his own pocket for the tour. “Tonight, I don’t know where I’m staying.”
“I love meeting baseball fans and experiencing the culture of each team and their fan base,” he said. “I’m meeting fans the whole game and get a great perspective of the stadium and the teams and how great the fans are.”
Stoltz says he has been invited onto the field for batting practice by some teams and received donations of items to auction off from some of the pro players.
He calls the ride a “physical and mental challenge” but says the time by himself on his Novara Randonee bike allows him to be reflective.
“I think about anything and everything, from playing at recess in kindergarten, when you’re out there it’s me myself and I and it’s kind of fun,” Stoltz said. “You get to reflect on a lot of things and think about a lot of things.”
Stoltz says the stadium he is most looking forward to is the one where his 11,300 mile ride will end, Miller Park in Milwaukee on October 3rd.
“I’m really looking forward to Milwaukee because that means I complete it all and I’ll have family and friends there to welcome me back,” he said.
Stolz has so far raised over $13,000 for Biking for Baseball.
"A lot of what we’re doing is awareness," he said. "There’s no financial amount you can place on people becoming mentors and influencing kids."
If you'd like to help donate to Stoltz's cause or find out more about Biking for Baseball, click here.