NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Imagine going to every Yankees game this season. Not just home games. Home and away. All 162 of them!
Steve Melia has done just that. Melia is in Florida today, for the Yankees’ 162nd and final regular season game, and he’s seen each and every one of them.
Melia says he decided this past spring to try to make it to every game.
“I’ve worked real hard,” he told WCBS 880’s Steve Scott. “I’m 41 years old. I’ve had a business since I was 24. I just felt like if I didn’t do it now, I’d probably never do it.”
LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Steve Scott With Steve Melia
He says he laid out the whole schedule at the beginning of the year, deciding which games he would drive to and which ones would require a plane ticket.
Then there are rain-outs and makeup games.
“Logistically, it was kind of a nightmare,” he says. “I didn’t get any special deals from the airlines or hotels.”
Surprisingly, he says he never really came close to missing a game. He missed just one flight, in California, and that was on an off-day, so he was able to re-schedule without missing a game.
His favorite road city? Boston, just for the atmosphere.
His least favorite road city? Wrigley Field in Chicago – not so much the stadium, he says, but the fans.
“They were very unruly,” he says.
And, his favorite moment of the season? July 9th – the day Derek Jeter went 5-for-5 and hit a home run for his 3,000th career hit.
So, how much has all this cost him? Melia says people have guessed anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000.
But, he says it’s actually lower than that, closer to $60,000.
“I’ve been on a budget,” he says. “I never paid for parking. I pack a lot of sandwiches and bring bottles of water into the stadium.”
Will he follow the Yankees into the post-season?
“Absolutely,” he says. “I looked at how much money I had left for the trip. You know, it’s a great story…but, I think it’ll be an even better if the Yankees can go all the way and win the World Series. That’s what I’m hoping for, and that’s what I’m betting on.”
Steve Melia has documented his season-long odyssey on his web site – 162yankeegames.com.
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