Joe Connor loves sports.
Apparently it doesn’t matter what is being played, either, because he has seen plenty of varied action since Feb. 5, 2018.
Since that date Connor has seen at least one sporting event every single day, and June 28 – day 509 – he paid a visit to Irish Yard near Milroy. There he took in a few innings of a Legion baseball game, as well as the atmosphere of the rural ballpark.
“This place is special,” said Connor, adding he not only appreciates seeing a nice park – and he has seen his share of them – but also the community that makes a place unique.
Connor, who is from San Diego, Calif., grew up in Connecticut where he was involved in athletics.
In fact, he said his dad, Joe Connor III, was a big supporter of his son and his athletic endeavors, especially hockey.
“I grew up watching the Hartford Whalers,” said Connor IV, adding he fondly looks back on that time with his dad.
Connor’s father passed away in 1998, and so it was on the 20th anniversary of his death when Connor began his trip that has taken him all across the United States watching not just baseball but all varieties of sports.
The very first event was a basketball game at California Baptist University in Riverside, which Connor said is about 90 miles from his home. He then ventured out taking in events in New Mexico and Texas taking photos to record his adventure along the way.
“I had my car wrapped with an American flag,” said Connor, adding as he drives he turns a lot of heads and gets lots of waves and thumbs up from people who see it.
Connor added an element of his trip is to honor veterans, especially his dad, who served in the United States Air Force during the 1960s.
Now 47, Connor said he feels it is important for him to honor those who allowed him the freedom to travel across the country. After all, there are places in this world where that is not a possibility.
For Connor, this is not the first time he has set out on a trip like this, as he has also visited every single professional stadium for every single professional sport in the U.S.
He has seen everything from the track where the Indianapolis 500 is held to watching the Boston Celtics play Christmas Day.
One year ago, Connor visited some of the amateur baseball stadiums in Minnesota, and during those stops he kept hearing about Irish Yard near Milroy. He knew he needed to come back and see it.
Walking around the field, Connor commented on just how much he appreciates the attention to detail in places like Irish Yard, adding he knows those who helped put it there have a passion for their sport.
Leaving Irish Yard that night, Connor planned to see a couple of other places, including seeing baseball games in Green Isle, Union Hill and Hamburg.
Connor’s current goal is to visit every NCAA Division 1 major sports venue in the country, adding he has already been to 351 of the basketball venues. Later on he plans to visit those in Alaska, and said he might just hold off on the schools in Hawaii until he turns 50. Looking back, Connor said he has taken in some memorable events, including seeing senior night for the Kansas University basketball team.
“This is an experience in itself,” Connor said.
Connor has also visited Rickwood Field, which is the oldest baseball stadium in the country. In places like that it is not just about the game but that special atmosphere that makes just being there a lot of fun.
When he is not taking in sporting events, Connor said he works as a career coach, and he knows there likely will be a day when he has to go back to work. At this point, he is fully planning to continue to be on the road at least through the end of this coming November, adding after that he will see what happens.
One of the biggest challenges Connor has faced during his feat is when events are cancelled because of the weather. When that happens he has to improvise. Connor has taken on this experience on his own terms.
His next goal is to find someone that he can share the rest of his life with, adding he also hopes whomever that is has an affinity for sports.
Known by many as Mr. Sports Travel, Connor is grateful for the life he has been given and the opportunity to enjoy it.