Baseball is back, and the 2022 season is here! With opening day in the MLB being just a day earlier, the season is in full swing. Due to the lockout, I ended up waiting on seeing an opening day game until the 2023 season. However, this helped work things out for even more trips early on in the season, starting with this opening weekend trip to Tennessee! Check out the YouTube video below to see more. Also, make sure to click on the Seat Geek picture below for a discount on your first Seat Geek order! (Continued below the video and Seat geek photo.)
My first goal in planning an opening weekend trip to multiple ballparks was to find a location within driving distance of Iowa, and still somewhat warm. Tennessee seemed like the perfect location for this, while looking up weather predictions a few weeks ahead. However on Friday, it felt like we were still in Iowa.
The day started with snow on the ground at home. Multiple teams nearby postponed their games due to inclement weather. As I hit the road south with my friend Matt, we knew right away that it would be a cold one. However, baseball was back, and that’s all that mattered to us.
The drive was a very fast 8 1/2 hours with a passenger, and talking about baseball the entire drive. It was my first time going to Memphis, and making the drive down I-55. I originally planned on flying to Memphis last year, but am happy it worked out to drive there. (Continued below the picture,)
When we arrived to Memphis, we stopped by at the Bass Pro Pyramid. This is one of the main attractions in Memphis, and I was hoping to check out a view of the city from the top. However, they charge $8 just to go up to the top, and it wasn’t worth it to me. The pyramid was a giant Bass Pro Shop with a hotel inside, and is highly recommended to anyone interested in hunting or fishing. If you’re interested in a better view of downtown Memphis, I recommend the $8 ride up the elevator. (Continued below the picture.)
After visiting the pyramid, we were ready for a cold first game of the season! As someone new to Memphis, I wasn’t sure how to navigate around the stadium, and it took a while to find the right place to park for the game. This could be a tougher if you’re visiting Memphis with a larger crowd. There’s a parking garage towards the left field corner of the stadium, and it’s a short walk to the stadium. If I remember right, parking was $10.
As we walked into the stadium, I felt like we were in a smaller version of Busch Stadium. Because of this, I was pretty surprised to see that the stadium opened a few years before Busch Stadium. It’s time for me to shake a little rust off after the offseason, because I made the rookie mistake of not taking pictures of the outside of the stadium. The Redbirds were AAA champions as recent as 2018, and AutoZone Park was home to the AAA national championship in 2019. AutoZone Park is also home to Memphis 901 FC. One of the things that surprised me about this stadium, was that the store didn’t have baseballs for sale. They have an awesome logo, and awesome hats/jerseys, but no baseballs. This could’ve been because of shortages. I loved the jerseys with the old Grizzlies colors. (Continued below the picture.)
The game was an exciting one! Because of the weather, the stands weren’t very full. It was around 50 degrees outside, and windy. However, we were just happy that baseball is back. The Redbirds came back twice in this game to eventually secure the win, and it was an exciting game to watch! There were some well established names on both of these teams, that saw a lot of Major League time. As the season is just beginning, it’s great to see a well played game right away, especially in tough weather conditions.
Overall, I recommend Memphis as a one day trip if you’re planning a baseball trip with multiple stadiums. However, if you’re planning on seeing other attractions like Graceland, allow yourself an entire day. I recommend visiting Memphis in a trip with either the Arkansas Travelers in Little Rock (2 hours away) or how I did with the Nashville Sounds (3 hours away) depending on where you’re traveling from. As always, I’ll have plenty of pictures and videos below this post. Check in the next few days as I’ll have more posts from every visit coming up! April and May will be action packed with a lot of stadiums to start the season, and the calendar with my plans is just a couple of posts below this post!