August 18th, 2011
In the Florida State League, no bus trip takes more than four hours. In the Appalachian League, the longest trip is less than five hours. It is much different here in the Texas League.
To fans, a series finale doesn’t mean too much. To minor league baseball players, a series finale normally means a night on the bus. By the end of the regular season, the RoughRiders will have boarded the bus shortly after 29 of their 40 series finales. You can see how one of those bus trips went here.
Even though the RoughRiders are in the South Division, they actually have longer trips within their division than they do when playing against the North.
The longest trip for the RoughRiders is from Frisco to Corpus Christi, and it takes a little more than seven hours. The trip takes the ‘Riders through Waco, Round Rock, Austin, and San Antonio.
Speaking of San Antonio, that is the shortest trip in the division. Still, it is five hours away, which is a healthy trip in the bus, especially after a game that ends around 10 p.m. The other divisional trip takes the ‘Riders to Midland, and that journey takes around six hours.
The North road trips are a little easier (which is not the case for the other three teams–I’ll get to that in the moment). The bus ride to Springfield–seven hours–is the longest in the North and the second longest in the TL for the ‘Riders. The trips to Northwest Arkansas (five and a half hours), Arkansas (five hours) and Tulsa (four hours) are fairly manageable.
The unfortunate outlier in the TL is Corpus Christi. We mentioned that the RoughRiders’ longest trip is to Corpus. Well, that happens to be the Hooks’ second shortest ride of the season! It takes almost eight hours for them to get to Midland, and they go to Citibank Ballpark four times each season.
How about these trips to the North for the Hooks: Arkansas (11:19), Tulsa (11:21), and Northwest Arkansas (12:31). The big one is the journey to Springfield, which is right around 14 hours. And the Cardinals will make that journey from Corpus back home after their game at Whataburger Field Monday night. That doesn’t sound fun, and things aren’t much easier for San Antonio (longest trip is almost 12 hours) and Midland (longest trip is around 11 and a half hours).
There have been other fun trips in the Texas League throughout the years, such as El Paso, Texas to North Little Rock, Ark. (15:42); Albuquerque, N.M., to Memphis, Tenn. (16:01); El Paso, Texas to Jackson, Miss. (17:17). I don’t know how the schedules or the travel worked during these times. Regardless, the TL has spanned quite an area during its history.
Life in the minor leagues is not as glorious as it sounds. Fortunately for the RoughRiders, they only have five more regular season bus trips left.
*Note: All times are according to Google Maps.