John Reimer, a Milwaukee, Wis., salesman, is on a journey across the United States to watch a baseball game every day for 265 straight days. (Rick Hickman / American Press)
Last Modified: Monday, April 21, 2014 5:14 PM
MOSS BLUFF — You don’t have to be buddhist to agree with the religion’s principles.
John Reimer, the self-proclaimed “Baseball Buddha”, himself doesn’t even subscribe to the religion, but he acknowledges one of the main guidelines of buddhism.
The third noble truth of Buddhism states that through no matter what type of suffering one goes through, happiness can always be attained. For some this means dropping everything, and going on a journey of enlightenment, and that is exactly what Reimer is doing.
Reimer, a salesman from Milwaukee, Wis., has plenty of reasons to go home and be with his friends and family. But, a life-changing conversation with his father made him realize what would truly make him happy and that true happiness is being attained, every day for 265 straight days.
“Back in August my dad had triple-bypass surgery, and not even eight hours out of surgery he asked me ‘what would you do if could do anything?’ and all I could think of was to travel around the country and watch a baseball game every single day,” said Reimer.
In those 265 days Reimer has pledged to attend a baseball game, no matter what level (professional, minor league, college, high school, etc.), every single day. Never visiting the same place twice, Reimer is 73 days into his trek across the United States, consuming every pitch of every game that he can.
“You get to a point in your life where you just want to be happy,” Reimer said. “You just want to go out and do what you want to do.”
Reimer, whose daughter is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin, dropped everything to go this journey including his job, his social life and even the lease on his apartment.
“I was in a job for the past eight years that I had become unhappy with, I got divorced seven years ago, I had a lot of debt that I had to get out of,” Reimer said. “A lot of people talk about how wonderful it would be to do certain things, but they are too comfortable in their lives. To be able to go out and uproot, and do what I am doing takes a lot of courage.”
For Reimer being happy means sitting in the stands of a baseball stadium, taking in all the sights and sounds of America’s favorite pastime.
For a man who once aspired to be a baseball player in his youth, it’s not just the game being played on the field that draws him in; it is everything that goes with it.
“There is an energy that goes on that I just can’t describe,” Reimer said. “A lot of times I’m not paying attention to the game. It’s about the crowd, the people and how they interact and why they were there. It’s the summer time, it’s sitting in the stands on a hot summer day, it’s seeing the fans and the parents; that’s what makes this game great,” Reimer said.
“Don’t get me wrong, though, some days where I just want to watch the games.”
Saturday was a day that Reimer was looking specifically to watch a game. The Barbe Bucs, who are ranked No. 1 in the nation among high school teams drew him to Southwest Louisiana and Sam Houston High School in particular, where the Bucs met the Broncos in a District 3-5A matchup.
While watching the game though, Reimer was able to experience a small piece of Southwest Louisiana culture as well as learn about the local baseball scene.
But baseball isn’t the only reason he has embarked on this journey. Along with his love of the game, Reimer has also dreamed of seeing the country and meeting people from all walks of life.
“I love meeting new people,” said Reimer. “You have preconceived notions of different parts of the country and I wanted to see it all for myself.
“The south is not at all what I thought it was. To be honest I have found that the south and southwest are more progressive than the north. The people are so friendly, and I have gotten the opportunity to experience that through the game of baseball.”
Reimer hopes to have the funding to make his journey last through to the final game of the 2014 World Series.
But what happens when Reimer returns to Wisconsin?
He said a book of his adventures is a possibility, but it isn’t anything that he has concerned himself yet, he is only worried about the next 192 days, and all of the baseball he can watch.
“Honestly, I don’t know what’s going to happen when I get back,” Reimer said. “I will work whatever job I have to. If I could go further into something with baseball that would be great, but if not I’ll be fine.”
For more information on John Reimer and for daily blog updates visit www.baseballbuddha.com.
Posted By: John "Baseball Buddha" Reimer On: 4/22/2014
Title: Thank you!
Thank you Heidi for such kind words! I hope I can live up to all you have said. I want to also thank Eli (Beth) she does all my editing every day without compliant, with very little pay, well there is no pay and makes sure that what I write is readable! This is still in the beginning stages of the journey but I am having a great time, meeting everyone! SW Louisiana did not disappoint with its great high school baseball and the wonderful people who welcomed me!
Posted By: Heidi Knoke On: 4/22/2014
Title: Baseball Buddha
I lived across the street from John Reimer when he was young. He is one of the nicest people from one of the nicest families. I love reading his stories & look forward to them every day. My brother (the biggest baseball fanatic ever) was his coach when John was a teen. We have a vested interest in him. He has professed that he loves meeting people. Anyone who meets him will be equally enriched.
Posted By: Eli "Sportsblogger" Chapman On: 4/22/2014
Title: Baseball Buddha
"Buddha" and I connected through FB on my own "sports" page through a "mutual" friend. The first I remember about John was his statement, "he was making a change and soon would reveal exactly what the news would be". (He had to get a few ducks in a row before his announcement.) Those who commented had an array of ideas. Then, he announced his plan of "action" - First being, he had quit his job! Second, to embark on a baseball journey around the country. We baseball fans are so jealous, but read and live each day with him through his blog. He has come across quite the array of characters - baseball related and those not so much! It's been fun "traveling" with John. I would venture to say, most would have given up by now ~ especially "the car" accommodations! Great plan and only see great success all the way through to October!