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MACON -- If you visited Richard Wilson's office on the Mercer campus you would find items any professor would have: stacks of papers, books and research materials.

Spread around the room, on bookshelves and in drawers, are pieces of another passion: baseball.

"Back in the 1960's, I was a pre-teen. I used to watch the NBC game of the week and I saw Willie Mays play," explained Wilson,"I cajoledmy father to take me to St. Louis when the Giants came to town, it was about a six hour trip. From 1965 to the early 70's, I saw Willie Mays play 10 times."

Wilson's favorite minor league baseball park is Luther Williams Field. It was in that historic ball park where Wilson and a former student came up with the idea for "The Trip".

"It was going to be a one-time thing," said Wilson,"We drove to Baltimore and wound our way around. Ended up in Toronto and came down to Detroit."

The duo saw as many minor and major league baseball games as they could.

Fifteen years and over 120 ball parks later, "The Trip" continues every summer.

"Our longest trip was 4,500 miles in two weeks. We went as far north as Green Bay, Wisconsin."

Before every trip, Wilson prepares a customized score book, with sheets for each game they will see.

"It always creates a little bit of interest, particularly in the minor league ball parks because they say 'oh you must be scouts'. Well, we're not scouts, but we have these fancy score books," said Wilson, "People come and ask us baseball questions and want to know who the good pitchers are on the team. We just take it in stride."

"The Trip" will continues on August 2 and take them through Alabama, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri and Nebraska.

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