Adam Townsend, a Madisonville native who is a big Boston Red Sox fan, flew over the pond to attend the MLB London Series featuring his beloved Sox against their arch rival New York Yankees.
Townsend also attended Wimbledon during his trip to the United Kingdom to watch one of the premier sporting events in the world.
Townsend has been to 23 Major League stadiums, but he isn't like other baseball fans who go to all 30 ballparks just to see a game, his goal is to see the Red Sox play in all 30 stadiums. He'll be adding Petco Park in San Diego and Coors Field in Denver when the Red Sox play the Padres and the Rockies in August.
"The way they do interleague makes it a little difficult to see the Red Sox in all 30 stadiums," Townsend said. "When I saw them play in Chase Field (home of the Arizona Diamondbacks) in Phoenix earlier this year, it was the first time they played there since 2007."
When Major League Baseball announced last year that the Red Sox and Yankees were going to take their storied rivalry internationally to London, Townsend knew he had to go and so did his friend, Brad Griffin, who's a big Yankees fan.
"I've been seeing the Yankees at different stadiums in the United States for 15 years," Griffin said. "I wanted to see them in London, and my wife loves the history of London and follows the Royal Family as a hobby. Adam and I were kidding around at first saying who's going to London and who's not, but we all decided to go see the games together."
The Griffins got to London a week before Townsend arrived to take in the sites and to dine in the oldest pubs in London.
When Townsend arrived, they went to London Stadium to watch their teams play each other for the first time outside the U.S. and the first time a Major League Baseball series was played on European soil.
Griffin said they got to London Stadium early to watch batting practice on the field and asked one of the stadium employees if both teams were taking batting practice.
Since the stadium was originally built for the 2012 Olympics and hosts association football matches, or soccer to Americans, the employees weren't well versed in baseball.
"I think London put on a great show and did a great job in introducing baseball to the locals," Griffin said.
"There are baseball fans in London, but they don't follow it as closely as we do in America," Townsend said. "Even though not all the locals knew what was going on most of the time, they still got into it and fed off the energy from the people who did know what was going on."
Since the stadium wasn't built for baseball in mind, the field had some unusual dimensions and a lot of foul territory.
"It kind of reminded me of the Oakland Colliseum with the amount of foul territory," Townsend said. "But I didn't feel too far removed from the action and since the stadium was enclosed kind of like Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, it kept a lot of the sound in so it was really loud in there."
Fans who watched the first game -- in the stadium or on television -- were treated to a slug fest between both teams as the Yankees won 17-13, with both teams combining for 30 runs for the first time since 2009. The game lasted four hours and 42 minutes, almost two hours over the league average.
"The locals weren't concerned about the pace of play since a lot of them watch cricket and those matches can last for days," Townsend said.
The Yankees ended up sweeping the series with a 12-8 win in game two.
"The Red Sox tend to lose whenever I see them play," Townsend said. "I saw them play the Cardinals in game three of the World Series and they lost that game. Friends always jokingly tell me to go see the Red Sox when their team is playing them in the playoffs."
After the Griffins flew back home, Townsend decided to attend Wimbledon, one of the most popular sporting events of the year.
"Wimbledon was like The Masters and the Kentucky Derby rolled into one," Townsend said. "People were dressed up with big hats and the grass was greener than any other grass I've ever seen."
Townsend said that he got to see Rafael Nadal play and there was an aura about him.
"People treated Nadal like he was a rock star," he said. "The feeling there was like the start of a concert when the lights go down. When he walked in, the place erupted."
Townsend wants to continue to not only follow the Red Sox in different stadiums but also get into other high-profile sporting events.
"Going to big events like Wimbledon started in 2015 for me," Townsend said. "I was in New York to see the Red Sox play the Mets at Citi Field and the U.S. Open was going on at the same time, so I followed a single ticket since the price usually goes down as the event gets closer, secured it and went to the Open. I've also been to the Final Four the four times Kentucky has gone to it under coach John Calipari."
Townsend is hoping to add an MLB All-Star Game and possibly the Olympics to his list of sporting events he's attended.
"It would be really cool if Fenway Park hosts the all-star game again since it's now been 20 years since it's last hosted," he said. "I'd want to sit on top of the Green Monster, but I think getting those seats would be like trying to get Super Bowl tickets."