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Flagler alumnus chronicles ‘Almost Epic Journey’

Sep 26, 2013
by Tom Iacuzio, '06

To say Steve Melia is a baseball fan could be the understatement of the century. The 1992 Flagler College alumnus is the author of “162: The Almost Epic Journey of a Yankees Superfan,” chronicling his journey to attend all 162 New York Yankee games during the 2011 season.

Let that sink in for a moment.

We aren’t just talking about all 82 games at Yankee Stadium. We’re talking about every road trip, every inning, every at-bat.

“I’ve worked real hard,” Melia said. “I’m 41 years old. I’ve had a business since I was 24. I just felt like if I didn’t do it now, I’d probably never do it.”

Melia, who lives in Wilmington, N.C., is an accomplished business leader with LegalShield, a company that sells legal service products, and travels extensively helping the company grow all across North America. Since 2008, he has also been trying his hand at stand-up comedy.

Melia said the idea to follow the team was one he has had for quite some time and had been saving toward for several years.

After hitting the $60,000 mark, Melia decided it was time. But even having the money didn’t guarantee that Melia could make his dream a reality.

“I laid out the whole schedule at the beginning of the year, deciding which games I could drive to and which ones would require a plane ticket,” he said, adding that he also had to account for rain-outs and makeup games. “Logistically, it was kind of a nightmare.”

Melia said he never actually came close to missing a game — only missing one flight in California on an off-day.

To keep his journey going, Melia made sure not to make any unnecessary purchases while on the road.

“I stayed on a budget,” he said. “I never paid for parking. I packed a lot of sandwiches and brought bottles of water into the stadium.”

But Melia said he didn’t need money to take away the experiences of his journey.

“Even as a Yankee fan, my favorite road city was Boston,” said Melia. “But my favorite moment was on July 9 — the day Derek Jeter went 5-for-5 and hit a home run for his 3,000th career hit.”

For more on Melia’s book, visit www.162yankeegames.com

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