Mr. Sports Travel takes Alaskan college hockey trip
Finishes fifty sporting events in fifty different states
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Joe Connor, aka Mr. Sports Travel, has been all over the world of sports. You think of a stadium, arena, or park, he’s probably been there. Joe has been to every venue in the four major professional sports. That’s 30 MLB, 32 NHL, 30 NBA and 32 NHL venues. Not many people can say they’ve been to all venues of one professional sport.
“It all started in 1998 during the home run chase of McGwire and Sosa,” recalled Joe. “I saw fifteen ballparks in twenty one days.”
In addition to his already long list of venues visited, Connor took a trip to Alaska to experience college hockey. There are 62 teams in NCAA Division One college hockey, and yep... you guessed it. The University of Alaska Fairbanks was 61 and University of Alaska Anchorage was 62, completing another list.
To make this trip more special, Joe made a point to experience a sporting event in all fifty United States in his fiftieth year of life. Alaska was the final state to check off his list.
Joe Connor comes from a military family. His late father served in the Air Force, and taught Joe the value of freedom from a very young age. Since 1998, Joe has embraced making the most of his freedom as a citizen of this country, to combine two of his favorite things: sports and travel.
“It all starts with my late father,” stated Joe. “He got me in to sports and travel. That father-son bond is very special.”
Not only has Joe’s experiences taken him all over the country. It expands worldwide. Joe mentioned he had been to over 35 countries, and all six continents that plays sports (Antarctica the exception). Some of the countries he has visited, like Cuba or Russia, has shown him what freedom is and what a non-free country looks like.
“When I’ve been abroad to many countries, especially baseball countries, like Cuba, the Dominican Republic... I’ve been to Russia. You realize just how precious freedom is,” said Joe. “We all have the freedom to do what we want, and I’m just living my dream. Those are the values my dad taught me.”
Our freedom however, is not free. Joe lives everyday yearning to thank a veteran, active service member, or first responder because those people have provided him the freedom to have the crazy-cool experiences he has and will continue to have.
One thing that was missing from Joe’s trip to Alaska was another one of his biggest eyecatchers: The “American Flag Mobile.” Joe owns and drives a Ford Fusion wrapped in the American Flag with a rear windshield wrap asking those that see it, ”Thanked a Veteran, Service Member, First Responder, or their families today?”.
Joe continues to support veterans, active duty, and first responders each day, and using the American Flag Mobile as his primary mode of transportation to get to all of these games. The car isn’t only a symbol, it’s also a source of some deep stories he’ll remember forever.
In Decatur, Illinois, a woman asked him about his car, and she then pulled out a pendant of her late son that died on the USS John S. McCain. Another time, the car sourced a conversation with another woman, and her son was a first responder that died during the 9/11 attacks.
It is not uncommon for people to ask if they could put their sticker (or other insignia) on his American Flag Mobile, but Joe always politely refuses, “I just want the car (American Flag Mobile) to represent those folks. Again, freedom is not free. Don’t take it for granted, and just thank a veteran, service member, a first responder, and their families.”
The only website on his car is on his rear windshield, and he partners with Operation First Response (OFR). OFR is a non-for-profit organization that aids veterans and first responders.
Joe will undoubtedly continue to experience the world of sports. For more of an in-depth look at his many stories, visit his website: mrsportstravel.com.
Copyright 2022 KTVF. All rights reserved.