WASHINGTON - There was a special guest at the Washington Nationals game Monday night. Baseball fan Matt Stoltz rode to the ballpark as part of an 11,000-mile journey for charity. It was Stoltz's 20th ballpark this season and his 9,000th mile biked since Opening Day.
"I definitely have a screw loose somewhere, but I figured let's do this," he said.
"I wanted to make sure every kid has that chance to be guided, to be inspired, to be led in that right direction through mentors and Big Brothers and Big Sisters really presents a great opportunity," said Stoltz.
He has raised $25,000 so far for youth mentorship charities. Along the way, he has hosted baseball clinics for youth leagues all over the country.
"You don't have to be a superhero, you don't have to be someone special," he said. "You can be just yourself and you can make a difference in the lives of youth."
Stoltz has traversed the country starting in Seattle and will finish in Milwaukee as he bikes as far as 150 miles in a day.
"A lot of times I'm camping on the side of the road," he told us. "Sometimes I find hosts, but you get by. You can't live a luxurious life on a trip like this."
Stoltz has benefited from the help of strangers in Major League Baseball cities that give him a place to stay and something to eat.
"People have been reaching out," said Stoltz. "Whether it's buying me a meal at a local diner, whether it's giving me some water along the ride, whether it's giving me a place to stay, it's really been incredible."
Parts of his ride have tested his body and mind.
"There are some stretches where I haven't had a host for nine or ten days and you kind of got to question your sanity at times," he told us.
He is riding thousands of miles alone on the roads while enduring the elements and great physical exertion all for America's youth and America's pastime.
"It's an adventure from the beginning and the end and you never know what is around each corner and that is what really makes it exciting," said Stoltz.