I went to my first baseball game at Fenway Park yesterday, this was the one stadium I was most excited to see. I have been intrigued ever since I met Dotty and Ralph on Day 7 “Red Sox Love”. My buddy Bob (pronounce Bahb) and his crew in Spring Training, also, gave me the low down on what to expect. I was texting with Bob when I got to the game. He was excited like an expectant father and wanted to know what my first impressions were. I had arrived in Boston yesterday morning and spent the entire day down by Fenway. I wanted to get the overall feel for the place and surrounding area. If you are a baseball enthusiast on any level you have to go to this iconic stadium. What hits you square between the eye is the historical significance.
I tried to get a Media Pass for the game but since I was unaffiliated with more established baseball publications, or entities, and just a simple stand alone blogger, I was declined. Abby, of the Red Sox, was very nice about it. She didn’t make me feel bad for asking and I appreciated that. I purchased a $30 standing room only ticket. I wanted to walk around the place to see how they have maintained it and what kind of site lines there were. The first thing I noticed was how clean the place was. You could tell instantly that this organization and fans really took pride in the place.
They shut down Yawkey Way and set up the entrance turnstiles in the street. A very unique experience as vendors were set up everywhere selling their concessions and Red Sox apparel. I was surprised at the size of the crowd for a Monday game, it had to be close to a sell out. I heard “wicked” or “wickid pissah” or a variation in the Boston accent that makes me laugh. Yeah Boston you have an accent not me. Watch TV and we will compare the way I talk with the way you talk.
I initially stood up on the Budweiser right field deck, it gave a spectacular view of the field and the “Green Monster”. The “Green Monster” is 37 feet tall, by the way, which I read that on ladies shirt. What I didn’t like was the advertising they had on it, it took away from it. I understand it is a revenue stream, but not very appealing in my opinion. I walked the entire lower bowl level and got to see all the different views. There are many obstructed views but that gave it personality; besides, now they have televisions everywhere so fans don’t miss any of the action. I stood directly behind home base, on the first and third base line. I poked my head in places it wasn’t suppose to, was quickly questioned and then shooed away. I went to the second deck for a walk-around. I couldn’t walk out on the “Green Monster”, but I got a good feel for it. I am so impressed with how they added it without compromising the historical aspects of the park. There are so many unique sight lines that it was overwhelming. I actually watched an inning of baseball where I could only see the “Green Monster” and the outfielders.
I watched Moms and Dads bring their kids to the game for the first time. I thought of Bob and his son, what it was like for them. The pride they must have felt as they walked into the park for the first time and how the “fandom” of a sports team is passed down from one generation to the next. I thought of three other Boston fans I know (Janene, Paul and Jill). It isn’t just the team, but the entire historical experience of the team and of the place that people romantize, the feeling of that history when you sit in the seats. All of it the good, bad and ugly. I recalled the story Bob’s Spring Training friend, Dan, told me about his sons’ reaction to Aaron Boone’s walk-off home run in the 11th inning during Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, which gave the New York Yankees a 6–5 victory over the Red Sox. The Yankees won the game and the series on the home run, thus prolonging the Sox’ “Curse of the Bambino” for one more year. After the loss Dan went downstairs to blow off some steam and get over the disappointment. He heard his son crying in his room., Dan was proud because he knew his son now realized what it is like to be part of Red Sox Nation and told him he “was an official fan.”
Fenway Park is not just Boston’s treasure it is an American treasure. The Park represents the National Pastime boldly and proudly.
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