While I’m between trips, I thought I’d share some (edited) posts I originally wrote while in school in Boston in 2009/10 on a now defunct blog (read at most by only three family members). Inspired by The Year of 52 Adventures, I made a point of using my weekends to explore much of what Boston had to offer. I fell in love with Boston, so if you happen to find yourself in Boston, perhaps these posts will lead to your own love affair…
While in Boston I lived two blocks from Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.
When the Yankees were in town, we could tell who was winning the game simply by opening our windows and listening for the cheers or boos of the crowd. On these days my school would lock all the dormitory quad gates in case the fans began to riot. This also meant, on game days, it was seriously questionable as to whether you’d be able to make it on and off the T before the doors shut, due to the number of baseball fans going to or from the park. The closest T stop to my dorm happened to be the Fenway stop. Sometimes I got off at another stop and walked farther to avoid being stuck on the T. Eventually I broke down and bought a Red Sox t-shirt as a matter of survival. I hoped that the crowd of baseball fans attempting to get off the T would let me off with them.
|I bought a Red Sox t-shirt…and the fandom begins.|
Strangely, living in such close proximity to the field, and outwardly appearing to be a fan, I had yet to step foot in the park. For $12 you can take a one-hour tour of Fenway Park, so I added this to my list of Boston adventures. It was cheaper than a game ticket and much more informative. During the tour we sat in the seats on top of the Green Monster, in the oldest seats in baseball history, and were able to walk onto the field at the base of the Green Monster.
The Green Monster is the famous green wall of the Fenway Park that was constructed to stop balls from flying out of the park into the surrounding streets and audience watching for free from outside the park. The tour guide informed us that according to fan polls, the Green Monster seats are the most famous and wanted seats in all of baseball. Buying a seat in this section, however, is not easy or cheap. First you have to put your name in a lottery. Even then, the winners of the lottery do not win the seats. They win the option to buy four seats, each for about $100. Another option is to pay approximately $20 to watch batting practice. During batting practice the audience sits atop the Green Monster and is allowed to take home any balls they can catch.
|The famous wall, The Green Monster, in the upper right corner of the photo|
Our tour group, according to the guide, was lucky because not all groups get to walk on the field. I went at 11am. There was no batting practice or game preparation happening so they allowed us ON THE FIELD! I could not believe I was standing at the base of the Green Monster! How many times have I watched Field of Dreams? And here I was, standing on that legendary field!
|Selfie standing on the field RIGHT NEXT TO THE GREEN MONSTER!|
Being a historian, I admit I was a bit thrilled to sit in the oldest seats in baseball history which are located right behind the catcher. These old, blue, wooden seats were relocated from Fenway Park’s previous location, where Northeastern University stands now, when Fenway Park was moved in order to expand its size.
It was at this point that I realized I was becoming a Red Sox fan. The team and park had such history! And, to be honest, living that close to the park and not being a fan was beginning to look slightly dangerous. So it was time to go to a game.
Being cheap students, we got last minute tickets in the cheap seats to an evening game. Unfortunately, we happened to be seated far enough away that we couldn’t see the ball, we were angled just where the jumbo tron was out of sight, and there was a pole in front of the small TV located in our seating section. We had no idea what was going on! But my fellow dorm mates grabbed some beers and we enjoyed ourselves for a time, before giving up and returning to the dorm. I don’t even remember if we made it to the bottom of the 8th to sing Sweet Caroline with the crowd. I’ve learned my lesson. Next time, no cheap seats. This experience didn’t, however, lesson my new found enthusiasm for baseball.
(Sorry Yankee fans. Hopefully we can still be friends.)