So in trying to come up with other things to write about here, I decided that since I’m such a sports fan and enjoy going to various venues to see events, that it should only be fitting to share my experiences at those venues I’ve been to. So to start things off, I’ll open this series with one the came up in my Facebook memories today from 10 years ago…
I know, I know…I’m a Yankees fan, right? So what the hell was I doing going to a Bosox game? Well it’s quite simple, actually! I wanted to check out Fenway Park. It’s a historic venue that obviously, quite a number of amazing Yankees historic moments have happened in. From brawls between the two teams: Munson/Fisk in ’73 to Pedro/Zimmer in 2004 to amazing victories like Bucky Dent’s 7th inning 3-run homer in the tie breaker game in 1978 to give the Yankees a lead they wouldn’t give up, and who can forget Mike Mussina’s 1-hitter that was a single strike away from a perfect game in 2001. A lot of great baseball has happened in this park, so being a baseball fan…I had to go!
When a friend of mine moved up to Massachusetts, though he wasn’t a fan of really any sports, I knew I had to drag him to a Bosox game once just to be able to experience Fenway Park for once in my life. It’s one of the oldest ballparks in all of Major League Baseball that still boasts a lot of “old world charm.”
When we went, I purchased tickets online and we sat at field level, down the right field line, just back from the foul post…which in Boston, is called the Pesky Poll — named after former Boston infielder, Johnny Pesky by former Red Sox pitcher-turned-announcer Mel Parnell and was eventually officially dedicated by the team in 2006. I also had made sure that we were under the overhang of the upper deck just in case it happened to rain. Interestingly enough though, when we had arrived at our seats, my seat was actually directly behind a support column for said upper deck, however, it didn’t obstruct my view of the baseball diamond at all! Sure, I missed some of left field, but I could easily look around this column. But in all honesty, for a good 90% of the game, your attention is directed towards home plate, so this column wasn’t an issue at all. On top of that, because this column was here, it meant I had a little extra leg room. Plus, our seats were classic old-school seats, made of wood slats with metal hinges…you just don’t see stuff like this anymore!
The gameday experience is also pretty awesome there, where Yawkey Way and Lansdowne Street get closed down with Yawkey way sort of acting as part of the ballpark since the turnstiles are out at the street instead of at the entrance to the building. On the outside of the building were banners of all the years Boston had won either the American League Penant or the World Series and each banner was either blue or red depending on which accomplishment it stood for. The day we went, the Red Sox were playing the Toronto Blue Jays, so while it was a division rival, it wasn’t one with a ton of competitive juices. The Bosox that year were a powerhouse and ended up winning the World Series. As you can see from my pictures of the scoreboards (which are of the old school style, manually operated), the Yankees were playing .500 ball and in 2nd place in the division, but were still 10 games back. So nobody really could touch Boston in 2007.
Concessions were the usual fare you’ll find in most ballparks and stadiums around the country. I had a couple of their Fenway Franks, which were fine…nothing crazy to write home about, and the beer was cold and refreshing for a hot summer day.
The game itself ended up being a closely contested low-scoring pitching duel. So we weren’t really afforded any big home runs from David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Kevin Youkillis or any of the other scary bats that Boston housed that year. However, we were able to see an excellently pitched game by Josh Beckett, who went 8 innings and then handed the ball over to Mike Timlin for the 9th. Toronto actually ended up winning the game by a score of 2-1 while the Yankees had beaten Tampa Bay, so for me…this was a great day of baseball all around! But if you ever have a chance to stop by Fenway for a game, take that chance, it’s a fun experience!
Later on that year, I had gone back to visit my friend while the Red Sox were in the World Series and was actually across the street from Fenway to watch the clinching game on the road in Colorado at a place called the Bleacher Bar on Lansdowne Street. And while I didn’t let on to anyone my true allegiance, for me it was more of a spectacle to see what the streets of Boston would be like on the night they clinched the Championship. I did however, on my way out of the bar, let the guy next to me who I had basically held conversations with all night long in on the fact that he just watched his team win the World Series with a Yankees fan as I congratulated him on the victory.