Task #46 of my 101 Things in 1001 Days project: See the Red Sox play at Fenway Park
My initiation into The Cult of Red Sox began about 7 years ago when I visited Tim’s dad for the first time in upstate New York. It was January, the snow was piled up high outside, and so we rugged up for a few days at their house and hung out. Some of my happiest memories from that time were doing the New York Times crossword together, hanging out with Tim’s little stepbrother by the piano, and the 2004 World Series DVD box set.
Tim’s dad was very quick to ascertain the baseball status of the Aussie in his house as soon as I arrived. He discovered that she didn’t have a team, she didn’t know the rules, and he had a couple of days to make a difference in the life of a foreigner. I remember there being quite a lot of wine, attempted comparisons to cricket (from my highly-amused interpreter, Tim) and a couple of small interventions from the other members of the household when they believed I had reached saturation point.
But his passion for the game, and for this team, was so infectious that I sat there for hours listening to him talk and watching the game highlights that he could fast-forward to from memory.
For Tim’s birthday last year his dad bought us both tickets to a game at Fenway Park for September, and the rest of our USA trip was pretty much planned around that date.
I found Fenway Park itself absolutely fascinating. It’s the oldest MLB stadium in the country that’s still in use, and due to the dense neighbourhood surrounding the park there have been some pretty creative extensions in its lifetime. It’s one of only a few MLB stadiums that cannot seat 40,000 spectators, although its capacity has grown by a couple of thousand seats since it was built.
I was so lucky to be there with people who really loved and knew about the history of the park. Without them I wouldn’t have known about The Lone Red Seat, which represents the longest home run ever hit at Fenway. I may not have noticed that the scoreboard is still operated by hand, or that the scorekeeper occasionally sticks his head out his window to watch the game. It was funny to see him chatting away to players from time to time.
We won’t discuss the result of the game that day, or their performance throughout the entire season! I’d rather remember people-watching the spectators, my spectacular hotdog and my very first pack of crackerjacks. And I think I finally know my way around most of the rules.
PS: Good news for Elvis fans – I found him at Fenway Park. He’s taller than I had expected.
More photos of beautiful Boston over here.