Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oh What A Night!

We were at Fenway Park in Boston last night! Our niece Kate gave us a call Monday afternoon inviting us to join her at last night’s game. She had come into three tickets through a friend of a friend and was kind enough to think of us. She did not have to ask us twice!

This was only my third trip to Fenway. Chuck and I went together for the first time in the summer of 2001. Let’s just say that while being at Fenway Park and seeing the Red Sox play in person had been fabulous, there were some extenuating familial circumstances which threw a big wet blanket over the whole experience. Shortly after that trip, we were at my Mom’s condo in Rhode Island regaling my family about the high highs and the low lows of the night. Kate, along with her sister Carrie, slipped away to Mom’s bedroom to make a call. The next thing we knew, they were asking if we were free on such-and-such a date near the end of September. Unbeknownst to us, the two girls had called to get us four seats at Fenway. They were determined to give us a totally satisfying night at the ballpark watching our beloved Red Sox together. That was how, just a couple of weeks after September 11, 2001, we all went to the park and had a great time from start to finish. The event was certainly overshadowed by the recent terrorist attacks, but somehow the joy was also heightened. There was a sense of collective determination, courage and patriotism palpable in the crowd that night.

Last night was our third trip to Fenway Park. The Red Sox were playing the Toronto Blue Jays. The weather was perfect: mild, clear and dry. The seats were amazing. (If you click on the photo above, you can more clearly see the panoramic view from where we were seated behind home plate.) The place smelled good - the special incense of grill smoke, sausages, hot dogs and popcorn (with only a faint whiff of spilled beer near the end!). It looked good - from the new seating, to the Green Monster, to the sea of red hats, tee shirts and jackets proclaiming our membership in Red Sox Nation. And it sounded good - laughter, cheers, boos, vendors hawking food and souvenirs and the crowd singing: the National Anthem, Take Me Out To The Ball Game and Sweet Caroline.

I have to admit that it is very distracting being at the ballpark. In many ways, it is much easier to watch and follow the game closely at home via television. At the park, there is a relentless three ring circus of sights and sounds competing for your attention. Sometimes the side action is so compelling that you need the scoreboard to catch up with the primary purpose of the event. But when David “Big Papi” Ortiz came up to bat all eyes were on him. The crowd rose to their feet to cheer him on; willing the Designated Hitter and fan favorite to break out of his home run drought. It didn’t happen last night, but Papi hit one high and hard out of center field tonight!

Was last night a great night? Absolutely! Not just because the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 2 - 1, but because once again we were in the living, pounding heart of Red Sox Nation. For the third time in my 51 years I was able to viscerally feel what it’s like to be on baseball’s sacred ground. No, I didn’t genuflect, but I could have. Especially walking out of the underground concourse and up the ramp into the park. At first all you can see is blue sky above the heads of the throng of people in front of you. Then you emerge from the tunnel and the green of the field spreads out before you. It takes your breath away.

Yeah, it was a great night.

Thanks Kate!


Anonymous said...

I swear the guy in the left-hand bottom of the picture looks like the BTK killer. I think those are the letters in the correct order.



Sue said...

I can just feel how exciting it must've been for you all! I don't know the first thing about baseball (believe it or not, it's not a big sport here at all), but our country are proud rubgy (and soccer, but I don't like that) supporters. To watch a home game is fantastic!!

Thanks for sharing...

Sue x

PS. Jake has a Micky Mouse CD with 'Take me out to the ball game' song on it. Sung by Goofy - I love it...

Pink Granite said...

Hi Gail -
Ummm... I think I don't want to think about that - since the guy was close enough to be in camera range!
Thankfully, the real BTK serial killer is in prison.
- Lee

Hi Sue -
It was super duper!
I love that Jake has the "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" song - sung as only Goofy can! You know, we probably sounded a bit goofy as we sang it the other night!
- Lee

Anonymous said...

Glad you had fun! What a night!Carrie