Thursday, June 03, 2010

Baseball the Yawkey Way

This past Sunday, I visited Fenway Park for the first time in two or three years. I honestly can't remember for sure if the last time I'd been there was 2007 or 2008. But, I know I didn't make it last season, as this past weekend was the first game I saw there with my beloved KJ.

Having lived in Boston for 13 years now, Fenway is second on the list of parks I've visited most frequently, trailing only the old Yankee Stadium. The only other major league park I've been to more than five times is Shea.

An exciting souvenir
Our friends from Idaho were in town, and they have a connection to one of the trainers from the visiting Kansas City Royals, so the highlight of the day was the autographed baseball their nine-year old daughter was given by Zack Greinke. A similar ball recently sold for over $60 on my former favorite non-Yankee Darin Erstad's eBay site, the proceeds of which are donated to the Child Abuse Prevention Center.

The Red Sox owners have been committed to maintaining Fenway, and have made quite a few significant improvements over the years, including adding seats above the famed Green Monster and creating an outdoor vendor-lined area on Yawkey Way similar to the Eutaw Street experience at Camden Yards. But, most of the seats are still as uncomfortable as they were when the park opened almost 100 years ago, and their idea of premium beer is an Irish Pub stand serving 12-oz. cups of Guinness, Smithwick's and Harp for $8.25.

One major improvement I noticed is in the bathroom facilities. I used the brand new urinals in the rest room behind home plate a few times—not because I drank a lot, but because I'm a man in his 40s—and I never had to wait in line. Plus, the area wasn't nearly as cramped as I remember from my past Fenway Park men's room experiences.

The game wasn't tremendously exciting, as is usually the case when a pitcher of Jon Lester's caliber faces one of the worst teams in the league, and the Red Sox won in what wasn't much of a contest. As a result, the crowd wasn't very intense, but our guests still got to experience the Boston sports mentality over the weekend, particularly on one occasion when a middle-aged man asked our friends' daughter what teams she rooted for in Idaho. She really didn't have an answer, although the Jacoby Ellsbury t-shirt that KJ gave her as a present last year seems to have converted her.

But, my point is, it's a foreign concept to folks in this area that people from elsewhere, especially those who live several hundred miles from the nearest professional sports team—minor leagues not withstanding—are not as rabid about sports as Beantowners are.

1 comment:

  1. Fenway is certainly weak in the beer department- but in its defense, they're now serving Harpoon IPA (AND NO LINES!!!) in bleacher concessions. What more do you really need? ;)

    Had fun trying out the beers at AT&T park - my favorite that I had was Widmer's Pitch Black IPA.