Okay, so I should preface this post by saying that I actually don’t get baseball at all. I know the rules, and I know a few of the super famous players. I know some of the terminology. I know that it’s not okay to like the Yankees. But all that aside I just don’t get it. You might point out that baseball is practically non-existent back home, but I feel the same way about cricket. I get that it’s a sport, and that people like to have something happening in the background while they’re drinking their afternoon away, but it’s just not for me.
I went to see a Twins game once with Emma, and while I appreciate new experiences, it just wasn’t my style. I like my sports faster, with a little more action. A little violence. Slower sports can be fun to play, but I don’t want to watch them. I won’t say it’s as bad as watching paint dry, but it’s only a few rungs higher on the boredom ladder. It’s probably more akin to watching a sloth roll over or a snail move around the garden on a rainy afternoon.
Despite all this, I did enjoy the tour of Fenway Park.
It’s always nice to see a place with a lot of history behind it. The home of the Red Sox has been around since 1912, and is the oldest stadium in Major League Baseball. Due to its age, Fenway Park has a low seating capacity (less than 40,000, the second smallest in the majors) despite various renovations over the years. In 1999, the management proposed to build a new Fenway Park nearby, but the fans and the wider Boston community opposed the idea and it was eventually decided to stay at the original place indefinitely. The sacred ground was preserved.
As we waited in the gift shop for our tour to commence, they brought out an old man with a very strong accent to ‘warm us up’ with some bad puns, as though he were the MC at a comedy club. The guy actually was hilarious though, and we were all in a good mood as we headed into the stadium.
We got to see most of the cool parts of the stadium, with the obvious exception being the home locker room and dugout. Oh and the pitch was covered too, it being winter and all. We walked through the visitors locker room and dugout, and walked around the lower areas of the stadium taking pictures:
We got to go inside the press boxes and other media areas, which was kind of cool. I always thought that they would be pretty roomy and comfortable, and they were, but apparently the rooms get crammed full of journalists to the point that it’s shoulder to shoulder.
On the upper level we got to go and see ‘the Green Monster‘ which is the nickname of the left field wall. The seats up there are considered to be the best in baseball, and the view is awesome. What I thought was really great is that the owners switched to a raffle system for those seats, so every year a whole bunch of different fans get a chance to win a spot up there for 3 of the 81 home games in the season. Prior to that, season tickets would sell out in seconds, so it’s great that they give everyone a chance, especially considering the aforementioned seating capacity issues.
Our tour guide was a Boston native who had grown up a Red Sox fan, so he was really knowledgeable and enthusiastic. He told us all about the eight players with retired numbers displayed on the roof of right field. Seven of these are famous Red Sox players, while the eighth is for Jackie Robinson. Robinson was the first black major league player, whose number was retired league-wide in 1997.
We also learned about some of the most famous moments in the club’s history, including their seven World Series Titles and the longest home run at Fenway, hit by Ted Williams in 1947. Check out the pics below:
All in all it was a pretty interesting experience, even for someone as indifferent to baseball as myself. I guess I just enjoy hearing from people who are really passionate about a subject; it was the same with the Harvard campus tour I took the day before. The Fenway Tour is well worth checking out if you’re in Boston.