It occurred to me recently that when I write about the new stadiums that I visit, there are a bunch I have been to before the blog existed that I've never written about. Part of the reason is because there's really no reason to review the ballparks, since they've been around for many years....but it's also not fair to them (as though they had feelings).
Fenway Park is one of those parks that I've gone to for years without singing its praises. I'm very lucky to be able to go every once in a while - every time I'm there I get a little bit of the same thrill that I got the first time I went.
Sure, the seats are small, it can be uncomfortable to sit for long stretches there, and it would have been nice to live so close to a new ballpark had they not chosen to renovate, but it still is a special place.
Friday night I had the opportunity to go with Justin From NYC, Dave in Brighton, and the Southern Bureau (thanks to the Southern Bureau's dad), and decided I'd take pictures to show on the blog. There's another thing about Fenway - from certain places in the park, it's impossible to take a bad picture. The other neat thing about Friday night's game was that it was the first for Jason Bay in a Red Sox uniform (the Red Sox acquired him at the deadline Thursday in exchange for Manny Ramirez plus much more). He got a huge standing ovation, which you can see below.
The one thing I couldn't capture in picture is how awesome the view is coming out of the tunnel to get to your seats at Fenway. I remember getting chills the first time I did, seeing the Green Monster in person for the first time, thinking about Gary Carter hitting two home runs into the screen in Game 4 of the 1986 World Series. I tried to recapture that feeling, but when I came out of the tunnel on Friday, it was way too crowded, and all I got was this:
The first time I went to Fenway was 1995. We drove up to see Red Sox-Twins. It came a few months after we saw the second-to-last regular season game at Boston Garden, which was on Patriot's Day in 1995. We drove up to see Celtics-Nets, and on the way we went on a tour of Boston University, which turned out to be my future college. Since BU was so close to Fenway, we stopped by the ticket office and bought tickets for later that summer. The Red Sox game was very hot and pretty uncomfortable, but I was so psyched to be there that I didn't notice much. I've been many times since - definitely more to Fenway in the past decade than to Shea or Yankee Stadium combined - and the same is true now as it was then - even though it has its faults (which in a ballpark that is pushing 100 years old makes it 'charming', I guess), Fenway is a great place to see a baseball game.