This has been a great baseball year for me. At the time of visiting Boston in July, I had already been to a Cubs game, White Sox game, and three Blue Jays games. All of those were incredibly fun, but I think I saved the best for last for my first visit to Fenway to see a Red Sox game. I’m a baseball fan and will always go to a game if I’m visiting a city during its team’s home stand, but seeing a game at Fenway is something particularly special that I had wanted to do for a long, long time.
On a very humid July evening, my wife and I arrived at Fenway to get inside as early as possible. Lots of others had the same idea:
There is something beautiful about a ballpark just after it opens to the fans. I love the sense of quiet and tranquil only broken by the sound of the crack of a bat during batting practice. Moments after getting inside the stadium, I finally get to lay my eyes on the iconic Green Monster:
Next up, the obligatory picture in the ballpark:
This is where normally I’d wander around the stadium a bit, but the weather conspired against me. While in search of a gluten free hotdog for my wife (verdict: it was delicious, thank you Fenway!), the skies darkened quickly and a violent thunderstorm passed through. For forty minutes, we weren’t allowed back out into the stands. Once the clouds moved over, we made it out to our seats. As if to say “sorry for the weather”, we were treated to this great view of the Red Sox mascot (I have a not so secret love of sports mascots) Wally the Green Monster doing a bit of pregame dancing. He’s no Youppi! or Phillie Phanatic, but the dude can dance up a storm:
One of the great things about Fenway was the fans sitting around us. Everyone was so friendly and the folks sitting beside us offered to take a proper picture of the two of us, complete with the “Fenway Park” sign behind home plate as a backdrop:
About 45 minutes after the scheduled start time, this is the first pitch of the game by Boston’s starter Clay Buchholz. Play Ball!
In the bottom of the second with the Red Sox trailing 1-0 on a Adam Dunn solo home run to deep right field for the White Sox, David Ortiz came to bat. I was hoping to see him launch a bomb over the fence at some point, but all he could manage was three groundouts into the shift on the right side of the infield.
With neither team putting up much offence, the game moved along quickly. So quickly, that I didn’t get my traditional beer and hotdog until the third inning. I didn’t find the food choices too inspiring at Fenway so I went with a time-honoured Fenway Frank and a Narragansett Lager (the original beer served at Fenway). There’s something about sitting outside on a nice summer evening watching baseball and having a dog and a beer:
A great thing about our seats on the night was the view of the Green Monster just to the left. In between innings I found myself turning to look at the iconic wall. I was hoping to see a ball fly over it at some point, but no luck.
Of course, per tradition, here’s the Fenway rendition of Sweet Caroline before the Red Sox came to bat in the bottom of the eighth. The crowd was in pretty good voice even with their team laying a complete egg offensively all night long.
The Red Sox only managed two hits and never got a runner past second base. Not surprisingly with that kind of output, they fell to Chicago 4-0. Perhaps not the most entertaining game I’ve been to, but pretty easily the most picturesque one this year.