A Long Distance Love Affair
Updated: Apr 23
Snow began to fall lightly, the flakes danced together in the wind and all around me as I took my usual lap around Fenway Park. The streets were quiet and empty, giving me a chance to roam around without getting in anyone's way. I felt my cheeks and nose getting colder, probably getting ready to turn a light shade of pink, but I couldn’t get myself to leave just yet.
Since moving back to the east coast in October, I have had the chance to wander around Fenway Park as much as my heart desires. Those strolls around Yawkey Way are something I try really hard not to take for granted, as growing up in Texas had me longing for a chance to do so.
I have been a passionate Red Sox fan my entire life, but always had to celebrate them from afar. I am going to label that as my “Long Distance Love Affair.”
Since I was born in the late 90’s, I have had the privilege of witnessing four Red Sox World Series titles. However, I celebrated the victories in my living room, instead of with the crowd outside of the Caskin Flagin. Each championship brought me the typical victory T-Shirt with a matching pair of socks and an ornament for the Christmas tree (thanks to mom and dad, who were always quick to order them for me).
Making fun of the Rangers fans who did not get to watch their team win anything was also a bonus.
The thought of going through this metaphorical type of relationship with the organization has crossed my mind many times recently. Since joining the Sea Dogs, I have had the privilege of speaking with die-hard fans that have flocked to the ballpark from miles away.
Some season ticket holders drive over an hour to sit in the stands six times a week to cheer on their favorite players and gaze at the stars of tomorrow. After asking several questions as to why, they generally respond, “I love this team and organization too much to stay away, so it is always worth the trek to come to the ballpark.” Though I am always shocked at the amount of gas money these people are willing to spend, I know I shouldn't be surprised.
While my biased self has always known just how passionate and crazy the Boston fanbase is, it's almost as if I've never seen a love quite like this.
During my time with the Salem Red Sox, I met a handful of people that flew or drove across the country to attend a game or two. Whether it be to observe top prospects, or cross visiting a Red Sox affiliate off their list, they would express how exciting it was to be surrounded by others who are just as passionate about the team as they are. I thought this kind of interaction would only occur at Fenway, knowing it is more of a tourist destination for people from all around the world.
In every conversation we swapped stories of where we were and who we were with when we witnessed those championship moments through television screens; and discussed the various newspaper articles and pictures that we could not get ourselves to throw away - and are still stashed somewhere safely in our homes.
Though I pitied myself growing up, staring at my Big Papi jersey and resenting those who could attend games at Fenway regularly, I realized there are thousands of people who grew up just as I did.
I like to think the love of being a baseball fan, especially a Boston one, is just different.
I have endured heart ache for a time or two, but always managed to get over it and never once thought to give the guy a second chance. Instead, I would think to myself, I could do better and it wasn’t worth fighting for. But for the past 25 years, no matter how well the Red Sox did or not, I was always ready to make my loyalty to Boston known every chance I had.
With each visit I soak up every moment around Fenway Park, almost like I've never seen it before. I can’t help but smile, because even though I know how much I love the ballpark, I can’t help but feel like it loves me back.