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  • Writer's pictureChelsea Roemer

Graveyard of Memories

The color of the grass was inconsistent. Some patches were bright green, while other spots looked to have been fried by the sun, and were at the point of no return.

I slowly made my way from the partially rotted outfield to home plate, which was surprisingly still intact. As I stood where many iconic Red Sox figures once planted their cleats and squared up to bat, I looked up to the press box located high above thousands of plastic seats. The words on the press box displayed the name, “McCoy Stadium” in deeply faded red letters.

An out of the blue, spur of the moment decision made with a friend led me to Rhode Island. I had never visited the state before and was excited to experience a part of Red Sox history that I had only seen in photographs, or read about in books, and articles I could find online.

But what surprised me the most is how quickly the feeling of excitement turned once I saw the fallen paint chips, broken seats and faded billboard signs.

Growing up outside of New England I could have only dreamed of seeing a game at McCoy. I was almost jealous that others were able to witness some of my favorite players in action; such as Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia and Jon Lester, on their last stop before making it to BeanTown. I remember seeing photographs of people lined up outside the gates with tickets in hand and smiles on their faces. My favorite pictures by far were the ones that captured the outfield and the cotton candy sky that hung over it during the summer.

Walking around the stadium and seeing historical paintings and photographs peeling away, paired with the leftover trash blowing in the concourse, made me start to feel a little mournful. Mournful in a selfish sense of not having the chance to see the stadium until it was too late; and mournful in regards to those fans who were able to share the space with family and friends for decades before it all was taken away.

I know that in the world of baseball that sometimes that is just how it is… Teams leave, it's all part of the business. But for some reason, it has been hard for me not to think about all the cherished moments left behind in Pawtucket that are still being grieved by fans, after seeing it in person.

Every entrance to the stadium is tightly locked and chained shut. Vines cling to the metal fence that surrounds the property. It is not the pretty sight I used to view in photographs. But, I am thankful for a chance to see if in person before it potentially goes away forever.

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