I Love That Dirty Water
The full moon floats against a sea of dark clouds, making its presence known by towering above the city skyline. Beneath the moon the glow of another object lingers in the distance. A large square that contains a red triangle and the words “CITGO” luminates Kenmore square, signaling to the people of Boston that they are almost to America’s Most Beloved Ballpark - Fenway.
To me, the CITGO sign has always been like my North Star. I follow the path that gets me closer to the sign and eventually end up exactly where I want to be, strutting down Yawkey Way in a Big Papi jersey, consuming a beer from rusty pipes (before anyone freaks out, I am of age to do this legally and do so responsibly) and a lobster roll the size of my head.
Over the July 4th weekend, I spent a day at Fenway and began to think more about what the place means to me. In my brain it is simply a fact: no other ballpark can compare. But what true baseball fan wouldn’t say that about their beloved team's home base anyway? This time I wanted to dig a little deeper to share more about what separates it from other organizations.
We can label this entry; A Reflection of My (biased) Opinions on Fenway Park.
I have been to Fenway a handful of times over my 24 years on earth, and my favorite part is how each trip is completely different from the last. Each ballgame I have something to look forward to, whether it be watching the game from an entirely new perspective, trying various menu items, discovering hidden photo ops, or learning about a moment in history that could potentially help me answer a trivia question. There is never enough time during a game day to wander around Fenway and discover everything it has to offer.
My first biased point consists of the rich history that lies within the park. It is simply unmatched.
I have read several books and looked at countless pictures regarding the construction of the Green Monster, Ted Williams' famous red seat, and all the notable individuals who have statues for all to admire. Seeing everything in person and reading details of the events makes me jealous that I wasn’t in the stands when these moments occurred. Rich history that can never be replicated is written throughout the walls of Fenway Park, and is an aspect baseball fans all over the country can appreciate.
One of the many joys in my life is watching people's reaction when I tell them I am a Boston sports fan. Sometimes it's an eye roll or a groan, or my personal favorite, a fake vomit sound - yummy. However, I get it. Red Sox fans are unlike any other, a rare species if you will.
I am sure anyone could argue the fan base they belong to is passionate and gets rowdy when their team needs it. However, Red Sox fans are not just there when the team needs it, they stick it out from opening day until the final out. Then, they spend the off season counting down the days until pitchers and catchers report.
In my (biased) opinion, the feature that sets Boston apart from the rest is that no matter how great or not so great the team is doing, the Fenway Faithful is right there to cheer them on, maybe even sometimes outwardly express their disappointment. I have listened to Boston fans boo their own pitchers when they walk more than two consecutive batters, but scream at a Yankees player ferociously for just simply breathing. The atmosphere is never dull, Fenway is never quiet.
I imagine this is what a successful marriage looks like; loving someone through the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, always willing to openly show emotions, have your back until the end of time, and absolutely go to war against anyone who speaks negatively of you.
Now, if you have stuck with me this far, I am going to give your brain a quick break from the Boston bragging. My goal is to eventually watch a game at every MLB stadium. Before anyone asks, yes that includes Yankee Stadium. Including Fenway, I have checked five off of my list, and each one gave me a new memory to cherish.
Growing up in Dallas meant watching the Red Sox play at the original Globe Life stadium in the Ted Williams Suite. The one day I spent rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers brought me the experience of trying cheese curds for the first time. An in depth tour of Wrigley with my dad presented us with pictures in front of the ivy wall that now hangs in the living room of his apartment. A journalism related field trip to Busch Stadium in college gave me an inside look at what could (hopefully) be my future.
All in all, I am completely biased for Fenway and always will be. But there is no fan in the world from any other team that could convince me that more history or passionate fans walk the concourse of their stadiums.