There are structures, there are buildings, there are temples, and then there’s Fenway Park.
At this time a year ago, there was more turmoil than joy surrounding Fenway as the Red Sox had just finished last in the AL East. Bobby Valentine was more like a bad babysitter than a manager, the Red Sox consecutive sell-out streak had just come to an end, and GM Ben Cherington traded away Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto (over $100 million in payroll) to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It all but seemed that tough times had returned to America’s most beloved ballpark.
It was during this time that I attended my first baseball game at Fenway Park. The surprisingly cheap tickets were too good to pass up, so I figured it was worth my Sunday afternoon to visit America’s oldest ballpark.
Safe to say, it forever changed my life.
As I walked in to Fenway, the first thing that drew my attention wasn’t the Green Monster, Pesky’s Pole, or even the Sanibel Island sign hanging along the first base line; I couldn’t get over how small the ballpark is physically.
“Fenway Park is so small, no wonder they’ve sold out every game for the last decade,” I thought to myself.
I went to a game at the old Yankee Stadium a few years back, so I had seen a “baseball cathedral” before, but there was something different about Fenway Park. I was in awe by Fenway’s pure beauty. The wooden seats, the distorted views, the old urinals with Yankee stickers being peed on; it was any sports fans dream.
The Red Sox surprisingly captured a victory that Sunday afternoon, but the final score meant nothing to me. The beauty, the history, and the mysticism of Fenway Park left me speechless. As I left the stadium, I couldn’t help but think about all the history that had gone down inside that palace: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
A year later, the Red Sox are a mere four wins away from capturing their first World Series title since 2007, a feat no one could have predicted back in April.
It’s been a year filled with moments like this:
And how could I forget this:
Great times like those have catapulted the Red Sox into the World Series, and have made this season so enjoyable to watch.
October baseball has always given me great enjoyment, but this year’s October baseball sits on a higher pedestal. Living five minutes from the confines of Fenway Park, it has been an incredible experience watching the Red Sox bring excitement back to Boston.
As a Yankees fan, it’ll be a tough blow to my conscience if the Red Sox win the World Series. But at the same time, there is something magical about the oldest ballpark in baseball, and something tells me that magical moments will unfold inside the green walls of Fenway during this World Series.
Like most of you, I will have my eyes glued to the TV tonight as the anticipated match-up between the Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals begins a mere block away from Boston University’s campus.
My hope is that the people of Boston won’t take this short time for granted. Great moments like these don’t last forever, and unique ballparks like Fenway don’t stick around forever either.
Although Fenway Park is old and small in its physical stature, inside the gates of that beautiful ballpark it is younger than ever, and ready to rock out for some World Series baseball.
I can’t wait for Fenway Park to explode during this World Series, and I hope you can’t wait either.