I would like to extend my thanks to the city of Boston. Although I spent a grand total of nineteen hours in the city, I feel like I owe the citizens of Boston my gratitude for what I experienced in such a short time. Fenway Park was the best baseball park that I've ever been to. AT&T Park is my favorite of all the new ballparks, and going to a Giants game is probably one of the best things to do in San Francisco, but comparing it to Fenway Park would be absurd. Its totally different. It may have been different if I grew up there, but to visit such a place was inspiring.
We arrived in Boston around 5:00 on Friday night, and checked into our hotel before taking the T-train downtown. We walked around the stadium a little bit before we met up with a friend in town and went to a restaurant down the street from the park called Church. While there, it started to rain, and I thought that there would be an outside chance that the game would be rained out. But, it was like the rain was there just for us. Our dinner went a little long, and we were about to miss the first pitch. The rain gave us a chance, though, and it also gave me the opportunity to talk to our friend from in town, who showed me a place in the restaurant that embodied the reason that I liked Boston right away. There was a wall-size poster in the place of the altercation last year between Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez, and it was a freeze-frame of Varitek's fist planted squarely in A-Rod's jaw. He told me that it was the epitome of the whole attitude of the city. It was amazing to be in an entire city of baseball fans. Everyone I saw at that game was there to watch baseball. They lived and died by the Red Sox, and they were going to make that known to everyone who came in.
That feeling played itself out once we got the stadium. Being in a rain delay, we had ample time to walk around the stadium. We entered on the opposite sides of where our seats were, and wer forced to walk the length of the park to get to where our seats were. On the way, I saw the wood-back benches, the bare steel skeleton of the stadium, the slim aisles and slimmer seats, and, the best part, or so I thought, the brick. In San Francisco, all-brick buildings are few and far between, because of its instability in earthquakes. Boston was chock full of brick architecture, and the stadium was no exception. I got to walk all the way down to the field level, and those people behind home plate are closer than any ballpark I've ever seen. To stand behind home plate, being able to see the individual blades of grass, seeing everything from the player's perspective, and realizing that people have been doing the same thing for almost 100 years, was an experience I'll never forget. Any baseball fan HAS to make that trip to Boston, even if its just for a day, and go to the park.
The thing that really put me over the top was the fact that the Boston Celtics were there to be honored. I'd been looking forward the whole trip to being in Boston and seeing where the Celtics played, but it didn't look like we were going to have time. I even rooted AGAINST the Celtics in Game 5 because I wanted to be in Boston for the victory parade. It didn't work out, as the parade was on Thursday, but I still got my chance, thanks to the rain delay, to see Paul Pierce throw out the first pitch and the NBA Champs take the field at their fellow sportsmen's stadium. Like I said, the city seems like their sports is all they have, and even though I know its not, to feel that energy was unreal.
So, to summarize, get a pen and paper. Mark your calendars, look for tickets early, and start saving up. Go to Boston. Take a picture of the Green Monster. Walk around the park. Get clam chowder. Sit, watch, listen, and take in the fact that you're sitting where people sat for the past one hundred years.
One final note: the Red Sox have THE BEST montages in between innings. It wasn't just bloopers, and, I know I'm kind of a technology nerd, but everything was edited perfectly. I commend you, Red Sox montage-editors. Thanks for adding to the game in a greatly positive way.