The Sights of Fenway Park: A Summer Night in April

Joe GillCorrespondent IIApril 9, 2010

I never imagined in my wildest dreams that the temperature for an early season Red Sox game would break 50 degrees.

But 92 degrees with no humidity on April 7?

Can you say GLO-BAL WARM-ING?

Damn did I luck out or what? Not only did I get Red Sox-Yankees tickets, but the weather was more like August than April!

I still didn’t trust the New England weather. It may be 92 at 5 PM, but it could drop down to 58 degrees at the drop of a Red Sox hat, so I wore jeans and a Sox polo with a t-shirt underneath.

Big mistake!

I picked up my friend in town after fighting traffic, but I didn’t care. Not even traffic could rain on this perfect night. My friend jumped in my car like he was headed to the beach or a Buffett concert, minus the parrot.

After zig-zagging through the narrow streets of Boston, we arrived at our pregame destination, the Baseball Tavern.

After paying $30 for parking, which wasn’t bad at all for a Sox game, we entered the BB Tavern with ease. No line like that corporate bar across the street, that will go nameless.

The BB Tavern was filling up fast and I was just imagining in my head, how it would look on May 2 for Boston Sports Blogapalooza . For those of you that may not know, Boston Sports Blogapalooza is a networking event for sports bloggers. It was my brain child back in February and, after a few hurdles, has finally come to fruition.

Whatever ideas or plans you may have, you need people to buy into them and the Baseball Tavern did. They have been accommodating through and through.

Joe, the bar manager, was a very down to earth guy that made me feel super special. He appreciated my business and made me feel that way off the bat.

He bought me and my friend a round of beers. He brought us up the secret back way to the awesome patio to meet the owner, Jimmy. Jimmy, like Joe, was so happy to meet me and thanked me up and down for bringing Boston Sports Blogapalooza to the BB Tavern.

These are the types of establishments that I will spend my money at, because they appreciate it and are truly thankful. It’s all about customer service people!

After some pregame pops, we headed to the Fens.

Yawkey was electric with excitement for the tilt with the NY Yankees, a team that most Bostonians say suck.

I am sorry, 27 rings is far from sucking.

I won’t partake in such an inaccurate chant, but I will still have my hate for Yankees woven into my soul.

I guess its jealousy. We are all jealous of franchises that are far more successful than your own. Perhaps that is why everyone outside of New England hates the Patriots.

We settled into our seats in the right field grandstand, which were definitely worth the $47 we paid for them.

Now the real fun began.

Not so much the game, but the people watching. The crowd quickly morphed into a scene from the Star Wars Cantina.

The people in front of us looked straight out of the J. Crew/J. Jill catalog. Two couples in full preppy attire. The men had pressed shirts and khakis. The women had skirts on with polos with, get this, sweaters draped over their shoulders.

I was becoming a “prep” by osmosis alone. I think the Red Sox logo on my polo may have turned into an IZOD alligator.

My friend and I decided to go on another over-priced beer run, so I texted my fellow sports blogger, Soxy Lady to meet me at the concession area behind the first base stands.

Soxy Lady is the first blogger I have met in person since I started writing nine months ago. She has been a great help in planning and promoting Boston Sports Blogapalooza and she has also contributed to my website, Boston Sports Then And Now .

Her writing style is more based on the fun side of the Red Sox then just wins or stats. She talks about the players' at bat music and other interesting tid-bits. Soxy Lady definitely sticks out in the sea of Sox bloggers.

After a very cool conversation with Soxy Lady, I returned back to the Star Wars Cantina aka the right field grandstand. The Sox were up 1-0 on a David Ortiz RBI single which I actually missed because Soxy Lady and I were at the only concession area with no plasmas.

The new restrooms have TVs perched outside the entrance, but not the new concession stand, go figure.

John Lackey was pitching a gem of a game in his Red Sox debut.  Andy Pettitte and Lackey were in an old fashioned pitching duel. With the lack of action on the field, I could focus back on the crowd.

Well I didn’t have to wait long until someone introduced turbulence in to my perfect night.

There he was in the aisle, looking around aimlessly and drunk out of his gourd. It was the man from Shutter Island!

Shutter Island is that movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio in which he is a cop investigating an insane asylum and this guy could have been an extra. He pointed at the vacant seat next to me.

No god! Please no! I said to myself in horror, as he stumbled his way over to me.

He sat down in a heap and was speaking tongues not of this planet. And to add insult to injury, every time he spoke he doused me with saliva.

I thought it was raining and I was under the roof!

So I dealt with him shooting his precipitation all over me, as my friend laughed his butt off.

'Damn you,' I said to him. 'Damn you!'

I scanned the crowd and saw a guy wearing a Bucky Dent shirt. Seriously? Come on!

What did Dent do beside hit that home run in the one game playoff in ’78? I wonder if he has an Aaron Boone shirt too.

Yankees fans will do anything to get under Sox fans’ skin.

New York took the lead in the 10th inning on a towering shot by Curtis Granderson for a 2-1 Yankees lead.  Then the Sox “Faithful” started to head for the exits.

Ok if you have read anything I have written, you know I am not a die hard Sox fan. That fan died in 1986, but come on people!

It's 82 degrees in April, the Sox are only down by one, and it's the Yankees!

I can't even recall the last time I stayed for a whole game. However, I wasn’t going to cut this perfect night short just to beat traffic. Plus I have nothing to get up for because I have been laid off.

So I asked my friend, “Do you want to go?”

He said, “It’s up to you.”

I replied, “No you are the one who has to go to work tomorrow.”

We decided to stay until the final out. So did Thelma and Louise who sat behind us. Two middle aged women straight from the movie, but were not as good looking as Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis. They were loaded out of their minds and wearing clothes that a 22 year old would think twice about wearing.

The Red Sox would go on to lose 3-1, but I didn’t care. This night was a perfect storm.

Incredible weather. Great friends. Awesomely entertaining.

Sometimes the experience and the crowd are more fun than the game itself.

Thank you Fenway Park, you never disappoint!


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