Fenway Park

Fenway Park

We all know that the Red Sox are not my team, and that my second home has always been Shea Stadium and not Fenway, but an old historic ballpark is an old historic ballpark, no matter where your personal rah-rahs lie. So on August 16 we went to Fenway Park to take the guided tour and it was wicked awesome, to use a New England phrase. Built in 1912, and holding the distinction as the oldest Major League Baseball stadium, it’s a wonderful throwback to baseball of my favorite era: post-turn of the century.

Our 11:00 a.m. tour was 200-people strong and was split into two groups, where we lucked out with a great tour guide for our cluster of 100 baseball aficionados. After the tour, where we sat in every great section that I’ve heard about and have seen while watching Sox games on television, and where we were taken into other stadium nooks and crannies, we had lunch in the new restaurant that just opened under the bleachers, the Bleacher Bar. Since the Bleacher Bar is open whether or not games are in play, and is open to the outfield with only a grated fence between the fans eating and whatever players are in the outfield that day, I can’t imagine getting a prime table there during a game—it’s probably as difficult as getting a game ticket to sit in Fenway itself.

After Fenway we headed over to the Museum of Science for their Baseball as America exhibit, which is a sampling of material from Cooperstown. Since we had already taken a trip to Cooperstown a few years ago, the items weren’t new to us, but are always great to see in person. Photography was disallowed inside the exhibit, which was curious since photography is allowed at Cooperstown.

One exhibit item on display that I didn’t remember from Cooperstown was John Franco’s Mets jersey that he wore at the first sporting event that was allowed to be played in NYC after 9/11—Mets vs. Atlanta on September 21st—when Piazza hit the famous huge home run against the dreaded Braves for a come-from-behind victory at Shea to lift the spirit of the city and the fans—while the parking lot outside the stadium was filled with food, supplies and makeshift lodging for the rescue effort.

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