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I became a diehard Sox fan in July of 1967. From day one I had to know everything I could about all the Red Sox players and for that matter, all the players that the Sox would be facing. As a nine-year-old I immediately started my hero worship of Carl "The Man They Call Yaz" Yastrzemski, and I will always be a Yaz fan. It wasn't until four years later would I get my first view inside the old ball yard. It was May 28, 1971, and my dad was in the Air National Guard stationed in Worcester, Mass., on Belmont Hill. The Guard had planned a family outing to Fenway park that night and I was the lucky one in a family of seven (two girls and five boys) who was picked to accompany my mother to the game. I was fortunate enough to know well in advance that I would be attending the Friday night game. As the day grew near, it became apparent that Boston's 8-and-0 Sonny Siebert would be facing Oakland A's 10-and-1 Vida Blue. It was billed as the game of the century and anyone who was anyone wanted to be in the ballpark for this game. How lucky was I? All my friends were jealous and would drill me with questions, stats and such.
Game day, my dad drove my mother and I into Worcester (we lived in Northborough, 20 minutes to the east) and to the Guard base. As I got out of the family car, I was so excited that I shut my left hand (ring finger) in the door. OOOOCH!! As I screamed and opened the door, I noticed that about 1/4 of the tip of my finger was hanging on by a thread. The unit medic (family friend) came running over and immediately started to stop the bleeding. After a couple of minutes he told my parents that I should be taken to the emergency room immediately, because there was no doubt that I would need stitches if I wanted to save my finger tip. Wow!
Let me tell you I spent the next 25 minutes pleading, begging, and imploring my parents into not taking me to the hospital. This was to be my first baseball game and first trip to Fenway Park, there is nothing that was going to keep me from going! As I stomped my feet and demanded that I be allowed to go to the game, my father against his better judgment had the medic bandage (my finger looked five times its normal size) up my finger as best he could. What I didn't tell them, was that my finger was in extreme pain, throbbing so hard I thought people could hear it.
When we got to the ballpark and entered, I looked up at the Monster - I don't think that my eyes have closed yet and that was 35 years ago. Not knowing anything about the park at the time, I looked at the tickets for the seat location and was not impressed. That is I wasn't impressed until I got to my seat which was six or so rows behind the Oakland dugout and to the left (I think in line with the third base bag). Wow, this was great, I could see everything. During the game my finger was KILLING me, but there was no way that I was going to complain. Between innings I went to the concessions to get a piece of pizza. As I paid and turned to return to my seat, this guy whacks my bandaged finger causing it to be in EXTREME pain and has the nerve to tell me to get out of the way. Well, I am in tears from the pain. I can tell you that I have never forgiven that guy, whom I knew from TV. The guy was one Clark Booth, channel 5 sports guy. From that day on, every time I saw him on TV I would immediately change the station. Also my finger (no, I never did go to the doctor's) to this day is weather-sensitive. But the memories of that game will always make my finger feel better.
For days after the game (which was won by the Sox 4 to 3 and Siebert went to 9-and-0) my friends would pump me for information, like did Vida Blue really jump over the foul line when he went to and from the mound, was Reggie Jackson big, or how fast was Siebert's fastball.
I will never forget that day. I have attended hundreds of games - Opening Day, playoffs and World Series games - and I look forward to the day that I can take my twins (born August 2005) to their first game. OK, their first game will be at an age where they will remember the experience.
MJPCRP's Fenway Experience
I can remember the first time I visited Fenway Park: my Dad was a fan but we did not have the financial resources to ever be able to haul all six of his kids to a game when we were young. Finally, in 1964 I was 15 and old enough to take the train from Winchester to Boston on my own. I decided to take two of my sisters, age 13 and 12, and a few neighborhood friends came along. Off we went and of course our first walk up the ramp and out into the bright lights of Fenway took our breath away. Every color was bright and crystal clear, every inch of the panorama such a thrill to behold. We were out in the bleachers but still felt like Red Sox princesses overseeing our realm. We put our hands over our hearts during the National Anthem and settled down to watch the game. The pitching, hitting, and fielding were magnificent (to our untrained eyes): I wish I could remember who the visiting team was, but that fact is lost deep in my memory. After a number of innings everyone stood up and many started moving away from their seats: I now know that they were headed for the rest rooms and the concession stands but on that day, I looked at my companions and said, "Well, I guess the game is over." Silly me. As we went to the exit and left the park, I was a little confused that more people weren't doing the same... my father has never stopped teasing me for mistaking the Seventh Inning Stretch for the end of the game.
John Harvey's Fenway Experience
Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, the only Major League team we had were the Astros which came into existence when I was around 6 or 7. Naturally I kept up with them pretty well until 1972 when we got the Rangers from Washington. Of course I changed leagues at that time and started pulling for the American League. Even before '72 I was already a Red Sox fan, I pulled for them in the impossible dream season of '67 where Yaz was just head and shoulders above everyone else that year.
I always pulled for the Rangers but the Red Sox I just simply loved. The '75 series just killed me and Game 6 is still the best baseball game I have ever witnessed. Bernie Carbo's 3-run homer in the bottom of the eighth is one of my favorite all-time moments. The '78 season still hacks me off. The Sox should have let the Evil Empire catch 'em. Of course '86 was the all-time killer. I had never been to Boston but I felt like a true Red Sox Nation follower. I went on a road trip to the northeast in September of 1990. I started off in Yankee Stadium, then on to Baltimore, on to Philadelphia and then to Fenway. I've got to admit the Fenway Franks weren't very good but I had been told ahead of time what to expect. Never in my life have I enjoyed talking baseball with fans from a different part of the country. The Sox faithful knew their stuff about single player on the team. I must have talked baseball with about ten fans at least an hour before they opened up the gates. That still blows me away when they opened up those gates and I got my first look at the Monster.
I spent at least half the game wandering around Fenway Park. I was in heaven, I get chills just thinking about it even today. A fan took a picture which I proudly display with the Monster in the background. I want to take my wife and daughter to Fenway because I told them if they ever want to see Boston well then Fenway is part of it.
I think I probably qualify as a Red Sox fan because of my hatred for the Evil Empire. I will never ever pull for the Yankees. I simply can't do it and won't. I would love to get some of those on top of the Monster, that would be the absolute ultimate. I have a Boston newspaper from the '04 World Series and several videos, and I even have the movie Fever Pitch which I can understand where he was coming from. Hopefully within the next couple of years I can get back to Fenway. I've told my ten-year-old daughter all about it. She understands it was built the week the Titanic sank and Babe Ruth pitched there for the Sox before he went off to the blowhard Yankees. Her doctor asked her just yesterday who her favorite team is and she said the Boston Red Sox. I know living in Texas she should probably pull first for the Rangers but I'm proud that she'll one day be a member of Red Sox Nation.
Colman Roberts' Fenway Experience
Being from Georgia, attending a game at Fenway Park was unbelievable. I attended college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, during the summer of 2000. My first game was against Baltimore and Cal Ripken. We sat in the outfield and it was awesome. Fenway Park is my favorite to this day. We were able to see over 15 games that summer and I will never forget that place.
Doug Bodger's Fenway Experience
I took my two boys on a little New England road trip that included a few days in Vermont, Boston, and NYC this past July. I spent a few days on business in Boston last fall and it was really the first chance I had to do much there. I loved it. So, I wanted my kids to experience it too. I must admit, Iím a lifelong Yankee fan, though not ardent. I just enjoy sporting events, and have been dying to go to Fenway for a long, long time.
The Twins were in town in late July, and for three months prior I tried getting three tickets at a reasonable price... not an easy thing to do. So when we arrived in town Friday afternoon we walked from our hotel to Fenway to scope out the ticket situation. It was not promising at all. We decided to go back about an hour before game time, and see if we could buy some from scalpers. The best price we heard was $125 each SRO... not even close to what I was willing to pay. If my kids were huge fans, maybe, but they were like me... just interested in taking in the Fenway experience, but not getting bent over like that.
So, as it got closer to game time, I decided to try one last thing. I've been to countless sporting events all over the country. I've been to two Superbowls without tickets and have never failed to get in. I know, for a price, you can get into any event, but I prefer working the crowd and looking for a deal... it's all part of the experience. We stood for 25 minutes or so with three fingers in the air hoping that someone would come up and offer tickets at a reasonable price. The boys were getting antsy, but I told them to be patient.. you never know, some nice old lady may come up and say you look like a nice family that wants to go to the game and not scalp the seats. They said, "Yeah sure, Dad!" Donít you know it, some nice old lady came up to me about 10 minutes before the opening pitch and just GAVE me 3 tickets. Apparently her friends couldn't make it and she wanted someone to have the tickets that would enjoy the game.
The kids were in shock, I told them, "I told you so!", and we entered Fenway on our way to right field grandstand seats. Of course I bought a couple beers on the way, and sat down just as the game began. As I made my way to our seats, some guy said, "Hey, I know you." Turns out he and his friend went to the same high school as me in Rochester, NY, and watched me play basketball when they were in sixth grade. They remembered me from 33 years ago! They were vacationing in Gloucester and went to Fenway for their last night. Another guy sitting next to us heard us talking and it turned out he lives in Rochester too, and I know his father. We had about a thousand beers together and had a riot. The Sox romped behind an Olerud grand slam, Schilling closed the game, the night was beautiful, and Fenway was everything and more we expected.
I'd love to go there again and sit on the Green Monster or somewhere not under cover, but beggars can't be choosers... it was awesome.
So here we are in late August , the Yankees are 2 1/2 games behind the Red Sox, and I donít know who to root for anymore, all because of your damn ballpark.
I've been to the old Schaefer Stadium and watched the Bills get crushed many years ago. I hated that dump. I AM an ardent Bills fan, so I have no intention of going to the new place. I want to stay a Bills fan.
Anyway, Boston is a great town, Fenway is awesome, and you have great fans. I love it there.
Sparksrr's Fenway Experience
My only visit to Fenway Park was in 1978. I was 22, living in New Hampshire, never been to a major leauge baseball game. Through a friend's company, we boarded a chartered bus bound for Boston!
I was so excited to attend my first real baseball game, all I was thinking about was what it would be like! However, instead of talking about the game, the buzz with my co-passengers was............ hot dogs! I'm like, "Eh, OK."
Before the National Anthem was sung, I had the mandatory standing in line for a hot dog. Found our seats (yes, they really are cramped!), and bit into this "Holy Grail" of a hot dog. Wow! Delicious! Amazing a 125 pound, 22-year-old could eat six over 9 innings!
That aside, it's an experience to be at Fenway Park, I'll never forget.
By the way, Boston won 7-1 against the Tigers.
I've never forgotten.
Leigh McLachlan's Fenway Experience
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