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118 Days and Counting

Saturday, December 11, 2010 – Fenway Park

Despite being a chilly week in December, it’s been an exciting 7 days for those of us who make Red Sox rooting a year-round endeavor.  Last Saturday I slept late, awakening to the news that the Red Sox had traded for Adrian Gonzalez, the gold glove first baseman who has emerged as one of the elite hitters in the game and is just entering his prime.  There was a scare Sunday afternoon when it was reported that the trade was off after they were unable to sign him to an extension.  Then late Sunday night, we heard the trade was back on, with the extension to be worked out once the season starts.  On Monday, there was a brief but worthwhile break from baseball while the Patriots clobbered the Jets in an entertaining Monday Night Football win.  But by the time I was ready for bed on Wednesday night, the Red Sox were back in the spotlight, announcing a stunning deal with outfielder Carl Crawford, the prize position player on the free agent market.  There was a noticeable baseball buzz in Boston, and it was capped off this Saturday with the first wave of ticket sales for the 2011 season.

I didn’t win the Christmas at Fenway lottery, so I wasn’t going to be able to buy my tickets in person.  That meant that this morning I got up early to set up my computers for a day of “virtual waiting”.  As I waited, I watched Crawford’s introductory press conference on NESN.  At 11:00, I saw an update on Facebook that the Fenway Park Yard Sale would be open from 1 – 5.  I assumed that meant it was open to the public and not just lottery winners, but it wasn’t entirely clear.  Last year the Yard Sale was a separate lottery event the day after tickets went on sale.  While I had lost out on the lottery, I ended up getting a “second chance” email invitation late in the afternoon.  So this year I was excited that I was able to get through the virtual waiting room and get the tickets I wanted early enough to be able to go to the Yard Sale in the afternoon.

My loot from the 2010 Fenway Park Yard Sale.

My loot from the 2010 Fenway Park Yard Sale.

When I got to Fenway it turned out the Yard Sale was open to the public, so I was glad I had decided to go in.  It’s too bad they didn’t advertise it that way, or send out “second chance” emails to the lottery losers, because I’m sure there are other people who would have wanted to go.  At the Yard Sale, we could get a bag full of publications and memorabilia, including one Fenway Park brick, for $20.  I found all kinds of interesting things to add to my collection.  I’ve been buying the Media Guide every year since 1996, but I found some older ones from 1993, 1992, 1988, and 1985.  I found postseason media guides from 1999, 1998, and 1988, a 1999 Division Series program, a pamphlet detailing why Dom DiMaggio should be in the Hall of Fame, a scorecard from Fenway’s 80th anniversary in 1992, a commemorative folder from the unveiling of the Teammates staue outside Gate B this year, and a magnetic “3.50″ sign off a concession stand.  (Does that mean food prices are going up again this year?  And what can you actually get for $3.50 anyway?)

Once I added my Fenway Park brick, I went into the adjoining room, where there was additional memorabilia for sale.  There were things like game-used jerseys, bats, autographed balls, and faded championship banners that used to hang on Yawkey Way, but all of these were out of my price range.  I did enjoy looking through a box of old signs, and a “Reserved Parking” sign caught my eye.  I recently moved to a new place with a garage, and the sign was only $5, so it will be perfect hanging in the garage.  I also looked through a stack of nameplates off the players’ lockers, and bought the one belonging to cult-hero Ino Guerrero, the batting practice pitcher who always seems to get an at-bat in the spring training college games.

It’s still 118 days until the 2011 home opener kicks off what looks to be a fun season at Fenway.  Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford will be there, and, thanks to the Opening Day Sox Pax, so will I.  But in the meantime, today’s trip to Fenway was a great way to cap off an exciting week and bring thoughts of summer to a winter day.

December 11, 2010 • Posted in: Events • Share on Facebook

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