Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Fenway Park
VIP Tour and Player Meet & Greet
As a season ticket holder, I get rewards points for scanning my tickets at games and entering code words throughout the season. One thing we can use the points for is to enter raffles, and I won one for a player meet and greet event that included a VIP tour of Fenway Park. The experience is also part of packages sold through Red Sox Destinations, and the season ticket holder raffle winners got to join in. We also got a a “David Ortiz final season” cap, a baseball and display case, and a free pair of Red Sox sneakers from Row One Brands as part of our prize pack.
Our day started with a tour of Fenway Park. Remember that scene from “Forrest Gump” when he says he got invited to the White House again, and met the President of the United States again? That’s how we felt sitting in the Green Monster seats and stepping onto the warning track. As a season ticket holder, I can enter early and go up on the Green Monster before every game, and there have been plenty of open houses and other events where we’ve walked around the warning track before. But what made this tour a one-of-a-kind special event is that we actually got to go inside the Green Monster, where the scoreboard operator posts the score during games! As a lifelong fan, that’s something that’s always been on my baseball bucket list. (We were asked not to sign our names, so I still have something to aspire to when I someday go in there again.)
After everyone had had a chance to go inside the Green Monster, we sat in the grandstand seats and listened to the tour guides give a history of Fenway Park. There was a game later that night, but for now, the grounds crew was out mowing the grass and getting the infield ready. I spotted head groundskeeper David Mellor and his dog Drago (named after former Red Sox pitcher Dick Drago, I assume), whom I recognized from his Instagram account.
Next we walked down the fifth floor hallway past the radio and TV booths and the media cafeteria, and into the press box.
Our last stop was the EMC Club, where we had a buffet lunch (hot dogs, chicken, pulled pork, salad, corn on the cob, potato salad, watermelon, cookies, and brownies). Then we got to meet left fielder Brock Holt and get autographs and pictures with him. There was a Q & A session, too, where people asked hard-hitting questions like what would you do if you didn’t play baseball (country singer), do you have any superstitions (no), and what’s your favorite position to play (anything but second because it means Dustin Pedroia is out).
Last up was a visit from Dick Flavin, the Boston humorist who serves as Fenway P. A. announcer during day games and the Poet Laureate of the Red Sox. He recited several of his poems for us, some of which I had heard before, and some of which I hadn’t. Here’s a video with two of my favorites, “Long Live Fenway Park,” written for its hundredth anniversary in 2012 and “Big Papi’s Bombs,” written in 2013.
Flavin has published a book with poems he’s written on the Red Sox – Red Sox Rhymes: Curses and Verses – and he autographed copies for people who bought them that day. You can get your copy on Amazon.