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John Hickey's Fenway Experience

I do not remember how my father got the tickets. I think it was due to the rain. The game had been delayed by rain for a couple of days and the original owner of the tickets, I think, could no longer go.

That was how my father acquired two grandstand tickets to the 6th game of the 1975 World Series.

The story of how the game ended with the Fisk homer is legendary. What isn't so commonly known is the incredible plays and excitement that occurred from the 8th-12th innings. The Carbo home run, the Doyle play at the plate, the Evans catch in right field. The air was electric.

I remember Fisk swinging and hitting the ball. We were sitting on the third base side and I remember craning my neck to watch the flight of the ball. When it hit the foul pole, I can remember the feeling like everything had stopped and gone into slow motion and there was no sound. Being a youngster I wasn't sure if the foul pole was fair or foul! As I turned my head slowly back to the infield, Fisk was rounding first base clapping his hands. Then the sound rushed back in and everything seemed to explode in front of me. People were jumping about and hugging.

I will never forget it. It is the greatest childhood memory I have of me and my Dad.

Caly Elias' Fenway Experience

On September 23, 1999, I went to my first Red Sox game. It was the best experience of my life. I went with my best friend, Melissa. We had so much fun. I live in Springfield, so it took about 2 1/2 hours to get there, but it was worth it. When we got to the stadium, I was in awe. I couldn't believe it! Me, actually at Fenway Park!!! It was so exciting. Well, I had made a sign that said, "Forget Stanley, put in Daubach!" I was so proud of myself. I love Brian Daubach. Anyway, so we were outside the walls of Fenway and I was so nervous! My friend and I were holding up my sign proudly so that others may see my manificent work. People saw it alright. It was great! They would laugh and and look at me with a grin that said, "Nice job, kid." Then we headed to the shops just before the game. That was when I bought my first Nomar shirt. Now, I wear it EVERY NIGHT to bed. We were just about to enter the park when a man stopped me and said: "Excuse me, but you can't take that in with you." I was heart-broken, and I had to throw away my sign.

We finally got in the park. I never knew such beauty until that moment. It was all just so beautiful. My Mom, Dad, and Melissa decided it was time to find our seats. I begged for us to go through the park, and they said OK. We were walking to our seats and who do I see 20 feet away from me? Mr. Nomar Garciaparra himself. I got so excited, I just had to take a picture!! I was shaking so much, I cut his head off in the first picture! Then he was signing autographs, now he was only 10 feet away. I started to cry. My role model standing 10 feet away from me. I wanted to get his autograph, but I had no pen or thing for him to sign. But I got to see him close-up! Something I have never been able to do with my preveious role models. When my friend finally dragged me away, I saw a man reading a magazine with my BIGGEST role model in the world: Brian Daubach. I love him so much! I screamed again. I think people thought I was nuts.

We finally got to out seats, and the game was starting. They were singing the National Anthem. Now realize, we were seated far to the right side. All was quiet while the woman was singing until I saw Brian. I gasped SOOOO loud! People were turning around and looking at me as if I was a weirdo or something.

That didn't bother me though, I was there, Brian was there, Nomar was there, and that was all that mattered. In the middle of the game, Melissa and I decided to get some stuff to eat. While we were in line, Nomar AND Butch Huskey had both hit home runs. I was devastated. Nevertheless, my spirit was high and I loved the Red Sox. That's all that mattered. I left that game around 10:30 or so, with the win going to the Blue Jays, but in my heart, the Red Sox were the true winners that day.

Dan F.'s Fenway Experience

I still remember my first Fenway experience as being one of the most amazing things from my childhood. I still can't remember the year or who we were playing but it doesn't matter. I went to the game with my aunt and my uncle and we sat in the grandstands along the first base line. I remember hearing all of the hoop-la from my aunt about how good Fenway Franks are followed by a sports bar. I remember everything from the chairs to the ceiling to the walls being green. The thing that I remember about the game the most was the ending. It was the bottom of the ninth and the Sox were down by 3. There were runners on second and third with first base open. The pitcher walked whoever was up to get to the next batter, Bob Zupcic. With the game on the line, the no-name outfielder hit a walk-off grand slam!

Now that might seem amazing for a first game, but wait till I tell the second one. Well I'll cut to the chase. I went with the same people, same seats, and same season. The only difference between the games was that my already new Red Sox hero Bob Zupcic hit the game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the eighth instead of the ninth. After that season I don't ever remember hearing about Zupcic again, but I won't ever forget the game.

Tom Doyle's Fenway Experience

I now live in Orlando, Florida, where I am far, far removed from the awesome traditions of Boston. Not for long though; I can't wait to get back.

I have so many memories of Fenway beginning with the magical year of 1967, "The Impossible Dream." Like it was yesterday I can picture myself as a little tyke, bold-as-brass, taking the train into Beantown from Lowell with my dad and his buddies to see Yaz, Jim Lonborg, George Scott, Reggie Smith, Rico Petrocelli, and who could forget Tony Conigliaro. Lifelong memories that still bring a smile to my face. Boy, I miss Boston.

As the neighborhood crowd got older, a Friday night bleacher ticket for $2.00, catching Carlton Fisk home run balls, then sauntering over to Fanueil Hall for a few "nightcaps". Those were the days, my friends - what a city!!


Andy Dyczkiewycz's Fenway Experience

My first Fenway Park experience started with anticipation and excitement and ended in disappointment and heartbreak.

It was in April of the year 2000. I traveled up to Boston to see the Sox play the Indians. I thought, Wow, I'm going to see the Indians play the Red Sox in the greatest baseball park in the history of baseball. Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn't cooperate. It rained for all three games. I left for Cleveland with a soggy and heavy heart. The only way that I will get over that experience is to come back again to see the greatest ballpark in baseball.

Well, I was determined to get back to Fenway Park to experience the coolest park in baseball history. I was not disappointed by bad weather. The baseball and weather gods were with me that day. I think they felt my pain and heartbreak from my first trip to Fenway Park. With that I say thanks.

The Green Monster really makes an impression on you. It's the best backdrop in baseball. Home runs just seem more intense and dramatic here vs. any other ball park. Fenway Park is snug and that's part of its traditional charm. Watching a game at Fenway Park is like watching the pros play a game in your back yard. The seats' close proximity to the field is too cool. I could hear the infield chatter and the audio gems from the Fenway Faithful.

I found myself wondering what it was like to watch a ball game back in the day when Ted Williams roamed this great ball park. It must have been special.

I left Fenway Park a little tired since I made the trip by myself. Driving from Cleveland was a challenge in itself. I brought some t-hirts, caps, and some great photos of Fenway Park back home to Cleveland. I proudly display some of my photos in my home.

J.C. Mineo's Fenway Experience

Some memories of a Red Sox fan...

1978 - Twelve years old sitting in my living room in Needham, MA, with my buddies watching the tie-breaker against the Yanks. Bucky Dent hits a cheap homer and Yaz pops up to end the game - Misery!

1979 - 1984 - Mom writes a fake sick note every opening day so me and my buddies can take the T into Boston and watch the opener. My high school baseball coach finds out I wasn't sick and makes me run laps.

1986 - Houston, Texas, at college, on the phone with my best buddy still living in Boston during Game 6. Figured it was clinched. Buckner misses the grounder and there is a long silence... I tell him I'll call him back.... I never do until weeks later.

Since... Mom sends me opening day articles from the Globe in the mail... Brings back memories for her.

Joe O'Brien's Fenway Experience

Though born and raised in Philadelphia, and an avid fan for over 40 years, I have always had a spot in my heart for the Red Sox. I'm sure it began in childhood, with tales of Ted Williams, and was reinforced during the classic 1975 World Series, and was sealed in '86 with the breaking of my heart in game 6. Though I have attended hundreds of games, including stops at the Vet, Connie Mack Stadium, Camden Yards, Yankee Stadium and several minor league parks, my love of history forced me to pack up my youngest son and head for the Phillies-Red Sox series in Fenway. I'm an avid fan of the history of the game, but I'm not easily impressed. As a history fan, I'm cynical and depressed about the state of the current game. This includes the newer baseball parks, built for the rich fan to support the rich player. I was prepared to be disappointed, both by the final score (which I was, the Phils lost) and the aura of the "Fenway experience." Thankfully, I fell in love with Fenway Park.....

It began with my arrival on the streets surrounding the stadium. Instead of the acres of parking lots, we were greeted by hundreds of fans, sitting on curbs and sidewalks, waiting for the gates to open. There were few three piece suits and more Phillies shirts and hats than I would have imagined. Listening to surrounding conversations convinced us that we were not the only Fenway pilgrims present.

We took our seats behind the Phils dugout. Seats for which I paid a million dollars to a ticket agency (my concession to the modern day game). My son went on the immediate quest for autographs, finally having Robert Person, a Phillies pitcher, sign his hat. We then proceeded to watch them lose, though they took the final two games of the series.

I was most impressed by the "aura" of the park. Though that includes its history, it is not an "aura" of the past, but of the present. It is a great place to watch a baseball game! It is quirky, charming and WEIRD! just as the game of baseball is. Its "aura" is complemented by the diehard New England/Boston fan, whose cry of "Bring back Mo Vaughn!" punctuated the game. It also quickly became apparent that Nomar has replaced Williams, Yaz and Clemens in the hearts of the Boston faithful. I was most amused at the father, teasing his daughter who was wearing a Scott Rolen shirt, with cries of "Rollin Rollin Rollin" as he was thrown out at third base. I'm sure there are some disagreements around a Boston dinner table over her choice of heroes.

In short, I loved Fenway! I hate to see the park replaced. Baseball, the Sox, and Boston will not be best served by its replacement. We'll lose history, tradition, another house that Ruth played in, but most of all, a great place to watch a ball game!

T6140P's Fenway Experience

I was probably 6 or 7 years old, which would make it 1966-67. My family made the trip from western Mass. About 100 miles, first time in the big city. I remember walking down a long dark hallway that didn't smell very good, and making sure I wasn't getting lost from my family. When I walked out from the darkness to the playing field level (behind the dugout on the first base side) I can still remember thinking that I'd never seen grass that green or uniforms that white. It was an amazing first impression, one I will never forget (although I don't remember who won the game).

Kevin Ducey's Fenway Experience

Although I haven't lived there in 20 years, I did most of my growing up in the Boston area, which meant that in the summer of 1967 I was bitten by the Sox bug. Sadly, it's incurable, although I can claim that it goes into remission for long stretches of time.

Fenway wasn't the first major league park I ever visited (that was Forbes Field in Pittsburgh) but it's certainly the one I knew best growing up. I remember feeling a little insecure when I was very young, because all the other cities seemed to have bigger, grander ballparks. But once visited in person, in that marvelous 1967 season, I was hooked. Watching Yaz play the carom off the wall like no one before or since was alone enough to convince me it must be the most special place on earth for this wonderful game. I don't remember the score of my first Fenway game, but I do remember that the Sox beat Sudden Sam McDowell and the Indians when McDowell, their catcher, and their first baseman all collided at the first base line on a weak infield grounder. Rico Petrocelli (I think) scored what would be the winning run, and all were safe.

The 1967 lineup: 1B George Scott, 2B Mike Andrews, 3B Joe Foy, SS Rico Petrocelli, LF Carl Yastrzemski, CF Reggie Smith, RF Tony Conigliaro (until he was beaned by Jack Hamilton of the Angels in August, and replaced by Ken Harrelson), C Russ Gibson, and who else on the mound but Jim Lonborg? Well, I'm sure you know the rest of that story as well as I.....

As to Fenway itself, I confess that to me the place was ruined visually with the addition of luxury suites. This also runs totally counter to the honored tradition of the Sox as a blue-collar, working stiff's team. The famous 'Nuf Ced McGreevey, who back at the turn of the last century owned the Third Base bar (so-called because it was one's last stop before going home), and founder of the Royal Rooters society (notable for their 1912 riot at the World Series) would be horrified at the idea of smug bankers and lawyers in special boxes, talking business behind glass while a veritable sacrament unfolds before them.

Having said all that, I am willing to concede that the time will come (let us hope, not soon) when Fenway will be just too worn out to renovate, and will be no more. It will be sad, but I think there is an ending to all things. What I would NOT like to see is some bizarre recreation of Fenway. When that day comes, I think it should be replaced with a park on the order of Camden Yards, but different from Fenway, with its own character and quirks. In other words, once it's time to say farewell to the old girl, keep loving her in your heart, accept that there could never be another like her, and let the new park accumulate its own memories and mystique.

A final thought on ballparks: I have visited many of them, old and new, from quirky old ones to the 1960's saucers, to the newer ones, and they all have one thing in common: from Fenway Park to Shea Stadium to the Oakland Coliseum to the new Comiskey Park in Chicago, they all smell the same - great!!! When you first come in, you get a whiff of roasting peanuts, hotdogs and mustard and kraut, and beer sloshing over the rims of cups, and your pulse quickens, and you can't help smiling as you head for your seat.....

Life truly begins on Opening Day.

Mark Wasielewski's Fenway Experience

I went to a game on August 4, 1999. I had right field loge box seats. I got to the game early and wanted to see Cleveland's batting practice. When they finished the Red Sox came out to stretch. I was in the front of the crowd and Nomar came over and stood about ten feet away from me. I took out my camera and took shots of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I took pictures of him praying and stretching out, and during the game a ball was hit in front of second base and he ran over gobbled it up and fired it first and I took a picture during the throw. It was awesome. After he stretched out he came back out to sign balls. I felt so lucky because he only signed about 5 balls and one of them was mine. It was an All-Star Game ball. The thing that makes it even more special is that he didn't look for certain kids' balls to sign. He just grabbed them, and one of them was mine! When I got home, my mom went to get the pictures developed and when she went back to pick them up the film was destroyed. I literally cried. It was my saddest and happiest day ever. Pretty weird, huh.

Casey's Fenway Experience

I remember vividly my first Red Sox game as a small boy. My mother asked me if I wanted to go a Red Sox game. I immediately said yes. I still remember... We walked out on the third base side. The smell of the game... hot dogs, fresh green grass, foul beer. Oh and the sight of the field to a young boy... It still brings chills to my spine as I sit here 3,000 miles fom home and 30 years later. The Red Sox played the Kansas City Royals that night. They lost, but I made my mother take me back the next night. I have been hooked ever since.

I can tell you exactly where I was when Bucky Dent hit that cheap fly ball, when Dave Henderson hit that mammoth home run, and where I was when that thing happened that I still cannot talk about. Oh yes, and where I was when Carlton Fisk saved the world!

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