Part 0: The Prequel to the Tour at Fenway Park
Ballpark 13: Fenway Park, elevation 20 feet
The game: Orioles @ Red Sox on April 19, 2014
The fans: Because I arrived early, I was able to secure a really good spot for photo day on the third base side. However, right behind me were the massive crowds also looking for a good spot. These fans in Boston are incredibly passionate and are some of the best in the world. At first, I was right behind a really nice couple who were just as excited as I was to even be standing on the warning track of Fenway Park. When they saw my 5K medal from the Boston Marathon weekend draped around my neck, they immediately let me in the front and asked how I did in the morning’s race. Not only do these fans love their Red Sox, but they have such respect and admiration for anyone that ran in that weekend’s race, especially after the bombings took place the previous year. I almost felt like a celebrity of sorts just because I was running during Marathon Weekend. I absolutely love these fans.
Ticket prices: I will keep this short. This is Boston Marathon weekend, all tickets are going to be expensive regardless of where you buy them. I had to get creative with this, but I found a cheap single ticket in the grandstands section 31, and found a somewhat cheap pair of tickets for the row directly behind me. Because these were in the grandstands with the old, blue, solid oak seats (circa 1934), I had to make sure there were no obstructions. I then referred to a valuable website called “Precise Seating” that shows you every detail of most of the seats at Fenway Park. The only obstruction I had was to part of the Green Monster, but the action on the infield was perfect!
Not only do they have amazing deals (especially if you have a AAA card), but there is a living legend that resides in that store at least 80 times a season. His name is Arthur D’Angelo. He not only owns the team store in part, but is one of the founders of ’47 Brand sports apparel and is known as the “Mayor of Fenway.” It’s slightly sad that most fans pass by and don’t know him, but he’s usually there sitting in his chair shaped like a baseball glove. When I met him, he talked about the team, likes telling stories, and if you’re really nice to him, he will let you take a picture of his 2004 World Series ring. What a true class act deserving of the title “Mayor of Fenway.”
The food: Two words: Fenway Franks. Yummy! The lines can be a bit long on Yawkey Way, but getting a couple dogs and a Polish sausage was well worth it. They are not too expensive, either.
The game: The Boston Red Sox had just won the World Series the previous year on the heels of the “Boston Strong” movement. The electricity in the city was about as intense as I had ever seen. The crowd was into it, the players were all emotional given that it was the one-year anniversary of the horrendous Boston Marathon bombings. One of those players was David Ortiz. He blasted a majestic home run into the right field seats that sent the crowd into an absolute frenzy, and he was emotional after coming back to the dugout. It really was that kind of game.
Before I end this post, I just want to extend my thoughts and prayers to those that were affected by the Boston Marathon bombings in April, 2013. So many lives were lost, and we really came together as not only a running community, but also a nation. Thank you to everyone who went above the call of duty to make Boston a better city. For one weekend, we were all “Boston Strong” and we all ran as one.