Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fenway Park Tour, 2010

This Sunday, my friend Steph and I took an impromptu trip to Boston. We thought we were going to see our college field hockey team play in the NESCAC Finals, but our athletics website had a a typo, and it turned out that they weren't playing after all.

So there we were, sitting on Tufts' campus with nothing to do. We were watching the first half of the Tufts/Bowdoin game when I remembered that I hadn't redeemed my Red Sox Nation Fenway Park tour for 2010. Steph and I promptly decided we would leave at halftime and head to Yawkey Way.

I always forget that you can park on Yawkey Way when it's not a game day...

When we arrived, there was a bigger crowd than I had initially expected, but I was okay with that. Steph had never taken a Fenway tour before (she's more of a Pats fan), and the only time I'd taken one, I had gotten the handicapped accessible version (which did allow me to see a lot of the hidden areas of the ballpark), so we were both pretty excited.

Our tour guide was an older gentleman named Steve who referred to his 2004 and 2007 World Series rings as "chick magnets," and continually made jokes about the group of Canadian Naval officers on the tour, referring to them as "the whole Canadian navy."

When we reached the first stop on the tour, the EMC Club level, we were greeted with a view of the latest renovations, this time to the right field grandstand and right field box sections:

Last year, Tom Werner, John Henry, and co. replaced the damaged cement under the left field side, as well as painting the wooden seats and fitting them with springs so they retract by themselves when you stand up. This winter, the right field sections get the same treatment: the seats have been removed so that the cement can be repaired, and they will be returned in time for Opening Day. As I'm sure you all know, Fenway Park is the oldest Major League ballpark still standing, and it also boasts the oldest seats: these same wooden ones, installed in the 1930's.

The tour then moved through the park, and we were ushered through the Red Sox Hall of Fame:

Steve was quick to share that the late, great Ted Williams is a member of several different Halls of Fame: the Red Sox HoF at Fenway, the Baseball HoF in Cooperstown, the Fly Fishing HoF in Livingston, New York, and the Marine Corps. HoF at Quantico.

The tour moved on, through the bowels of the old ballpark, and on towards the Green Monster seats.

Of course, I'm much too poor to buy those tickets, so getting up on the Monster during a tour is the only time I'll sit there. That said, it is quite a view.

The tour wrapped up over in the left field infield grandstand seats, where Steve regaled us with anecdotes about the team's and park's history. I have to admit, I was dissappointed that the organization is still perpetuating the myth that Harry Frazee financed No, No, Nanette with money from selling Babe Ruth, when it's simply not true. Sure, it's a cute story, but spreading misinformation isn't going to do anything for Sox fans' reputation for being somewhat informed.

That aside, I was happy simply to be at Fenway Park once more, since I haven't been since returning to school in August. I also won't be seeing any games until at least late May, since my study abroad program is keeping me out of the country until then, so it was definitely nice to get a chance to bid the park adieu for now.

Oh, and I made sure to yell "SIGN V-MART" in the general direction of the front office on my way out.

[All pictures in this post were taken by me (Kayla Chadwick), but can be reproduced so long as you credit me as the photographer.]

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