Even though I was only a young boy, by the time I attended my first game at Fenway Park I was already a devoted and well-informed Red Sox fan. When I initially laid eyes on the lush green grass, the rich, brown infield dirt, and the imposing Green Monster wall in left field, it was so much more impressive than I had imagined it would be. If only I could say as much about the performance of the team each year.
To this day, that awestruck child in me comes out every time I visit Fenway Park, and for that I am grateful. Although this is baseball’s oldest venue, opened in 1912, they’ve added many improvements over the years, and I find it to be a generally wheelchair accessible ballpark.
A couple of weeks ago I took advantage of the special phone number that I can call for wheelchair accessible seating, and scored us a couple of tickets for game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays on October 5. The accessible ticket phone number allows me to obtain seats to games that are otherwise sold out already.
Kim and I had arrived early in Boston so that we could have lunch with our friend Randi. We chose a well-regarded restaurant near Fenway called Eastern Standard. After a delicious meal and an enjoyable visit, Kim and I walked over to the park.
I keep a spreadsheet (I wish I had a nickel for every time I started a sentence with those words) that lists all of the handicapped seats in Fenway Park of which I am aware. For each seat I have recorded information about the advantages and disadvantages of that location. I take into account the seats’ proximity to accessible bathrooms and food concessions, and whether the seats are under cover or exposed to the weather. I consider the quality of the view. Of course I also take into account the different prices of each seating option. So, whenever I call the ticket office I have my spreadsheet up on my computer screen ready for immediate consultation.
In the middle of the eighth inning at every Red Sox game in Fenway Park all 37,000 or so people come together to sing Neil Diamond’s hit Sweet Caroline. On days when the Red Sox are losing it provides some consolation. On beautiful summer evenings, it confirms our love of the game. In postseason games that the Red Sox are winning, it can make you at least temporarily believe that all is right with the world, and maybe, just for that moment, it is. Kim captured some of Saturday’s rendition on her iPhone. (If you’re viewing this through an email you may need to click on this link.)
As a dedicated Red Sox fan, I must admit that the satisfaction I gain from watching the Red Sox is at least partially dependent on the outcome of the game. I always have a good time at Fenway, but I have a better time when they win. This is not all that different from attending a play at your local theater. The act of dressing up and going out with wonderful people almost guarantees a certain level of enjoyment, but if the writing and acting is superior, and the play ends in a way that is satisfying – all the better.
There are so many things that I can’t do anymore, but going to Red Sox games is something I can do, arguably, even better than I used to. I say this because of my ability to obtain tickets to almost any game and my knack for securing free parking. So this is an activity we intend to partake of for years to come, money permitting, at least during seasons when they’re not horrible. They are rarely horrible.
Below are some pictures from trips to Fenway in previous years. Click on any of these pictures, or the pictures above, to see an enlarged version.