Sunday, September 18, 2011

BEE #2&3: Fenway Perspectives

More of the quintessential landmarks in Boston are Fenway Park and The Green Monster.  I knew that I wanted to visit Fenway at some point in my five year stay in Boston and that my brothers have big dreams of coming to visit me so they can visit Fenway...but I didn't exactly expect to be attending not one, but TWO Red Sox games in my second full week at school!  With two games under my belt, I have now experienced Fenway from different perspectives...and I think I might need a Red Sox hat for Christmas if game attendance is going to continue in the future!

Game #1:
Field view from outfield bleachers
My first trip to Fenway involved four tickets that one of my fellow grad. students had to the Wed. Sept. 14th game against the Toronto Blue Jays.  The plan was for myself, my adviser, the new lab manager, and one of my adviser's other students to attend the game after work on Wednesday.  Of course, what they thought was a night game turned out to be a day game!  After much discussion, we decided that playing hooky (shhhh don't tell!) was acceptable to attend the Sox long as we all went back to work after the game and made up for the time missed by working in the evening!  We had seats in the outfield bleachers and it's from there that I got my first look at the Green Monster.

The Green Monster from the outfield bleachers
For those of you unfamiliar with baseball and Fenway Park, the Green Monster is the tall, green wall in left field.  When Fenway was built, the city road on the other side of the wall prevented them from building out, so instead they just built up!  The wall also houses the scoreboard, which is changed manually from inside as well as updates on other games happening around the country, which are manually changed by a worker who exits the wall through a door onto the field between innings.

In my first game I saw my first major league home run, ate an Italian sausage with onions and peppers (which I'm told is a staple), and began to learn the names of some of the Red Sox players.  Unfortunately...I didn't get to experience my first Red Sox win- they lost 4-5.  (Just to set the record straight- we did go back to work afterwards and I spent my evening training in the mineral separation lab..yay!)

Game #2:
My second Red Sox game came on Sat. Sept. 17.  Since I am in a new city, making friends and finding people to connect with has been a priority.  Therefore, I decided to attend an event for BU's Graduate Christian Fellowship group which meant...Red Sox Game #2!

Instead of having tickets already in hand, this time I experienced the "Game Day" ticket sales process.  We met up as a group at BU around one then walked over to Fenway, where we joined a long line of people hoping to purchase tickets for the 4:00PM game.  The Red Sox games have sold out for the last couple of years, so you have to get there early for any hope of getting a seat!  We waited in line for a couple hours talking and getting to know one another until they opened the ticket sales window.  When we got up to the front our choices were $90 seats or $20 standing room only tickets...we're poor grad. I'm pretty sure you can guess what we went with!  After we got our tickets we went straight into the stadium and sat down for a while in someone else's seats to rest up for potentially standing through the game!  This gave me a new perspective on the stadium that I'm sure I could never otherwise afford (note the padded seats...).
View from the padded seats in left field
Once the people came to claim their seats, we got bounced and stood in designated standing room for a while, until we eventually got to sit in different unoccupied seats.  Turns out we landed in a season ticket holder area, where people had chosen not to use their seats that day.  This gave me yet another view of the field, which frankly was my favorite because it provided a good view of the players up to bat:
View from left field bleachers
We had a lot of fun teaching the international students who were with us how the game of baseball works.  We also participated in the time-honored traditions of the seventh inning stretch and the eighth inning singing of Sweet Caroline (which evidently no one really knows the origin of).  A good time was had by all, even down to the Cracker Jacks!

The one downside is that I still haven't seen the Red Sox win!  They lost to the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday 3-4 in a bit of a nail-biter.  I guess there's always next time....

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