Sunday, July 26, 2015

Day 8: A Day at the Ballpark

After a long day and late night, we slept in a bit on Friday. We headed out about 10:45 am, hoping to catch the 11:00 tour of Fenway.  (Our hotel was a block and a half from the park.) Of course, the 11:00 and 12:00 were sold out. We got tickets to the 1:00 and walked up to Kenmore Square to shop and have lunch.

After spending way too much time in the Boston University Bookstore, perusing Boston Terrier merchandise, we walked across the street to Eastern Standard for lunch.  The bartender at our hotel had recommended it, so we just had a seat...didn't even look at the menu. That was a mistake, but the kids took it in stride.  They even tried the fried shrimp.  Kyle got a cheeseburger, Kyra got a grilled cheese (both fancy schmancy versions) and we survived a menu filled with unpronounceable food items. This is the server's station, for crying out loud.

The tour at Fenway was worth it.  The history is great as is the fact that they've maintained the stadium.  I didn't realize it was slated to be torn down recently. The blue seats are original from 1934.

It's a nice view of Boston, but I don't think it compares to the view at PNC or Busch Stadium (it pains me to say that.)

Fascinating little tidbit: in the original stadium design, the bleachers were actually a separate building.  Fans had separate tickets and were not actually in Fenway Park.

The other bit of history that I found especially interesting was the single red seat out in right field.  It is there to commemorate the longest home run hit at Fenway, a 502-ft shot by Ted Williams back in 1946, and it hit the guy who was sitting there right to on the head. It's just a normal seat; anyone can sit there.  It was left empty for the remainder of the season after Williams died, in honor of him.  It's stories like that that make me love baseball.  

At the end of the tour, we had the chance to wander through a museum, which among all sorts of Red Sox stuff, houses a collection of baseballs, signed by each World Series Champion team from 1920 through the present.  Can you guess which year this is?

After our Fenway Tour, we decided to just go sit back at the hotel and relax for once. Plus we had to do the dreaded packing up because we needed to leave early on Saturday to make it to Pittsburgh in time for batting practice at PNC.  

We got to Fenway as they were opening the gates. The crowds were crazy.  The streets we filled with people and the random person who was crazy enough to try to drive through there.  It was really a fun atmosphere. We sat out in center field, right next to the Green Monster.  The people around us were friendly and fun. Jason managed to snag a home run ball during batting practice, which made my night. 

Yes, beer is expensive at Fenway ($9 for a 12-oz Bud Lite, or surprise IPA when the concessions lady gets annoyed with the guys in front of you who are trying to buy more beer than they are allowed.). But a helmet of popcorn is $8 with free refills all night, and the souvenir soda also has free refills all night.  And it was good popcorn.   

The Red Sox won it in 11 with a dramatic play at the plate.  It was a good thing too, because it was late.    We walked back to the hotel and I was so glad that we hadn't driven.  It was a zoo.  

We had a great experience at Fenway.  I'm so glad that we can check that one off of the list!

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