But no, you’re not getting the Queen video, though you probably should do! Yes, honest, the last Red Sox posting for the year, and if I can remember how to do it, I’ll change the blog back to something more ‘normal’ in a few days time!
Those who care about Baseball will probably already know who won the World Series, but for the few who dont, it was Boston! 🙂 It was a great series, which Boston won 4-2 in the end, with several outstanding performances, including the incredible David Ortiz, the only man now to have been involved in the 3 series won by Boston this century. He wasnt the only hero, just one of the biggest ones, but anyway…
Given that elsewhere, my friend Kate pretty much talked about the series, I decided my tribute would be what Fenway has meant to me over the last 25 years. So, with my permission, I’m going to re-post it here
Back in September 1988, I arrived in the US for the first time, lets just not mention how many times I’ve been there since, but its a few! :laugh:
Sheila and I flew into Boston, from London, collected the hire car we were having for the next 2 weeks, and headed into Boston, and our pre booked hotel, the only one that was pre booked for the trip. No, I have no idea which one it was, but it was somewhere near the bar that Cheers was based on, dont even know which area of town that was.
That night, after our meal, we started out on a walk before going back to the hotel, and ended up at (I believe?) the John Hancock Tower, which had one of these viewing levels, many floors above the ground. That night, in the (relatively?) near distance, I saw a sports stadium all lit up, so I looked at the display to see what it was. Yes, you’ve guessed it, it was Fenway Park!
Didnt mean a thing to me at the time, the only US sport I’d been infected by at that point was the NFL, due to its coverage over here on TV. But yes, that was the first mark that Fenway Park left on my life…but not the last.
Then when I was over for a while in 2003, I switched on a hotel TV, and discovered Baseball. For some reason I will never know, I got hooked, I assume its the fact it came across as a sort of cricket alternative (hitting the ball a long way with a bat), with so many tactical facets that grabbed me. As I was in Seattle at the time, I took the Mariners as my team, even though strictly, my first ever baseball team were on the opposite coast. If I’d only known better…
On one of the sports forums I went on, there was a discussion on which US stadiums you should visit. When it came to Baseball, two principally got mentioned, Wrigley Field…and Fenway Park, though I was told getting tickets for the latter was quite a challenge.
A few years later, I went to Wrigley Field, and yes, they were right, it was an amazing place to see Baseball live. An evening game at San Francisco was something quite special too, among my collection of stadia visited over the years. ironically, I’ve never been to a game at Seattle yet, but anyway…I would have done, but for a massive delay by American Airlines, but hopefully one day…
Lets go back now to 2011. For some reason best known to herself, Kate was quite keen to team up with me, when I was visiting Boston in September. James was too, and arranged my accommodation place, far better than many hotels in hindsight, but anyway…and yes, for one marvellous day, teamed up with both of us. Kate covered it brilliantly on the Forum, though I suspect its very buried by now.
One delight Kate had lined up for me, a game at Fenway Park. I think pre trip she told me I was going to see the stadium, but I assumed on a tour. Oh no, not only was this a seat at a game, it was in one of the nice areas, not one of the cheaper seats I tended to sit in. The stadium was incredible, an amazing experience, and visiting a nice in stadium restaurant, and then sitting in a nice seat, it was an amazing day, an afternoon game against Baltimore (the one stadium I havent been to, that James says I should visit)
Yes, they lost, it was one of those dark days of the September 2011 collapse, that cost Francona his job, and Boston their play off place. But it was early enough in September, that we didnt know that! Then came the Valentine disaster of 2012, lets just leave it at that.
I rated Farrell as a manager, and thought the Red Sox would be far better this year, but seriously, if you’d told me this would happen, I probably still would have laughed. But its been a joy for me, all season long.
Little did I know, when I saw Fenway Park for the first time, 25 years ago, that it would lead to this. But its been a great journey, and thanks, Kate, for taking me to that amazing stadium.
And that is why, despite being a Mariners fan, Fenway Park, and the Red Sox will always hold a special place in my heart.
Boston Strong! :-*
As I say, back then, if you’d told me that 25 years on, I would have seen a game live at Fenway Park, and celebrated their 3rd World Title in 10 years, I would have laughed at you. But now… I leave you with one of the highlight moments from the series, from the MVP, known as Big Papi, or more correctly, David Ortiz