Sunday, May 04, 2014

Fenway 2014

The subtitle to this post should be:  Why Boston is still the best sports town in the US.

You'll hopefully be seeing another post regarding our trip to Fenway, as I've encouraged Shel to do a short one since yesterday was her first ever trip to Fenway as well as her first MLB game ever...this has been many years in the works.  LOL

A little background but only a little:  Most of you know our story and I won't retell it here, suffice to say we've been together nearly 20 years and something always comes up when I've tried to get her to a game with me.  Since my brother as well as good friend AA lived in the Boston area for many years, it was easy to give her an out by me going with one of them, even G and Cuz Aaron have bailed her out a time or two.   But now Bro and AA both have moved to Texas.  So as soon as Sox tickets went on sale, I went and bought a pair of good seats for a weekend I "knew" would work.
So with that weekend approaching, we decided to take Friday off from work, drive halfway down and spend the night in Portsmouth, NH (you'll hopefully see an All Things Zebster post shortly), then drive the rest of the way for the game on Saturday.  Everything is going along perfectly but then her cellphone rings at 3:00 in the morning Friday morning...her dad has been taken to the hospital by ambulance with chest pain.  Tongue in cheek, "Can you believe it?!"  She leaves for the hospital and I'm lying in bed with a huge dilemma -- Sox tix paid for, hotel reservation nonrefundable and two restaurant reservations.  What to do?  I do manage to fall back asleep and awake when she calls at 7 and says to be ready, she's on her way.
Her mom and other three sisters were with her dad, who was doing fine (turns out to be a very mild heart attack) and they're all "making" her go on her trip.  But still, can you believe it?!
I'll talk a little about the trip and share some pics on the other blog.  The game?  Oh, it was a nice day at Fenway, of course; and John Lester twirled a gem, striking out 15 (a career high), walking 1, giving up 1 hit and no runs.  Shel kept score...she's a quick learner.  Here's a pic from our seats
Big Papi, from about 30 rows back at field level

That's Big Papi, of course, who drew a walk during this at-bat but who later put one over the bullpen.  Johnny Gomes hit a grand slam over the Monster in the first inning, David Ross hit a solo over it later in the game; the aforementioned pitching of Lester and a very nice catch by Grady Sizemore.  She had a great time and saw an excellent game.  She'll share a few more pics later.

Oh, the subtitle, you ask?  As you may know, while this game is going on the Bruins are hosting the Habs at the Garden (which sits above North Station, which we came through on our way to Fenway) starting at 12:30.  There's an extra place on the manual scoreboard of the Green Monster to add a non-MLB score.  So periodically the scorekeeper would be updating the Bruins/Habs game as well as the fact that obviously many in the park were listening to the game on various devices.  So either because of that or the scoreboard changing, you'd hear a cheer or groan go up at Fenway that obviously had nothing to do with the Sox game.
So we knew going into the 3rd period that the Bruins were behind 3-1 (they "couldn't" lose both of these home games), and you could feel some tension as a result in the park, despite the fact the Sox had their game well in hand.  Well, suddenly you started hearing pockets of cheers at Fenway and you could hear folks around saying "they scored" and "they tied it up!"  What was greatest, and I hope there's video of it somewhere, is that at the end of a half-inning the scorekeeper comes out of the Green Monster wearing a black Patrice Bergeron sweater, and this guy is confidently and slowly strutting along the front of the Monster holding a big green 3 in his hand that he's displaying to the crowd; and when he places it on the scoreboard to show that 3 meant the Bruins had tied it up, the place went pretty bonkers (you have to remember that he keeps score and had been for the Bruins game from WITHIN the scoreboard).  So this was an awesome touch of theater to have him come outside to do it.  (I'm not smart enough to take a picture)
Then we start hearing more cheers and more buzz and more whispers that they've taken the lead.  Then an inning an a half or so after the first piece of theater, out he struts again.  He's not showing you the card but he's tugging on his sweater to make sure you can see the spoked B.  Then you realize he has the number 5 as he places it next to the Bruins and removes the 3 that went for the third period, meaning it was a 5-3 final...the place absolutely erupts!
So no, we didn't really miss the Bruins game at all.  What a memorable day at the ballpark!
UPDATE:  The post on All Things Zebster is written and the link is in the first part of this blog post.  What follows is a link to a NESN article describing the guy behind the wall.


The Huntress said...

Nice writeup. Hope Shel's dad is going to be okay. That had to be unnerving!

Brent said...

I concur with Huntress, my family and I hope that Shel's dad will be OK.

It is cool to see that the Boston market pulls for the home team, even when they are at a different sporting event. The history of the teams there are intertwined and it is cool that the fans understand that.

Makes the Boston fans a step above most fanbases.

Zebster said...

Thanks for the concerns, guys, and I'll pass it on to Shel. Her dad had a stint put in yesterday, which is going to help him a lot. He's doing very well.

Shel said...

My first game was fantastic and the added bonus with the Bruins playing made it all the more special. It's going to be hard to top that game... was very happy my family, including Dad told me to go.

Dad's stent, put in on Monday, is working better than expected. He is home and the circulation in his extremities is better than it has been in three or more years. Technology is a wonderful thing. Thank you all for you well wishes and concern.

tpubgu said...

Great write-up, Zeb. I read it when you first posted it and was envious of the seats you got as evidenced by your pic. Boston's a great sports town, and should be grateful they have such die-hard fans.