One week ago, my sister and I watched a little girl fall in love with Boston baseball at Fenway Park. We were sitting behind a handsome couple and their super-cute little girls, and one of the girls said to her daddy “but we’re losing”. Her dad replied that it didn’t matter what was happening right now. He said that Boston could fall behind by six runs, and still come back in the bottom of the ninth with seven to win it.
Throughout the game, she watched. And in the end, after a game that included Ortiz’ 400th home run with the Red Sox, Boston did indeed win.
I have never heard the phrase “it’s not over til it’s over” more times in a ballpark. The fans’ faith, while tempered with an impressively realistic view of their players, was contagious and intoxicating.
That spirit reminded me of a battle fought nearby back in 1775…
Once upon a time in Boston – 239 years ago, to be exact – the colonial troops fought the experienced and well-armed British forces in what would come to be known as The Battle of Bunker Hill. The colonists lost that battle. But they fought hard and learned and went on to win the war. While some might want to bury the memory of a setback like that, the people of Boston built a 294-step memorial at the site.
(I know. I climbed it. My legs ached in a way that made me feel like a goddess when I reached the top.)
Setbacks can teach us a lot about ourselves and our opponents. The lessons we learn can give us new tactics. But looking at things in a broader sense can give us hope too. There are many battles, but the war isn’t over until it’s over.
So, on to my review of the Fenway Park. Simply stated, when can I go back?
Seriously, this was a great park. It is smaller than you imagine. It feels more vertical and close than other parks I’ve attended, which leads people to feel closer too, I think. We sat in the EMC Club on Saturday and then down on the field level on Monday, and I noticed that seating was rather fluid on the lower levels.
If there was an empty seat, you could take it. I noticed the people around us seeing people they knew across whole sections and telling them to come on over. They’d come watch the game from there for a while and talk and move on. It was quite a community thing and everyone was really nice, even though I was decked out in my Angels gear.
I suck at selfies. This is me trying to fit my head and Angels shirt in the same photo. *Shrugs* 🙂
Food: Everything in the club looked amazing. They do have a restaurant inside where you can order things like swordfish and filet and vegetable roulades. We were not all wanting to sit down to a meal though, so we ordered stuff at our seats instead (next time, that swordfish is mine).
My dad had a Fenway dog, which comes topped with chili, cheese, and sauerkraut (yum).
The Fenway Dog
The service was amazing, and the view fantastic. Down on the field level, we ate portobello “burgers”, lobster rolls (served cold with mayo), and fried dough (which is like funnel cake, but in like a whole chunk of dough).
No words, just yum…
There were also tons of gluten-free signs at the vendors, so it looks like you gluten-phobes could be very happy and well-fed.
Drinks: They serve Smithwick’s there. Nuff said 🙂
As far as the games go, I was happy for the home team on Saturday night. But I was happier for my Angels on Monday. That win felt good. The Angels went on to sweep Boston in four games and currently sit atop the AL West. Woo!!!
Not woo is what happened to Garrett Richards in what has been an amazing season for him. He tore his patellar tendon running to cover first base and is out for the season. So sad and definitely scary for him. Also scary for the team, as he has been a superstar and we were definitely counting on him through the post-season.
Whatever happened next was going to be vital. How would the team react? Well, they came together for the rest of the game and won in true team fashion. Getting up, dusting off after a setback, they reminded fans that it was not over until it was over.
Reliever Jason Grilli suffered a torn patellar tendon a few years back. He said of Garrett Richards’ injury, “It’s terrible, it hurts, it’s fixable… He’ll be back out, maybe even better. I can’t wait. Sometimes when things like that happen, you find the inner you.” – Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com.
As for baseball today, the Angels face Oakland for the second game of their weekend series. They lead Oakland in the division by a single game, so each win increases their lead by a whole game. Each loss does the opposite.
CJ Wilson is your starting pitcher tonight and he has a respectable record against Oakland. I’d be happy with some insurance runs though too, so let’s get those bats swinging, eh?
In LA this weekend are the Dodgers and Mets. Kershaw just won his 15th game in superhero-Kershaw fashion, and then Danny Haren did so well last night too.
Haren is a guy I’ve cheered on with the Angels and now with the Dodgers, but his pitching can be dicey. He had a losing streak going for a while, but has come back with four strong outings now. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com quoted Haren as crediting a change in game plan for the transformation, using his cutter less and focusing on his curveball.
Zack Greinke, who had been out due to elbow strain takes the mound tonight in search of his 13th win. Go Doyers!
In closing, I feel blessed that I get to watch this game and learn from it what I do. I feel lucky that I can travel and see other teams and fans. I feel blessed that I got to sit next to the cute family in Boston. It took me back to pint-sized Christie, learning about baseball for the first time.
Me, age 7 or so.
The first wager that this degenerate poker player ever made was on a Dodger game with my dad. I bet him fifty cents that the Dodgers would win. I can’t remember why he didn’t think they would win that day, but he took the bet. I, and the team, won.
When I moved to Orange County in 2000, I found an adoptive home at Angel Stadium and I totally fell for the Angels. I’ve cheered both teams now through winning and losing seasons, and while I do have a favorite, I’m not telling 😉 The game of baseball is bigger than that.
And that first taste of the nature of the sport – its ups and downs, its heartbreaks and exhilaration, the way it can bring you closer to the ones you love, and teach you how to handle life in general – that you just never forget.