Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Today's post is the last one from our travelogue of Boston. Today we travel to Boston's storied baseball cathedral, Fenway Park. Our first stop was the hallowed (in our family) Yawkey Way Store. Gus felt that he needed to add to his collection of players' t-shirts. I pushed hard for Okajima, but he insisted on Pedroia:

A trip to the Yawkey Way Store was always in our plans, but we had heard that Fred Lynn would be making an appearance at a certain time, so we timed it so we would all be there at the same time. As the daughter of a crazed baseball fan and the daughter of the president of the A's Historical Society, I have met a lot of former baseball players in my time, and let me tell you, folks, Fred Lynn was the nicest, friendliest, most down-to-earth player I've ever met. Matthew told him that Gus knew who he was because they played Wiffleball in the back yard and took turns being different Red Sox teams, and Fred Lynn went into raptures about Wiffleball - how he played it as a kid, how learning to hit a Wiffleball taught him how to hit a major league curveball [who knew?]. He was so engaged in their conversation, I actually got uncomfortable for the people behind us in line. Oh how I love that Fred Lynn. Here he is [strangely cropped because of Gus's web-o-phobic father] with Gus:

Look how nice he looks!! And also, strangely, like Ted Williams. He looked like he could still trot out to the outfield across the street and play some innings.

Here is the fabled Green Monster, from the outside:

And from the inside:

Look at how beauteous this chair is!! This team is richer than Croesus and can't paint the seats in the park. I'm glad, though, because c'mon, look how gorgeous:

Look at the wonderful steps!

Here's the view from our seats. The teeny-tiny player at bat is Chicago White Sox designated hitter (and all-time MM favorite) Jim Thome:

I cheered (discreetly) whenever he came up, which earned glares from both of my Sox-o-centric companions, even though the Red Sox were winning by 11 runs.

The next day (our last in Boston), Matthew wanted to walk to the other side of Boston Common and take some pictures of Emerson College, where he got his master's degree. On the way, we were waylaid by the most crisply-played softball game I've ever seen:

We sat and watched these guys for a couple of innings. They were so fundamentally sound and so good at what they did that they were a complete pleasure to watch. It turns out that they were in a league of Boston policemen, firemen, and prison guards. Could they be saltier?? They were also friendly and nice. We lurved them.

When we got up to leave, the first baseman (the fellow on the phone above) asked Gus if he'd like a ball, and of course Gus said yes! Then, as we were walking away, the umpire (as crusty and scary an umpire as you'll ever see), said, "Come here, kid, and give me that ball" I thought he was mad at us and thought we were taking an unauthorized ball, but he said, "Here, this one's better." and handed Gus a brand-new one with a wink and a grin.

That's baseball in Boston.


Blogger CurlyGirl said...

The strangely cropped photo of Gus with Fred Lynn reminds me of Grandma and how she was always "cropping" photos! It sounds like a wonderful trip and I love how nice everyone is to Gus!

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

During the 1980 winter caravan, I met Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt, Dallas Green, Harry Kalas and Keith Moreland. I nearly peed myself.

8:38 PM  
Blogger diana said...

cg - wa ha ha! I forgot about that (momentarily!) - it's my 21st century high-tech homage to Mom. And yeah, adorable 7-yr-old boys decked out in Sox stuff bring out the best in people.

ks - wow. I can't even imagine. I spent some time speculating which one I'd like to meet the most - I guess Schmidt. I'd like to go out for beers with Green, though, and listen to him pontificate for a couple of hours.

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a fantastic tour through the land of baseball! The Green Monster is an essential landmark. Many of us feel that the Citgo sign is likewise a landmark, since it is roughly synonymous with Fenway Park. My husband disagrees. And about those seats - I would say that the organization saves its dough for things like snapping up other people's closers.

9:18 AM  
Blogger diana said...

suzanne - yeah, I'd trade the whole ding-dang fancypants CB Park for a decent closer. I miss the Vet anyway....

8:03 AM  

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