Posted tagged ‘Fenway Park’

“A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.”

February 7, 2017

I am watching the Patriots and their duck boat rolling rally ride through the streets of Boston. Earlier it was snowing, and now it is raining, but the crowds don’t care. The fans are standing along the sides of the streets 20 or more deep. The players are having a wonderful time yelling, clapping and dancing. The confetti blowing all over makes it difficult to see but Tom Brady stands out. He is in the front boat holding the Lombardi trophy and waving, a huge smile on his face. The crowd loves him. Lots of school desks are empty today. Kids will remember this parade the whole of their lives.

Gracie is less reluctant to go down the back steps into the yard. She knows I’m there. I stand in front of her as she goes down front paws first one step at a time. She runs all over the yard glad to be off the leash.

When I was a kid, I followed the Red Sox and the Celtics. The poor Sox were hapless, and it was easy to get a good seat even an hour before the game. I remember sitting in a box seat behind the dugout, empty seats around me. The Sox, perennial losers, were not a great draw. I did see a moment in history when Bob Tillman, the catcher, tried to cut off Al Kaline stealing second and hit Johnny Wyatt, relief pitcher, in the head.

I listened to Celtics games on the radio. Johnny Most was the best announcer of them all. I used to hide my transistor radio under the covers so I could listen to the Celts play the L.A. Lakers, perennial foes. Even when the Celts were on TV we listened to Johnny Most. I still remember him screaming, “Havlicek stole the ball,” in the 1965 Eastern Conference Finals when the Sox were only a point ahead and Philly had the ball. I went to Celtics games as I could take the bus and the subway to North Station. They were often sold out. The Celts were perennial winners.

I have never seen the Pats live, but I have watched every game on TV. I’m okay with that. I get to stay warm and comfy. The kitchen and bathroom are both down the hall. I do love to go to Fenway especially for night games. It is a magical place with the green grass and all the lights.

My mother was not into sports and didn’t understand the rules of any game, but if we watched, she watched. I remember her cheering for the wrong football team, an easy mistake. We didn’t say anything. It was great to see her be a fan.

“Life is more fun if you play games.”

July 6, 2015

I’m melting. I’m melting. Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but only a bit. From wearing hoodies on July 4th to 84˚ this morning is a giant leap. The sun is brutal already. It is pretty to look at but that’s where the good part ends. It is just plain hot. Luckily this room is still cool as it doesn’t get sun until afternoon. It is a full 10 degrees cooler than outside. I will migrate to the deck when I finish here. If there is a breeze, it will find my deck.

At the park where I used to spend my summer days, the picnic table was in the shade under trees.The horseshoe pit was also in the shade just below where the table sat. The softball field was in total sun. Practice meant sweating all over including drips in my eyes and on my cheeks. I used the sleeves of my blouse to wipe my face. The sleeves got grimy, but I didn’t care. The slide got so hot in the mid-afternoons you chanced burns using it. The only water was a bubbler close by to the park. We taught Butch, the neighbor’s dog who followed us everywhere, to drink from it. We also taught Butch how to climb the ladder then slide to the ground. I spend most of my pre-teen summer days at that park. We always had plenty to do. I remembering painting flowers on a wooden tray for my mother. It was the best painting job I ever did. I bought gimp and made my father a key chain which he gushed over but never really used. It was well made but a bit gaudy and what adult male uses a gimp key chain? A couple of afternoons a week we competed against other town parks in baseball and softball. There was even a park column in the town’s weekly paper, The Independence. I love seeing my name in print and saved all of the columns which mentioned me. The park closed from 12 to 1 for lunch, and I’d go home, about 5 or 6 minutes away, eat lunch and sometimes even change my grimy blouse then it was back to the park until it closed at 4.

At the end of the summer we had contests then awards. I was the horseshoe champ a couple of years running. I also got awards for softball as our team was always first or second in the park league. I won the checker board award one year but only one year. I really loved going to that park. It was such a fun way to spend every summer day and having my name in the paper was my favorite perk.

“I see great things in baseball.”

February 19, 2015

The sun has appeared. The ice and snow are actually melting. How lucky for us it will get cold again tonight and all that water will freeze. We are on a treadmill. Last night there were flurries. Tomorrow night will be the coldest night yet. If I go to a dictionary to look up winter, I’m going to see a picture of the pile of snow at the corner of my street, the icicles on my house and my car stuck trying to get up the hill. Winter has been redefined this year.

Gracie and I are going out later. I need cream for my coffee and cat food. I also need food for my soul. I’m thinking of my favorite sandwich and a whoopie pie. We are going to the dump first as we never made it last week with all the snow. Gracie will be glad. Me, not so much.

I seem to be talking to myself a whole lot more since my involuntary hibernation, but I am not yet hearing responses. I figure if I do, I’m probably too far along the crazy spectrum to find it peculiar. I might even enjoy it.

My inside winter uniform never changes style. I wear socks, slippers (alternating between my two pairs), a t-shirt with a sweatshirt over it and kick around the house pants, mostly flannel. I am not dressed for company, but I don’t worry as I don’t expect any. I am wearing my Red Sox sweatshirt, the most hopeful sweatshirt I own. It speaks of spring and summer, a reminder that someday Fenway will be clear of snow, hawkers will be selling Fenway franks, and we’ll be hearing the crack of the bat hitting the ball and maybe, just maybe, watching the ball sail over the Green Monster.

“Hope is the thing with feathers-That perches in the soul..” I always think Emily Dickinson is right and her description perfect.

“Green was the silence, wet was the light, the month of June trembled like a butterfly.”

June 22, 2014

We have been blessed with perfect days and nights. The sun is warm during the day and the nights are cool for sleeping. The other night even got downright cold so I put an afghan on my bed. Fern slept on my hip which I hate, but as I’m asleep, I don’t notice. Gracie pawed the afghan to her side of the bed, turned several times counter-clockwise then curled up and slept on the afghan. I was cold.

Today I have a few errands then tonight it is the US versus Portugal. All of a sudden I am a soccer fan even though I don’t really know all that much about soccer, but I can surely cheer loudly when the US scores and groan just as loudly when their opponent do. Go USA!!

Growing up near Boston meant cheering for the Red Sox, whom you didn’t expect to win, and for the Celtics who always won. I don’t remember watching the Sox on TV, but I either watched or listened to the Celtics’ games. The CYO often sponsored trips to the Garden but not to Fenway. I went there by bus and the T, the subway system. Tickets were cheap and easy to come by day of game. The stands were never filled. I sat near the dugout several times. I knew the whole team by name and position. Even back then I was a baseball fan for a team that didn’t win a whole lot, but it was my team and that made all the difference. I don’t go to many games any more, once a year if I’m lucky. The seats are far too expensive, even the bleachers aren’t cheap, and when I add food, a Fenway frank is a must, we’re talking really big bucks; instead, I watch the Sox in the comfort of my house with the bathroom close and food of all sorts in the kitchen for the taking. It’s not as exciting as sitting in the ballpark, but it is a whole lot cheaper.

Every Sunday I call my sister in Colorado. I took a break here and went on the deck to talk to her. I was in the sun first as the shade was chilly. All too soon the sun shifted, and the deck got too hot for my feet so I moved to the shade. It was a sort of summer musical chairs.

I loved the deck this morning. The flowers in the clay pots on the rail are beautiful, and the birds were in and out at the feeders. The herbs in the boxes smell great and I rubbed my hand up the rosemary plant as that has the best smell of all. I can’t think of anything in summer not to like, even the rain.


“Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona.”

July 20, 2013

Unless they are all part of a vast conspiracy, the weather people are in agreement that today is it for this heat wave. Starting tomorrow, we can leave our caves and go outside to see the world. We can stop thinking we are all extras in an end of the world movie.

I remember the old days when you could buy the best seats in Fenway Park on game day. As kids, we took a bus and then the subway to Fenway to sit in the cheap bleacher seats for a Saturday afternoon game. In those days, there were a lot of afternoon games. My first night game was when I was 13 or 14. I’ll never forget how beautiful Fenway Park looked under the lights. The grass didn’t even look real. When I was in college, I went to many early season games, before college ended for the year and I had to go back home to the cape. Most of the games I saw were in May. My friend, who always got free tickets from his father, used to bring a picnic lunch his mother had packed for us. There were sandwiches, sweet and sour cucumbers, sliced carrots and always cookies for dessert. We had great seats every game: close to the field and to the Red Sox dugout. The park back then was never full or even half full. The Red Sox were not a big draw. They seldom ranked high in the standings, fourth was a good year, but I didn’t care. I loved baseball, and the Red Sox were my team.

It is really true that hot dogs taste better at ball parks. “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks,”  is still true for peanuts in the shell. I love the odd shapes of those shells, and how if you’re lucky you might just find one with three peanuts. The key, though, is cracking them without losing a peanut. As for other ball park food, I’m also partial to sausages with fried peppers and onions in a roll. As for drinking, I’m not a beer drinker which is probably sacrilege at the park, but a diet Coke works just fine for me.

Most years I take in a game or two. This year I haven’t been to one yet. I feel deprived. I’m thinking sometime in September when the weather is perfect for baseball. Go Red Sox! Hang in there. I’m coming!!

“As I grew up, I knew that as a building (Fenway Park) was on the level of Mount Olympus, the Pyramid at Giza, the nation’s capitol, the czar’s Winter Palace, and the Louvre — except, of course, that is better than all those inconsequential places.”

April 20, 2012

My friends and I had the best day yesterday at Fenway Park. It was filled with people wandering all over taking pictures, touching revered parts of the park and watching current Sox on the field and in the bull pen. All of us patiently waited in lines to see parts of Fenway usually off-limits, and most everyone wore something which proclaimed their allegiance to our home team. We touched the manually operated scoreboard on the green monster, watched Dice-K throwing and Bard and Buckholtz warming up. We saw Bobby Valentine, the new manager. All three of us sat on the little bench in the Sox dugout where Tito used to spend most games and went up in the elevator with Wally who was only to glad to have his picture taken. We found my brick in the Bill Monbouquette section by Gate B and sat in the pavilion seats with the best views of the park. We also sat for a while in the press box once filled with typewriters but now loaded with USB ports. This afternoon we will be glued to the TV to watch all the 100th birthday festivities starting with an entire park toast to Fenway, a toast hoping to make the Guinness Book of World Records. 100 years ago John Francis “Honey Fitz”  Fitzgerald, JFK’s grandfather, threw out the first pitch and the NY Highlanders lost. We’re hoping the final score will reflect that historic game.

I went out earlier as Gracie was barking, and I wanted to find out why. She was trying to jump the 6 foot fence around the yard to get at the loose dog on the other side. Twice she got her front paws on the top but couldn’t pull the rest of her over. I went down, grabbed her collar and brought her in the house. Her exertions were exhausting and Gracie is taking her morning nap.

Today is sunny but chilly, a typical spring day on Cape Cod. When we drove to Boston yesterday, the closer we got to the city, the fuller the trees were and some were already leafy. Cherry trees were in blossom. Our trees have small buds.

Gracie gets a trip to the dump today.

“Baseball was, is and always will be to me the best game in the world.”

April 19, 2012

It’s really early for me to be up let alone be working on Coffee, but we’re going to Fenway Park this morning. There’s an open house in celebration of Fenway’s 100th birthday which is tomorrow. For today, an off day for the Sox, areas like the bullpen, the dugouts and the left field scoreboard will be available for up close and personal looks. I also get to see my brick which is now a permanent part of the concourse. It’s like having a star at Grauman’s Chinese Restaurant minus the footprints. For the big celebration game tomorrow, the Sox and the Yankees will be wearing throwback uniforms. In 1912, the Yankees were the New York Highlanders, and they lost 7-6 in 11 innings. I hope the Gods of baseball will smile on the Sox in celebration.

I have loved baseball for as long as I can remember. When I was young, I watched my friends play little league at the field near my house. It had dugouts and a screened backstop and bleachers on both sides of the field. Every Memorial Day, the little leaguers marched in their uniforms, those old, bulky wool ones just like the uniforms the Sox wore. The little league teams were named after teams in the major leagues, and there was a draft day every spring after tryouts.

I loved the old uniforms with the high stirrup colored socks and the white socks showing on the sides underneath. Names like the Red Sox and the White Sox made perfect sense back then. A few players still wear them that way now, and I like the look.

Baseball was easy to understand: three up, three down and nine regular innings. The nuances I learned as I grew older: things like a squeeze play, the infield fly rule or a Texas leaguer.

I will never forget my first game at Fenway Park. It was a night game, and I walked out of the concourse near the bleachers and saw spread out in front of me the greenest grass I’d ever seen. It seemed to sparkle from the lights lit around the field. It was glorious.

“When we lose Fenway, we lose the sense that somebody sat here and watched Ted Williams hit.”

December 26, 2011

The sun popped out, took a look at the day and went right back behind the clouds. The wind is blowing but the day feels warm at 40°. All of the animals are sleeping, and I think them wise. The day after Christmas is always a bit of a letdown. The anticipation is gone, and the wonderful Christmas music disappears off the radio. The tree gets lit every night, but its job is pretty much done. Today is, for me, a day to sit and look at my presents again and do little or nothing. I’m not even going to get dressed. Brushing my teeth is about the only planned activity.

My friends gave me a brick for Christmas but not just any brick. It’s a replica of the brick with my name on it which will become a forever part of Fenway Park when the bricks are laid in the concourse near gates B & C. This new brick walkway is part of the celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of  Fenway Park. I can’t even describe how excited I was when I opened my present. It’s about the best present ever, at least since I got my bike.

I have loved the Red Sox since I was a little kid. In those days the bleacher seats cost under a dollar, and day of game seats were always available, even for the best seats, the boxes right beside the field. When I was in college, the guy I was dating would have his mother pack a box (sorry!) lunch and we’d head to the park. He always bought seats near the dugout. A game at Fenway is like a game nowhere else as so many seats are close to the action. It’s almost as if you were on the field. Last year was a bust for my Sox, but, as always, we fans know the next year will be a better one. That has always been our mantra.

The sun is back, and the sky has patches of blue. It will be a lovely day after all.

“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”

August 5, 2011

The weather continues to be perfectly lovely. I can’t think of a better descriptor for a sunny day of 73°, but when I use the word lovely, I always feel as if I’m a character in a British novel of manners.

Last night, had the Red Sox won, the evening would have been a perfect. It was baseball weather, the stands were filled, I had my sausage sandwich with onions and peppers and I got to walk on the Fenway field carrying the Ghanaian flag. We, returned Peace Corps volunteers, were part of the  pre-game ceremony honoring fifty years of Peace Corps. We walked onto the field in single file carrying flags from Peace Corps countries and stood ringed around the field from the scoreboard to the bullpen while a clip about President Kennedy played on the jumbotron, the anthem was sung, the first ball was tossed and play ball was shouted. We walked off the field in single file still waving our flags. All of us who attended the game sat in a block in the bleachers wearing red t-shirts with the Peace Corps logo on the back and, “Life is calling. How far will will you go?” written on the front. We were easy to spot.

Today I am attending a birthday luncheon for a woman turning 90. If you met her, you couldn’t correctly guess her age. She is one of those eternally young people. Her sense of humor is wry, she misses nothing and her exuberance for life makes me smile. Louise loves jokingly harassing people. I am often her target, and I return her harassment with a good comeback, and off we go, back and forth. Louise is a big Red Sox fan, and we often talk about the last game we watched, and we bemoan every loss and shake our heads when discussing the likes of John Lackey. I hope to be as bright and funny as Louise if I turn 90. Come to think of it, even next year I’d hope to be as bright and funny as Louise. I guess I’m going to have to start remembering why I’m in the kitchen.

“Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses, A box where sweets compacted lie.”

May 7, 2011

The morning is beautiful, sunny and warmish. I woke up to the sound of the lawnmower next door. It reminded me of every Saturday morning all summer. The lawn now is lush and green, the way it is only in the early spring before the heat of the summer sun finds it. As I write, it is being mowed and trimmed. Gracie is an interested spectator.

Last night from the bleachers I watched the Red Sox get thumped by the Twins. I ate a Fenway frank and shared some popcorn. It was fun being back at the ball park under the lights, but I would have preferred to see them win or even stay close. They have one more game to impress me as I have tickets in August.

I had Rice Krispies for breakfast this morning. I should have been sitting on the rug in front of the TV watching Saturday morning cartoons instead of reading the papers while I ate. They still snap, crackle and pop.

I can see the leaves on the oak trees. They are finally catching up with the other trees in the yard. In the front garden, many of the perennials have appeared. They make me want to buy my flowers and my herbs. That’s always a favorite shopping spree. I walk along the rows of flowers dragging my little red wagon behind me as I fill it. This is a red and pink year. I have plenty of white flowers. My friend, the garden maven, gave a list of plants to add to my garden this year. She has well over a hundred varieties in her various gardens so her advice is welcomed.

Later, I’ll venture to the deck and sit in the sun. The few errands I have can wait until the day is cooler in the late afternoon. I just can’t imagine wasting a warm day with blue skies and a gentle breeze.

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