For my 30th birthday I decided that I wanted to take a trip to watch the Red Sox play at Fenway Park in Boston. I had already watched a game at old Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field, and I wanted to complete the trifecta and be able to say I had seen a baseball game played at the three most hallowed grounds in all of baseball.
After my visit to Wrigley Field I felt that I would never be able to have a greater baseball experience. But everyone who had been to Fenway Park told me to just wait. So I looked at the Red Sox schedule and saw that the weekend before my birthday they were playing the Texas Rangers, my favorite team. It was really too good to be true.
Of course the game was already sold out, so I looked on StubHub for tickets and found some good seats down the third baseline close to the field. The best thing about StubHub is that if you are patient you can find good seats for reasonable prices. I was able to find two seats for not much more than face value. I bought the tickets to the game, I bought plane tickets, and a few weeks later we were traveling to Boston for the weekend.
The only negative of the trip happened on the day of the game, and it was out of everyone's control. The weather was terrible. It was a drizzly day, and despite the calendar showing the middle of June, the temperature was dropping into the lower 50s. If this happens to you, do not fret. You will still have the best baseball experience of your life. Dress warm and you will be fine.
We stayed in downtown Boston and took a train to Fenway Park. If you do the same be prepared for a packed train. Despite the fact that we were getting to the stadium before the park opened, the crowds were already gathering in large numbers. But that is what makes Fenway Park great. The fans really care about the team, and they show up to support the Red Sox.
I would suggest getting to the stadium very early. We waited outside the gates for about 30 minutes before being allowed into the stadium, but that allowed us to soak in the atmosphere and meet some other Rangers fans. Getting there early also allows you to enjoy the walk to the stadium. Fenway Park is so small it kind of just sneaks up on you as you walk up to it. But it is a thrill to see it for the first time.
For a baseball enthusiast, once you are inside, you are overtaken by the scene before you. Everything from the Green Monster to Pesky's Pole is right there before you. Getting there early allowed us to go down to the front row on the third base side and watch batting practice. Seeing the Green Monster with your own eyes will make even a grown man turn into a little kid. It is a lot of fun to watch batting practice as players send balls flying over the Monster. I would encourage first time visitors to take batting practice in down by the Green Monster.
But the highlight for me was the actual game and the fans. I love my Texas Rangers, but at many games the seats are empty and people are not focused on the game. Not true with Red Sox fans at Fenway Park. The fans are involved in every pitch, and the energy that is conveyed on television is multiplied at the actual game.
Because of the nasty weather and the fact that the Red Sox were losing most of the game, the crowd was somewhat muted. However, that does not mean the fans were quiet. When the Red Sox made a rally late in the game you could feel the ability of crowd to will the team to score some runs. The rally was eventually snuffed out, and there was a sense of disappointment that this was one of the few times that the Fenway magic did not work.
On your first trip to Fenway make sure to take time to take it all in. My friends that told me that my Fenway experience would be better than my Wrigley experience were right on the money. That is not a negative reflection of Wrigley Field, but rather a reflection of how superb Fenway Park and its fans are. In the stadium you get caught up in the old-time feel to the place. The concourses are small and crowded. Finding your section can be a little confusing. But that is all part of the charm.
The only thing I will change for my next trip to Fenway Park is that I will not watch them play the Rangers. Since I am a fan of the Rangers, I was rooting against the crowd. Do not get me wrong. It was fun to watch my team beat the Red Sox and hush that crowd. But on my next trip I would like to be able to join in with the crowd. Cheer when they cheer. Boo the same players they boo. I want to get wrapped up in the Fenway environment and get the full experience.
When you begin to contemplate a visit to a game at Fenway Park, be sure to get good seats and get there early. Take it all in. You will never regret the decision to see a game there. Whether you are a baseball fan or just a fan of sports in general, you owe yourself the ability to see a game in what I consider the best stadium in all of baseball. I have not seen them all, but I cannot imagine a place with a better combination of history, buzz, excitement, fans, and overall aura than Fenway Park. It is a special place that everyone should experience.
Find a way to get tickets and get yourself to 4 Yawkey Way as soon as possible.