By J.S. Fletcher and Kathy M. Newbern ©2012
Addendum to Le Boreal – 19th in the Series
Fenway Park in Boston, MA, is not only a baseball icon, but an American one as well. Starting in 1901 as one of the original franchises of the American League, the first team was actually called the Americans. After winning league championships in 1903 and 1904 – lead by pitcher Cy Young, the Americans won the first modern World Series, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The team was officially named the Red Sox in 1907 and has worn red stockings ever since. It is said that the spelling “Sox” resulted when newspapers shortened “Stockings” to fit in headlines.
We visited the ballpark about a year ago the night before the start of a 10-day cruise aboard Le Boreal, a contemporary small cruise ship from the French company Compagnie du Ponant. The cruise began in Boston, MA, and took us along the United States’ Northeast coast, into the St. Lawrence River, up through Canada, ending in Montreal. You can check out our earlier stories on Boston and starting the cruise: Getting to know her; It all began in Boston; Everything’s ducky on the Duck Tour; Check out the hip scene at Bond Restaurant; and Langham Boston Chuan Body + Soul Spa.
Visiting Fenway is likely on any baseball fan’s checklist of ballparks to see, and we were filled with excitement. Boston was playing Tampa Bay. Earlier in the summer we went to a Durham Bulls game The Bulls are The Rays’ Triple-A farm team in Durham, NC. Another trip, we had peeked in at Fluor Field (which boasts a replica of the Green Monster) in Greenville, SC, where Boston’s Class-A team, the Drive, plays.
Our excitement built as we walked the Boston streets in a noisy crowd of people heading toward Fenway. The Stadium lights cast a heady glow in the night air, magnified by the drizzle of rain that had begun to fall. We had prepared well, packing our reliable and compact CNN ponchos, purchased in Atlanta while visiting the studio. However, it was colder than we expected, so we ducked into a shop and bought two hooded jackets, which you will see throughout our Le Boreal slideshows, as well as this one.
The first view of the stadium did not disappoint, nor did the view of the inside, nor the first glimpse of the field as we made our way up the ramp. Our seats were in the right field bleachers, a few yards from the foul pole. Maybe a home run ball would come our way. All of those first moments were worth the price of admission.
The rain let up a little as we took our place in what seemed to be the smallest seats we’d ever sat in at any entertainment event. Across the outfield was the signature feature of the park: the Green Monster. How many times had we seen it on TV? (countless) How big was it? (thirty-seven feet, two-inches) How impressive was it? (rather disappointing actually) But we are not professional baseball players trying to hit it. Only one batter did the night we watched.
The ballpark food was good and diverse. The beer lines were long. The whole of the concession areas was impressive and festive. Of course, Red Sox paraphernalia was for sale, but so were commemorative, collectable items featuring great players like Ted Williams. There was also a section. That so many people watch the game on the TV screens under the stands surprised us – but it was a cold, rainy night.
There was no lack of fan support for the team. These folks in Boston love (and sometimes seem to hate) their team. That’s great, because they don’t hold back. Nor should they: theirs is one of the storied ballparks and franchises in sport.
Some info on Fenway:
- Opened: April 20, 1912
- Capacity: 37,400
- Green Monster was build in1933.
- Light towers were installed and the Green Monster was painted green in 1947.
- The Green Monster Seats were added in 2003.
- A statue of Red Sox legend Ted Williams was dedicated in 2004.
- The “Curse of the Bambino” was debunked when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004.
- They won it again in 2007.
There’s no doubt about the quality of players who have played for the Boston Red Sox. The organization’s team hall of fame totals more than 70 players capable of playing on any Major League squad when they were in their prime. But if you take the number of those players who played under the Red Sox banner currently listed in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, it is something to behold.
Here’s a short list of notable Red Sox players who are inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the years they played for the team.
- Cy Young – 1901-08
- Tris Speaker – 1907-15
- Babe Ruth – 1914-19
- Lefty Grove – 1934-41
- Jimmie Foxx – 1936-42
- Ted Williams – 1939-42, 1946-60
- Carl Yastrzemski – 1961-83
- Dick Williams – 1963-64
- Carlton Fisk – 1969, 1971-80
- Luis Aparicio – 1971-73
- Juan Marichal – 1974
- Jim Rice – 1974-89
- Fergie Jenkins – 1976-77
- Dennis Eckersley – 1978-84, 1998
- Tony Perez – 1980-82
- Wade Boggs – 1982-92
- Tom Seaver – 1986
The Red Sox have fallen on hard times over the last couple of seasons, crashing in September. They lost the game to the Tampa Bay Rays on the night we saw them play, but their fans are some of the most dedicated, demanding and opinionated – some might call rabid – in all of professional sports. Hooray for them that they have a team like the Red Sox to cheer on.
Regardless of which team you root for, if you are ever in Boston during baseball season, go to Fenway.
For more info on Fenway, the Red Sox, tours and tickets, go to RedSox.com.
If you enjoyed this story, you might also enjoy:
• Other stories by Newbern and Fletcher
• Other Stories by JS Fletcher,
• Stories by Kathy M. Newbern, Luxury Travel Examiner
International Travel Examiners J.S. Fletcher and spouse, Kathy M. Newbern, report on luxury destinations, spas and cruising around the globe. They are award-winning members of the Society of American Travel Writers and created YourSpaReport.com and YourNovel.com, their personalized romance novel business.