The Boston Red Sox had ticket package holders waiting outside “The Absolut Clubhouse” at 8 AM Monday morning so they could get their chance to feel like a big leaguer and take batting practice on the field. Here is how the day went down:
6:00 AM: I depart from my house in New Hampshire. My brother will be taking part in the batting practice and his appointment is scheduled for 8 AM.
7:30 AM: We arrive in Boston to the scene of the sun rising. There is a brisk chill in the air, but that could not brush off the feeling of excitement. We wait in a line with other Red Sox Ticket Package Holders just outside of the Absolut Clubhouse.
8:05 AM: The Absolut Clubhouse doors open and we receive wristbands. Fans who will not be batting receive a gold band, while batter’s bands are purple. After checking in, we make our way to the back of the lounge. Joining a few other fans, we anxiously wait to get into the park.
8:10 AM: It is time to enter the park! We walk along the concourse until coming to a doorway that leads us into the visiting clubhouse. Inside, jerseys from various teams hang on the lockers. A photographer was positioned in the locker room so fans would be able to buy the pictures from the event online.
8:15 AM: We now make our way from the visiting clubhouse to the dugout. This is done via a big staircase. At the bottom of the stairs is a long tunnel, which leads to the dugout and then out onto the field.
8:20 AM: On the field, fans were divided into two lines. People who would be batting were placed in a queue, while people who would be watching could watch the festivities from the first-base side.
8:30 AM: After I watched my brother make contact with all five pitches thrown from the pitching machine (at about 50mph), we took a few photos in the home dugout. There was another professional photographer in there too.
8:35 AM: We made our way down the Red Sox tunnel and I noticed the batting cage area, which is about 10 feet down the tunnel was not being displayed. We then made our way up a staircase and saw the entrance to the Red Sox clubhouse. Sadly, we were not allowed access.
8:40 AM: Fans now had the opportunity to walk around and enjoy some of the attractions happening on the third-base concourse. Whether it was have their picture taken with the 2004 and 2007 World Series trophies or play some of the children’s games in Wally’s World, fans seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Fans also seemed to be taking advantage of the half priced food and beverage at the concession stands. A hot chocolate that would normally cost $4.00 on a gameday, cost $2.25. A chicken tender basket with fries that costs $8.75 on gameday costs just over $4.00. “This was the only time I could get two Fenway Franks and a chicken tender basket for under $10 at Fenway,” said one fan.
8:45 AM: After enjoying some food and beverage, fans could make their way up to the Green Monster where they could pose for photos and watch batting practice that was taking place down on the field.
9:00 AM: Most of the fans who had taken part in the 8 AM Batting Practice session were now making their way towards the exits. Many people had a days-worth of excitement before the clock had even struck 9:30 AM.
The Ticket Package Holder Batting Practice was smoothly run, and fans clearly enjoyed themselves. I did not see one person step up to the plate who wasn’t either in awe, or had a grin from ear to ear shining on their face.