Jul 24, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Felix Doubront (22) comes out of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays during the seventh inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Best Ballpark on Earth


There was no baseball in Fenway Park last night as the game was postponed to Monday at 6:10pm.

But there was a game there this past Monday and I was in attendance. My cousin and I took his oldest son to his first Red Sox game! Even though the Sox ended up losing, it was such a sweet rite of passage for a young Red Sox fan. And not only that, I sat in the red seat! I didn’t even try to get it; I simply picked seats on StubHub. (By the way, StubHub is awesome. I left my tickets at home and didn’t realize it until I’d been driving for hours. But I called them and they reassured me that I could print them again. It was so awesome to talk to a person and I wasn’t even on hold very long!)

What’s the red seat you ask? In bleacher section 42, row 37, seat number 21 is red, not green like the rest of the bleachers. It is there to mark Ted Williams’s longest home run at Fenway, which traveled an amazing 502 feet. At the time, June 9, 1946, the area was filled with actual bleachers, not seats like they are today.

Before the game, many fans came up to me to get a photo of the seat. I was more than happy to move so they could get a shot. Where else can complete strangers kick you out of your seat and you’re more than happy to oblige? It’s just a tiny part of why Fenway Park is America’s Best Loved Ballpark. I could wax poetic about that beautiful and peculiar shade of green, the long, rich history of the park, or the old-fashioned scoreboard. But what I really enjoyed this time was the sense of place. When you’re in Fenway Park, you know you’re somewhere special. You might have had a long day at work, had to drive into the city, struggle to find a parking spot, and walked for blocks. And it’s all worth it. The Sox didn’t even win the game I attended but I enjoyed my time at the Park regardless.

The family sitting next to me was from Florida. When the Sox were losing, the bats completely lifeless, and the innings were running out, I heard one of the kids ask to leave. The father told them that they might never get back to Fenway so they should stay to the bitter end. I like that outlook. Those of us who don’t live in Boston and don’t have an easy time getting to the game (I drove for 6 hours!) have to savor every moment. Even if I end up with my dream job (something along the line of becoming the Jackie MacMullan of Red Sox baseball) and own an apartment on Beacon, I’ll still enjoy every inning I can see in person.

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  • Paul Prims

    Great column Michelle. I agree with the aura about the place that you speak of. The fact you got the red seat by not trying is a story about Fenway I can never match. And I have had many great experiences there having gone 77 times.

  • stephenepeterson

    Loved the post. Made me miss New England all the way from Virginia.