A Day at Boston’s Fenway Park Wasn’t What I Remembered
One recent Sunday, everyone in my life had something better to do than to spend time with me. Fine. I had my own adventure, and what an adventure it was.
I'd lost interest in Major League Baseball in recent years after decades of being a Red Sox fanatic. The game was different for me. It had become more self-centered, and then politics reared its ugly head.
That can be said of all professional sports these days.
I always looked to baseball, perhaps more so than any other sport, as a form of relaxation after work and dinner each evening. I missed that.
So on that fateful Sunday, I decided to relive a moment from my younger days and ventured off to Fenway Park by myself to see the Red Sox host Mookie Betts and the L.A. Dodgers.
As one who enjoys the "whole" Boston experience, I parked at the Quincy Adams MBTA station to take the Red Line into the city. The Red Line from Braintree to JFK-UMass was down, so I had to board a bus to JFK. No problemo.
From JFK, I rode the T to Park Street and the Green Line bound for Kenmore Square. I met a family from New Bedford while waiting for the subway. That always seems to happen.
By the way, a young man stood up and offered me his seat on the subway. He must have thought I looked pretty old and needed to sit down. I smiled, thanked him and declined the offer.
It was a sunny day, so I thought I'd grab a $5 seat in the bleachers to enjoy the game, just like the old days. Well, $59 later, I took my seat among the bleacher creatures. As I gazed on the field before me, I could almost see images of Yaz, Freddie Lynn, Jim Rice, Dwight Evans, Pedro, Papi, Tony C. and Bob Stanley.
Then the damn sun got in my eye and caused it to tear up a bit.
Since I hadn't taken out a loan on the way to the ballpark, I decided to put off eating until the ride home. Besides, I'm on a diet anyway.
Fenway Franks and peanuts and popcorn are not favored by the modern Fenway faithful. Eating at Fenway Park now means avocado fries, crabcake sandwiches, nachos and maple bacon burgers.
Many Sox fans have ditched the plastic cup of beer in favor of a Spicy Watermelon Margarita or a Lavender Lemon Drop. There were flavored alcoholic beverages in cans that I'd never heard of before.
Gone are the days of Sherm Feller's magical organ to set the mood during games. Sherm, now deceased, has been replaced by hip-hop player walk-up music and a bevy of loud sound effects.
The game is faster now with time clocks, shorter commercial breaks and new rules intended to speed things up. It seems the charm is gone. When the scoreboard door opened during a break in the game I almost expected to see Manny Ramirez walk out. He didn't.
Those days are over for good.
I couldn't wait to return to Quincy Adams and my car for the ride back down Route 24 to home. Isn't there a Dunkin' and a service plaza on this road?