Metro, Featured Story

At Fenway, A Chance to Join Something Larger, Connect With Boston

There are few things that immediately scream “Boston” as much as the iconic Fenway Park. It is one of the most easily recognizable sights, with the towering floodlights visible from a large portion of the city. When visitors arrive, many already know of the famous baseball ground, one that has served as the home of the Red Sox since 1912.

Fenway Park is a must-see for anyone that finds him or herself in the city, especially college students. It provides an outing unlike anything else available, an opportunity to connect with thousands of other fans that are all there for the same reason, to walk through a time portal into a world from a century ago.

“Going there was the embodiment of the American culture,” Cristina Samper, MCAS ’18, said. “The monumental structure of the stadium, the one-on-one tension between the batter and the pitcher was something I’ll never forget … I loved the feeling of tradition, history, and the sensation of home that the game so accurately captured.”

Fenway has seen many of the greatest players to have ever graced the baseball ground play within its friendly confines, ranging from the immortals Babe Ruth and Ted Williams to Pedro Martinez.

Baseball fans in Boston have grown accustomed to seeing the absolute best the game has to offer on display on a nightly basis, and, in turn, the fans have repaid the team with a consistent attendance that sees the stadium filled to capacity for almost every home game. At one point, Fenway sold out a remarkable 794 consecutive regular season games from May 2003 to April 2013.

“Whether you’re 4, 14, or 24, we think if you spend one game at Fenway, you’ll become a Red Sox fan for life,” Adam Grossman, chief marketing officer for the Red Sox, said.

One thing is clear to those that live in the city and those that are simply passing through: the team and its historic stadium are and will continue to be part of the soul of Boston.

The atmosphere is evident even before actually entering the stadium—massive crowds of people pour out from the Kenmore and Fenway T stops and make the short walk toward the main entrance located on Yawkey Way. During the walk, one thing becomes clear: the crowds are Fenway—it’s what makes the experience different. Everyone is involved right from the start.

“Going to Fenway for the first time was an awesome experience,” Lauren Mushro, MCAS ’18, said. “I particularly enjoyed trying pretty much every item on the menu … we also got to see [Dustin] Pedroia and [David] Ortiz hit home runs, which was a perfect way to start off my Red Sox experience.”

Once inside, many things catch the senses: the tailored grass with its too-perfect-to-be-real green look, the red seats, the smell of freshly made hot dogs, the yellow shirts of the food vendors making their way through a sea of red and white in the stands, and, of course, the massive wall in left field adequately nicknamed the “Green Monster.”

The food is a big part of the stadium experience, and it is not limited to the traditional peanuts, beer, and Cracker Jacks that have become synonymous with baseball. The stadium now features items ranging from frozen lemonade, kettle corn, pizza, to even kosher options. There is something for everyone, should hunger strike.

The game itself tends go by in a flash—the excitement of a strikeout or home run by the home team, intertwined between spouts of friendly banter with away fans, more so if they are from New York make time go by faster than usual.

By the time fans realize they are taking part of a century-old tradition of singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” where the entire stadium stands up and joins in song. The same thing happens an inning later to the tune of “Sweet Caroline.” The emotion of this moment is enough to make even the most hardened individuals feel something within.

“When ‘Sweet Caroline’ came on, my boyfriend embarrassingly serenaded me,” Mushro said. “So naturally, I loved it.”

The whole outing is something that must happen in order to feel what the city is all about, a basic necessity even—without it, a Boston experience would be incomplete.


Featured Image by Juan Olavarria/ Heights Editor

May 4, 2016