Fenway Park is the long-time home of the Red Sox. How long-time? It’s the oldest major league park…ever. It’ll hit 100 years old in the near future, and I’m sure the plans for the celebration are already beyond belief. I won’t bore you with the history of the park. I’ll assume that if you’re enough of a Sox fan to stumble upon this blog, you have a pretty good knowledge of the park. But, what do I think of the Park? That you might not know.
I’m glad the current ownership group has kept Fenway, for a couple reasons. First, I hated the idea of building a new replica park. Just because a park looks the same doesn’t mean it is the same. Just because it was the same pole in right didn’t mean it was still Pesky’s Pole. I think Yankees fans are realizing that with their new stadium. Just because it looks similar doesn’t give it a similar feel. Plus, I just like history. If something old can still be functional, then I’d just as soon use it. Once the park was fixed up a bit, it made the experience all the better…even if I don’t like the new seats that automatically flip up when you stand.
Really, it’s the seats themselves that give the park its charm. I’ve sat in a variety of seats around the park. Some have been good, and some have been bad. A few places I remember sitting…
The last row of Section 39, right field bleachers. This is about as far away from the action as you can get. What made this worse was that it was an October night game. When you’re that high, the wind just beats on your back. Behind you at that point is nothing but a wall, about 5 feet high. So, sitting down you were fairly shielded from the wind. Standing up though, it cut through you like a knife. The view was nice and clean though, as long as you didn’t mind watching a baseball game being played by ants.
Right field box. These are the seats suckers get. They sound like they’re nice and close to the action, which they are. The odd part is, the seats don’t face any of it. If I sat normally in my seat, I looked directly out along the right field warning track. Very little happened on the warning track. To see any real action, I had to turn my head 90 degrees to look in at the plate. The problem with that, though, is that I had trouble convincing everyone else in the section to move so I could have a clear view. So, I spent all game with a crick in my neck, looking at the back of my buddy’s head. Not the best. I’m still not sure why, even in 1912, nobody thought to face the seats to the action.
Left Field Boxes, first row. These seats were the first row just past third base, directly behind the ballboy. The little door to the field was in front of my knees. The seats were pretty great. We could chat with the third base umpire between innings. It was a thrill to look back and see Steven King about 10 rows BEHIND me. I even got a foul ball. Ok…the ballboy handed me a foul ball, but still. The constant threat of line drive foul balls kept me on my toes a bit. The only problem with the seats? I couldn’t see a dang thing. The third baseman, pitcher, and first baseman were all perfectly lined up. So, the guy at third blocked my view of the pitch, and any play at first. The batter? The third base coach liked to block that one. Left field? Couldn’t see it around the corner. So, here I am in the front row and I can’t see the batter, the pitcher, or the first baseman. Huh? (I was reminded of people who brag about sitting behind the bench at a basketball game. I always thought the last place I wanted to sit was behind a row of seven-foot guys.)
Section 42, right field bleachers, second row. These seats wouldn’t have been too bad if they were a little farther back. But, at this row there are a couple issues. One was people crossing in front of you along the aisle blocking my view. The other was the fence to the bullpen. It was like paying to watch the game through a fence. I got used to it after a while, but it was fairly annoying. A few rows back though, and it would have been a great time.
Right Field Roof Boxes. These would have been pretty decent seats. They’re actually a lot closer to the field that I thought they’d be. It’s just a little higher than usual. Mine were before first base, so it was a great aerial view of the game. The only problem with my particular seat? It was behind the television camera…for the tigers. So, the view of the pitcher’s mound was through a camera just in front of me. It was a nice advantage that I could see replays through the camera’s viewfinder. But, it made the flow of the game a little choppy.
Section 43, right field bleachers, on the aisle. I never would have thought of being on the aisle as being a bad thing. If I want to get up for a soda, I don’t have to climb over anyone else, right? I guess I never realized, though, just how often everyone else in the park was out of their seats. It wasn’t even so bad letting people from my row out. It was everyone else walking up and down from their seats. The section is skewed slightly from the field, so I was looking almost directly down the aisle. Naturally, every time someone used the aisle, it blocked my view of the game. And, that was a lot.
Section 36, centerfield bleachers. Maybe now you’ve realized why I say the seats in section 36 have been my favorite. It was the only time I don’t think I had any complaints. The view is actually towards the field of play. (It may technically aim you at the Red Sox dugout, but just barely.) I liked being able to see the strike zone…even if from a distance. Very little of the park was blocked…maybe just the triangle. As long as you’re high enough to avoid people crossing in front of you, and in far enough to avoid the aisle, I can’t think of a better place to be.
Those are places where I remember sitting for games. I’m sure I’ve left some out. Anyone else have stories, or pictures, of places they’ve sat that they’d like to share?
F is for Fenway Park