Recently Cyn, the fine author of Toeing the Rubber, held a contest. I was lucky enough to be one of the winners of the Fenway Park: 100 Years as the Heart of Red Sox Nation DVD. I was pretty excited to be able to remember some fond Fenway memories after this season went into such disarray.
The DVD features two parts. There’s the Fenway documentary, and there’s the replay of the 100th birthday celebration. The celebration is the replay from April 20th showing the on-field festivities. One of the complaints I, and others, had at the time was that the players didn’t have their names on the screen as they walked onto the field, so you couldn’t tell who some of the players were. They either had to be ones you recognized, or you had to happen to catch the back of their jerseys. I’m told that NESN later aired a version that did flash the player names, but that’s not on the DVD. Watching the ceremony again, though, I’m actually glad the names aren’t there. This is one of those occasions where the name on the front of the jersey is much more important than the name on the back. I liked how the lack of names turned it into an endless stream of Red Sox history. They were all connected, with the only differences being the style of jersey they were wearing. You really got the sense that it wasn’t a collection of players and stars. It was a single team celebrating its ballpark.
The documentary itself is also great. I was surprised to see lots of footage I don’t remember seeing before in other places. I’ve seen enough Red Sox DVDs that all the stock footage has been used to death. It was refreshing that this DVD found some new angles. My one complaint was that a DVD on the history of Fenway didn’t focus on Fenway itself enough. It seemed like 75% of the video was a history of the Red Sox. I’ve seen that already. While the DVD did show other events that happened at the park, it could have been a lot more. I understand that the Red Sox are mentioned right in the title. But, this was a chance to go beyond that. The Patriots played there for a few years, with barely a mention. I would have liked to hear about playing football in a baseball park. What did it do to the field? Was it a good place to watch the game? What goes into holding a concert there? How did they put a hockey rink on the field? A soccer field? There is a lot of information about non-Red Sox activities that was glossed over. A missed opportunity.
But, naturally, this was still a great DVD, and I’m glad I was able to see it.
Thanks to Cyn for the contest!