Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Phillies Room Visits Fenway Park, Sits in @Section_36!

Twilight in Section 36
Giants 6, Phillies 5
Game 123 - Saturday Afternoon, August 16th in San Francisco
Record - 54-69, 5th Place, 15 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  While we were taking in the sights and sounds of Boston, the Phillies let a game slip away, losing to the Giants 6-5.

What It Means:  It was easy to miss these weekend games with the Giants.

What Happened:  Everything seemingly unraveled for the Phils when a sixth inning popup dropped between Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.  Michael Morse hit an RBI double following the botched play, starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick stormed off the mound before manager Ryne Sandberg had reached the mound and everything unraveled from there.  But this post will focus more on the Red Sox than the Phillies . . .

2014 Topps Red Sox #BOS-11
Featured Card/Field Report:  We finally made it to Fenway Park!  After years of trying to schedule a visit to our friends Dan and Beth, we were able to make the trip north to meet their new twins and spend some time getting to know the great city of Boston.  I could easily fill this post with a slide show of our day and a half walking around Boston Common and Boston Public Garden, riding the Boston Ducks or eating at one the best Italian restaurants I've ever experienced (Dolce Vita Ristorante), but since this is not a travel blog, I'll stay focused on our trip to Fenway.

We arrived at the ballpark plenty early, and killed some time with Frito Nachos, adult beverages (for the adults) and veggies and ranch dressing (for the kids) at Loretta's Last Call.  We lined up around 5:15 and shuffled into the outfield bleacher section around 5:45.  Having previously read up on the Best Section in Fenway, I knew I wouldn't be disappointed with our seats in Section 36 or the view of the field.  I definitely wasn't on either count.

Both our sons (Doug, 7 and Ben, 4) were properly equipped with Red Sox hats, and Doug proudly wore his new Shane Victorino Red Sox shirt.  He was disappointed that Victorino's injuries precluded him from playing in the game, but he got over that quickly once he took in the wonder of the ballpark.

To cut to the chase, we had a fantastic time and I've included some photos of our night below.  Here are some other observations and memories from our first trip to Fenway.  We definitely hope to be back soon.

- The ballpark is old, but it didn't feel old.  Wrigley field felt old to me when I visited in 2002.  Old Yankee Stadium felt really old to me when we visited in 2005.  Fenway didn't feel old.  It seemed clean, the seats were comfortable and not once did I miss the modern amenities found in some of the newer ballparks.

- We need to book a ballpark tour for our next visit.  I dropped the ball on this one, not realizing this is something that should be booked in advance.

- Phillies Franks are way better than Fenway Franks.  No contest.  I'll branch out and try a few other options during our next visit.

- Sam Adams beer tastes better in Boston.  It tastes pretty good every else, but it tastes better in Boston.

- A 7-year-old boy and a 4-year-old boy will both sit contentedly and eerily quiet for three to four innings if presented with a plastic Red Sox helmet filled with popcorn.

- Doug added to his growing Topps team set collection with the Red Sox team set and he started his Yearbook collection with the 2013 Red Sox Yearbook.  He was particularly happy to see that Grady Sizemore had earned an entry within the Yearbook.

- There are a ton of souvenir stores surrounding and within the ballpark.  They all carry pretty much the same stuff.  I passed on buying a $2 8 x 10 of Jonathan Papelbon on the clearance table of one of the stores.

- David Ortiz's 400th home run as a member of the Red Sox landed in front of us.  We think we can see ourselves cheering in the crowd shot within this video.  We're in front of the two yellow neon signs being held by two girls in back of us who were both attending their first Red Sox games.

- Both our sons were completely floored by the Sweet Caroline sing-along (bottom right) following the top of the eighth inning.  Doug giggled throughout the entire performance as it was truly a sight to behold.

- The Red Sox are now 1-0 in games I've attended.

- Thanks to Section 36 for guiding me to the best section in Fenway.  We'll be back!


Section 36 said...

Great post! Glad you had a good time. You picked a perfect game.

Steve F. said...

Nice pictures--it looks like a fun trip! We also vacationed in New ENgland this summer but didn't get to Boston--but I did get a cool t-shirt that says "Green Monster Seats ---> ". It's a nice, no-license-required t-shirt that is 100% Fenway without saying Fenway or Red Sox (and thus was just $9.99).

Jim said...

S36 - Can't wait for our return visit. We'll have to coordinate our schedules better.

I really wanted a Fenway shirt but I couldn't justify parting with $40 for a t-shirt from one of the "official" souvenir stores.