World Series 2013 & Fenway Park: A perfect place for baseball season to end

One aspect of the 2013 World Series thst may be overlooked, but has a major impact on the outcome is Fenway Park. Photo: Boston's historic Fenway Park (plus.google.com)

CHARLOTTEOctober 30, 2013 – In 2004, the Boston Red Sox ended the dreaded Curse of the Bambino after 86 years of frustration when they swept St. Louis in the World Series. Nine seasons later, baseball’s final game will be played in Boston for the first time in 43 years, and the Sox can win it at home for the first time since 1918 when Fenway Park was just six years old.

Baseball fans may love or hate the Red Sox, but the iconic ball park that Boston calls home is a national treasure. Fenway Park opened on April 20, 1912 with an 11-inning, 7-6 victory over the New York Highlanders, who became the Yankees the following year. It was overshadowed by the continuing news of the Titanic which sank in the North Atlantic just five days earlier.


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Today, Fenway is the oldest ball park in the major leagues. The landmark little bandbox with its towering 37-foot wall in left field, affectionately known as the Green Monster, is a link to the heritage the sport so tenaciously treasures.

How appropriate for the ghosts of baseball lore to reappear during the Halloween season in the very place where Babe Ruth’s curse produced nearly 90 years of bittersweet memories for the Red Sox.

Every fan, no matter how old or how young, has the same feeling of awe the first time they walk up one of the ramps that magically reveal the plush carpet of green that nestles beneath the historic “Monstaahh” in left.

When the first pitch is thrown Wednesday night, St. Louis will have the edge on the mound and both teams will put nine players on the field, but there will also be 35,000 rabid, championship hungry fans in the stands. And, by the way, Boston will also have one other major advantage; their beloved ball park.


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In 2001, the Boston Red Sox came under new management. There was much speculation that Fenway would be torn down and a new park would be built to accommodate a 21st century contemporary game. Ultimately, the new owners decided to preserve history by renovating rather than desecrating the park.

Fenway is old. Nothing can alter that. The steel beams that hold up the ancient roof are in the same places they were 100 years ago. The seats are narrow. It is a tiny park that is also a cathedral, a place where baseball thrives just as it did during the golden age of the game. Only Cooperstown can claim more history, but Fenway is different because it still breathes with 81 days of baseball every summer.

Fenway hearkens to a time that is fading into our memories like yellowed newspapers and black and white movies. It is part of our American sports legacy. It is a pinball machine in a video game era.

The scoreboard still operates by hand, just as it did in 1912. The fans want it that way. There is no organ blaring the theme music from Jaws or gimmicky contests between innings to keep fans entertained. None of that. In Boston, they come to see baseball not a circus. Fenway is the ideal venue for the entertainment. It does not disappoint.

To be sure there are traditions. The favorite comes late in a game when everyone sings Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. Okay, so it is New England. It does not matter. Sometime, not so many years ago, Sweet Caroline caught on with Boston’s fans and it has been a fixture at every home game since. It is part of the party that is the baseball pageant of Boston. The new inning never begins until Sweet Caroline is finished.

In tribute to the people of Boston, several teams paid homage to the city in April following the marathon bombing by singing Neil Diamond’s popular song.

The Red Sox were embarrassed in 2012, the 100th anniversary of their beloved ball park, when a talented team finished last in the division.

Some say the April attack unified the 2013 team, which most experts picked to finish last once again. In truth it began a month earlier when the players came to spring training with a purpose. They have been dedicated to a singular goal since the first pitch was thrown in Florida in late March.

Like the Red Sox, the Cardinals also have a rich baseball history. It is appropriate for two storied teams to finish the season in the historic confines of Fenway Park.

Baseball in October is special. Anything can happen and probably will. No matter who wins, do not overlook the quirky little park known as Fenway and the role it will play in deciding the new champion of baseball.

Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).  

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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com) and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.

 

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