On September 29, 2002, I (finally) attended my first Red Sox game, and there's no better place to see a first game than
at Fenway Park!! When we were riding the T into Boston, call me crazy, but I swear it was Shea Hillenbrand's family
sitting right in front of us! There appeared to be parents and 2 kids, a guy and a girl (they all really looked
alike) and the kids seemed to be about Shea's age. The guy that I think was Shea's brother showed such a striking resemblance
to Shea himself! Then, they all started talking about getting free seats at Fenway Park and they said things sort of
like, "Last time, the seats he gave us weren't too good, but this time they're better" (or something like that.... that's
definitely not a direct quote!!!). They all got off at the Fenway station, while we got off at the next station, hearing
that it was closer to the park (and in a better section of the city) than the first station.
When we finally made it around to Gate A, I was already extremely excited! I finally got to see the Coke bottles,
touch (the back of) the Green Monster, and I was making my way into Fenway Park for the first time ever! After we got
in, I made sure to keep my ticket stub in a safe place so I could put it with my collection of ticket stubs from my favorite
experiences (like PawSox games, concerts, etc.). A man stood at the gate handing out Red Sox binders. Although
they were for fans ages 15 and under, my friend, sister, and I all got binders. Actually, my sister made the age requirement,
but she is a Yankees fan (there's always one evil one in the family!) and she didn't want the binders nearly as much as my
friend and I did. They're pretty cool binders- they're red with drawn pictures of Pedro, Nomar, Fenway Park, a baseball
diamond, and other pictures.
After we found our seats, I excitedly watched some of the Sox warming up on the field. I watched Nomar and Lou,
later joined by Trot, doing sprints on the outfield grass outside first and second base. I enjoyed seeing, for the first
time, Lou's ritualistic jump over the evil first base line. After they warmed up, Rickey Henderson was awarded with
the really nice, red Thunderbird (not like he couldn't afford to buy one for himself, but it was a really nice gesture) and
he took a ride in the back seat all around the perimeter of the park. Nomar and Lou played a little catch near the first
base line and Wally the Green Monster walked around greeting fans while the many people assembled to award various awards
to several people involved with the Red Sox and stuff like that.
When the game finally started, I was excited to the the Sox jump out to an early lead. However, while I was buying
my very first Fenway Frank (which was really good) the Devil Rays began to fight back. It was really an exciting game,
a lot of runs scored and a lot of action in every inning!
Casey Fossum had a brilliant performance. I got an excellent picture of the pitch coming off his fingers, I might
put it online, but i need to get a scanner first! I also have some pictures of people at bat, like Nomar, Lou, Varitek,
etc. I really enjoyed seeing Nomar's batting rituals in person. He's such a funny character in the batter's box!!
Anyways, I think Arrojo came on in relief and gave up a couple of runs. Promptly after that, a frustrated
fan walked around the park with his sign that read something like, "Fenway Beer $5, Fenway Seats $44, Fenway Bullpen- USELESS!"
Needless to say, that fan received a standing ovation.
Another Fenway regular ritual that I finally got to participate in was the great Wave that jumps over the Green
Monster and circulates several times. Later, when Lou was on deck, I brought my faithful sign to Fenway and I went down
to an aisle closer to the field. When he looked over in my general direction, I held up the sign, and I know I sound
like an obsessive stalker or something, but I'm just a huge Lou fan!! I think he saw my sign too, but I'm not 100% sure.
He didn't give me any clear signals that he saw the sign, unlike the time(s) when he waved to me at McCoy stadium, but this
was the big leagues and he didn't really acknowledge that he saw my sign.
Anyways, I was really excited during the 9th inning. The Red Sox had the lead and were looking to win their last
game of the season and hand the Devil Rays a loss, thus ending another truely sad season for any Devil Rays fan (if they're
are any out there.... sorry, that was harsh!!). With two outs in the bottom of the 9th, I gathered my Lou sign
and my bag that contained as souvenir Red Sox ball that i bought before the game started and a variety of other things I had
brought, including some baseball cards of some of the current Sox players and a sharpie marker.
While I was making my way down towards the field, the last out was recorded and the game ended. I was one of the
first people to run right down to the end of the aisle, basically right at the field, in the section I ran to on the third
base side. (oh ya, by the way- our seats were general admission about 5 rows from the back right next to home plate
on the third base side.) I was hoping to get an autograph from somebody. I figured, Hey, it's the last game of
the season, some of these guys can give up 10 minutes of their precious time and sign autographs. Who was I kidding????
The players and the owners and a variety of other people involved with the organization threw out some baseballs to people
sitting behing the dugout. I felt really bummed out, sitting there on the third base side watching the first base side
get souvenirs was making me really jealous. Some security guards gathered around. I was talking to one of them
and asked if he could get Lou over to the third base side. He said, "Sorry, he's half way to Framingham now."
Gee, thanks for trying. I gave up on him, and shook Wally the Green Monster's hand (or paw, whatever you want to call
it!) and I got to shake John Henry's hand and tell him "It's a great organization, thank you sooo much!" as he walked around
on the field.
Just when I felt like giving up on hoping for an autograph, Nomar Garciaparra began to make his way over to the third
base side, right near where I was standing! I promptly pulled out my sharpie and my souvenir ball and began to scream,
"NOMAR! NOMAR! I LOVE YOU NOMAR!!!" After he signed 4 or 5 autographs, he made his way over to where I was standing and signed
my ball! I quickly put away my ball safely into my bag, and took 2 pictures of Nomar signing autographs. I was
so excited! My friend also got an autograph, but unfortunately, my sister didn't. I told her Nomar could sense
that she was a Yankees fan and didn't sign her binder!
I had a great time at Fenway Park on that bright and sunny say in late September. I can't wait to go to another
Red Sox game next year. I hope to order tickets right when they come out so I can get closer to the field and closer
to my beloved Red Sox. Thanks for reading this and waiting for me to post it, I really appreciate your patience!