Somehow we’ve already made it through another school year, and high school sports are officially in the books, which means that we’re slowly easing into the summer sports schedule.
And by “summer sports schedule,” I mean “baseball, baseball, a little bit of softball and more baseball.”
Trust me, there’s no shortage of games to watch. American Legion is in full swing, as are the other high school-age leagues, and Little League all-stars is ready to kick off this weekend.
But before I really took in my first summer ball experience for my job, I took in a little summer ball as a fan.
There was no screaming at my GPS as I try to find a ballgame in North Smithfield or some place equally as far away, no scorebooks and no postgame interviews.
Just myself, a buddy of mine, my parents and the best seats in all of Fenway Park.
I have to say – as much as I enjoy covering the games around here, heading up to Fenway is about as good as it gets, and this time it was even better.
It had been over a year since my last trip to the park, but my dad emailed me on Tuesday afternoon saying he had somehow landed four tickets for a luxury box at Fenway.
There was no need to ask how he had managed to get the tickets. I didn’t even give myself time to formulate that question. As fast I could type, I wrote back “Absolutely.”
And just like that, my summer baseball season began in style.
I’m used to a standard Fenway experience – walking in, being jarred by that initial moment when I see the field, then slowly making my way to my mediocre, tightly-packed seat somewhere in the grandstand or right field bleachers.
Not this time. I walked through the gate and went up an escalator, where I was brought up to a hallway covered in pieces of Red Sox history. There were plaques dedicated to all the team’s Hall of Fame members and game-worn jerseys from Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Jimmie Foxx.
As I walked down the hallway, I eventually came upon the suite that my ticket identified as my final destination, so I opened the door and went in.
For the next three hours, I never even considered going back out.
Air conditioning, a private bathroom, unlimited food and drinks and seats in the front row of a section just to the right of home plate, where I had a near-perfect view of the entire ballpark. It was baseball heaven.
I started noticing things I hadn’t seen before – a clock that hangs next to a light tower, the amount of standing room seats there are all over the ballpark, just how big the press box is and just how far away the red seat in right field (which marks a ball Ted Williams supposedly hit years ago) is from home plate.
Of course, while noticing all these things, I ate, drank and watched a great game. I didn’t even care that Daisuke Matsuzaka was on the mound and taking 30 seconds in-between each pitch. In fact, I wanted him to take longer – it was more time I would be able to enjoy the experience.
The Sox ended up coming back from a 1-0 deficit in the last few innings, scoring five unanswered runs to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-1. Icing on the cake.
On the way out, I saw all the plaques and jerseys again, before heading back down the escalator and back out onto Yawkey Way.
Back to normalcy.
Starting today, I’ll begin covering my first real ballgames of the summer, and I won’t stop until high school sports start up again in late August.
And I’ll have fun doing it, too, but something tells me that my Summer Opening Day might be the highlight of the whole season.
Well, unless they start serving free food and drinks at Little League games.
Kevin Pomeroy is the assistant sports editor at the Warwick Beacon. He can be reached at 732-3100 and firstname.lastname@example.org.