Chelmsford, MA

1:55 PM

Another beautiful day here in Massachusetts. I am getting ready to head out on 95 to the train station. I’ll take that in to Fenway Park where I hope to secure a ticket for tonight’s 7:00 baseball game against Detroit. I don’t have a ticket, but was told they open some sales up before the game starts. If that doesn’t work, I’ll have to beg.

I’ll be back with the results…

12:02 AM

I took the green line in from Riverside to Fenway. I ran a little later than I planned, but for once it was someone else’s fault. I had to purchase my fare and they had three machines to do so. The first two were Out of Order. The third was being worked on by a technician when I arrived. As timing has it, I was the first in line. I’m not sure how much sooner I needed to get there, it could have just been two minutes, but know there I was waiting on this guy. He would shut the door, turn two latches, and look at a screen hoping it would say what he wanted. It didn’t. He’d open the machine, fiddle with it, shut it, latch it, and do it again and again. “Dude, I need to get to Fenway. The ticket guys said 4:00. Let’s go…” A line began to form behind me. People grew antsy but no one said anything to him. He was trying. Finally, a boss came by. They gave up on fixing it and let us pay in cash and get on. It turned out I could’ve gotten on by just walking through (the gate was open). I walked through earlier to see if there was another machine. It turned out I didn’t need anything, only entry. Anyway, after a delay I was on the train en route to Fenway.

I was excited to be going. I had been at their hated rival Yankee Stadium a few weeks earlier. There is so much history in these two stadiums. For the record, I’m not a Yankee fan or a Red Sox fan, I am a fan of sport. I had to go to Fenway.

Off we went, stopping and picking people up. If you had tickets, it was early to go, so the train wasn’t too packed. I talked with a lady while I waited to pay and she was nice. Her and her husband were meeting her son down there and going to the game. I think she said it was her first. Of course she had her Red Sox hat on.

They dropped us at the Fenway station. The stress I had at Yankee stadium for tickets picked up again. “I better get one. Should I scalp it? Not over $30. Maybe more. Can I sit on the monster?” And I walked. I walked faster than most. It was already 4:05 and it was a few minutes to Gate C, the place where they sold the game day seats. I made my way pretty good. It was a big help that Uncle Bill had taken me down there yesterday. I knew where I was going and I was on a mission. I evaded an oncoming church group with grace. I darted past a family of four walking way too slow. I weaved in between an in love couple. And finally I made the right turn to Gate C. And there was the line. Ouch.

The line had begun. It was 4:15. It was a line much longer than those you see waiting to get into a bar or club. If it was a bar, I’d bag it and go somewhere else. There was nowhere else. I got in line.

Yesterday the ticket office told me they open up “a few hundred” tickets on game day. I surveyed the situation and analyzed. It seemed like if they opened up 100, I was SOL. If they opened up 500 I looked pretty good. I struck up a conversation with 2 guys behind me. I could hear that they were locals. We talked about our chances of getting in. I told them what the ticket guys told me. They had been here before but my information was new to them. It turned out they were college students at Northeastern. They were nice guys form the area. School was starting soon. They were talking about the things they were bringing to their on campus apartment. I’m not sure if they were roommates or not. We talked about the Sox and Noma, and about all of the talent walking around. We all were on pins and needles to get tickets.

At about 4:45 someone from the ticket office came by and told everyone we could only by one ticket per person and that you had to go directly into the game. Tickets would go on sale at 5 and the line would start moving at 5:15. They told our group that we’d probably be up there at 5:45. They didn’t know how many tickets would be available.

We waited. The line didn’t move. At 5:15 the line inched up literally 1 foot. We waited. There was a guy in line who was counting his position behind us. He said 160 was where we were. How accurate that was I didn’t know. But if that was the case I felt good about getting in. The line began to move. At 6:15 I got the call to take center stage. It was time to see what I could get. Tickets ranged from $20 to $75. My high rollin’ days are over. So I was on the bottom end. “Standing room for 20, Seats for 27 and 44,” the attendant said. I could tell she was not going to be much help. I wanted a seat, so I went with the 27. Card swiped, my signature down, and I was in! I was in Fenway Park.

The place was abuzz with chatter, Red shirts, blue hats, and an intense anticipation. I was part of it. I was a Red Sox fan for the night. It was about 6:20. I was starving. There was a Sausage Guy vendor out in front of the ticket line. It smelled awesome and quite a few people around us gave in to the temptation. I did not. Me and sausage before a game could be scary stomach wise. I waited and ordered a cheese steak. I love the voices here. “I took the cah in.” I want a burga.”

I wolfed it down and people watched. Then it was time to find my prized seat. I saw one of the guys from the line in the bathroom. I told him section 9 and he said that was good. That made me feel good.

I went to the section: Gate B, R.F. Grandstand. I was in Row 17 and Seat 10. I walked out and was staring smack dab at the Green Monster. I wasn’t on it, but across from it. Awesome. I looked up and began to find my spot. I went past the prime time seats. I climbed up a little more. I walked to the top and saw the standing room people. I asked a guy if this was the right row. He said yes. I was on the top row of the stadium. I was in the middle of the row. I plopped down. Top row, but still a seat. I had wished it was like NY where I didn’t pay for the seat and therefore didn’t care as much about the location, but I was in. I sat down and got out my water (it was nice that they allowed backpacks in. NY did not).

I settled in and the game started. The vibe in here was different than that of Yankee Stadium. I am guessing it was because this was a night game. At the Yankee game there were tons of school groups coming in. It also looked like a ton of tourists too. Here, it was all Red Sox shirts and hats. There was a lot of kids with dads. To my left was two kids and their dad. To my right was what turned to be a very cool guy from Australia and now London. I talked with him throughout the game. He and his two friends were traveling the US for a couple of weeks. They had to come to Fenway too.

The seats weren’t the best. I had beams in front of me. I had to lean back to see home plate. You couldn’t see the baseball during a fly ball (we didn’t see a HR). But the crowd was more intense than NY, it could be the day/night thing, or maybe the fact of the hungry climb to first versus the top of the mountain sustaining. But it was incredible. The crowd roared most for Damon and Manny. Ortiz continued his hot hitting. Arroyo pitched well and the Sox won 4-1. They were bummed at watching the scoreboard. The Yanks were down 40 to Toronto but came back in the ninth to win 7-4. They wanted to gain some ground.

I hope that the Sox gain hold off and at least get the Wild Card. Another Yankees – Red Sox series would be awesome. After being in both places, I ‘m not sure who I’d root for. Colin would not be pleased with me rooting for the Sox. I feel for Cregan and all of Red Sox nation. It would be tough. But it would be great and I hope it happens.

Time to close shop and get ready for Martha’s Vineyard. I can’t wait.