EDITOR'S NOTE: The Boston Red Sox advanced to the World Series by virtue of their victory last Saturday night over Detroit in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. Post-Journal assistant sports editor Scott Kindberg watched the Red Sox' 5-2 victory over Detroit from a field box in right field, just to the left of the Tigers' bullpen.
BOSTON - Fenway Park was the place to be last Saturday night.
Among the 38,823 fans who shoe-horned their way into the 101-year-old stadium on Yawkey Way to watch Game 6 of the American League Championship Series were, reportedly, actor Jon Hamm, comedian Dane Cook, Secretary of State John Kerry, former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, Boston mayor Tom Menino and Indiana governor Mike Pence.
A walk down Yawkey Way outside Fenway Park reveals this sign, which describes the 101-year-old stadium as “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.’’
Photo by Scott Kindberg
Box seats in left field at Fenway Park provided a perfect view of Game 6 hero Shane Victorino, whose grand slam secured Boston’s American League Championship Series victory over Detroit.
Photo by Scott Kindberg
I was there, too.
Thanks to the generosity of friend and Falconer resident Tom Ames and his cousin, Steve Wooters of Oakville, Ontario, I joined them and Steve's buddy, Norman, for the game, which pitted the host Red Sox against the Detroit Tigers.
The trip was hardly planned in advance. In fact, the invite came on Wednesday last week, travel arrangements weren't finalized until Friday evening and Tom and I boarded a plane late Saturday morning. We landed at Logan International Airport early in the afternoon. The first pitch was 8:07 p.m.
Naturally, the response to my unlikely trip to Beantown was overwhelming, particularly from my friends on Facebook.
See KINDBERG, Page C2
"This is what's wrong with corporate America,'' wrote one friend on my wall, his tongue planted firmly in cheek. "A Yankees fan from Jamestown in Fenway Park to watch ALCS Game 6 between the Red Sox and Tigers. Have fun. :-)"
Well, Matt Spielman - Post-Journal city editor and die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan - I did.
As a life-long fan of the New York Yankees, I don't like the Boston Red Sox. It's just not possible. Having said that, though, I do love Fenway. Yes, it's old, the aisles are narrow and, depending where you're seated, you have to angle your body to see home plate.
But it's also charming. A walk around the outside of the stadium showcases bronze statutes of Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and a bronze tribute to the decades-long friendship of four Boston legends - Williams, Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr and Dom DiMaggio.
To me, it doesn't rival Monument Park at Yankee Stadium, but it certainly shows the steeped history of the franchise.
About 90 minutes before the first pitch, I sent a text message to Jamestown native Dan Lunetta, who serves as the director of minor league operations for the Tigers. Lunetta, who has been with Detroit since 2004, responded with the following:
''I'll be in my seat just before game time,'' he responded. ''Dugout now. Clubhouse after (batting practice).''
Tom, Steve, Norman and I made our way through the old park, ultimately finding Lunetta on the field. I sent him another text and he immediately came over to greet us near the dugout. We talked for a bit, posed for a few photos, wished him luck and headed for our seats in right field.
Because our seats were just to the left of the Tigers' bullpen, I got a good look at Max Scherzer warming up. Just like he did in Game 2, Scherzer, the likely Cy Young Award winner, was brilliant, but the Detroit relief corps let the team down again as Jose Veras gave up a game-winning grand slam. I didn't speak for nearly 30 minutes after that blast over the Green Monster, because, one, I felt bad for my buddy Lunetta and, two, the tickets we had for Game 7 were now obsolete.
But as Tom, Steve, Norman and I left the park, I couldn't help but think how lucky I was to witness in person another memorable game at one of America's most historic sports venues.
I love baseball.