25 years on, and all that

Yes, its funny to think, it was 25 years ago that I first saw Fenway Park, my first ever sighting of a Baseball stadium. No, I was nowhere near the stadium, I saw it from a viewing floor, in some downtown tower in Boston. Just a set of lights in the distance, and a name on the display, where we were standing and looking out. Yes, me and a female partner, shocking stuff, not! Might have been more controversial back then though, lol!

Didnt think any more of it at the time, it was just a landmark, lit up in the darkness of a September evening in Boston. Hey, I didnt know anything about baseball back then, lets face it. The only US ‘big 4’ sport that had crossed the Atlantic by then was NFL. Mind, back then, there were a ‘few’ less TV stations than there are now over here! 4, if I remember rightly, and that was it!

15 years on, I got my first sighting of Baseball on TV, long before the digital TV explosion over here, and currently leading to a good number of matches being covered over here each season.

The one connection, a match at Fenway. Back then, in September 1988, I saw a stadium in the distance, where the Red Sox were beating the Orioles. Yes, its amazing what you can work out with a calendar, and the MLB website. This week, 25 years on, I saw highlights, on a TV, in the UK, of them beating the St Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

In a year when I also returned to Rochester, another city visited on that first trip to the US in 1988, its a nice way of turning full circle. Mind, I wouldnt have spent time on the internet back then, thats for sure!

One of the highlights of the World Series, from the MVP, that great guy named David Ortiz, also known as Big Papi

The Red Sox anthem…hopefully?

Yes, honestly, almost the last baseball posting for the year, I promise you. There ‘might’ be one when the World Series is over mind, especially if the right team win just one of the 2 games back at Fenway, the next 2 evenings. Yes, Boston are 3-2 up, as they head back home, hopefully to celebrate the winning of the World Series. Do you know the last time that Boston won the World Series, at Fenway, it was 1918! Yes, they’ve won it twice already this century, but both times in the opposition stadium. So lets hope Fenway (not juat the dog) gets the celebration it deserves over the next 2 nights! Well, hopefully tomorrow is all it will take, but… Boston will celebrate Thursday I suspect, regardless!

Yes, incredible, the last time they celebrated at Fenway, Louise Brooks was just leaving Cherryvale, to move to Wichita for the first time. Not even known, beyond close family and friends, I suspect. WW1 wasnt even quite finished at that time! Fenway Park was 5 years old, and looked very differently to how it does now. Certainly the surrounding area must have changed even more dramatically? Now, they have 2 chances to put that piece of history right.

It ownt be easy mind, the St Louis pitcher in Game 6 has a lot in common with the closer for Boston, they dont give up many runs! And seriously, you dont want a tight ending to Game 7, I shouldnt think! The other hero for Boston, it could only be David Ortiz, who in this series has nearly hit the ball 3 out of every 4 times that he’s been to the plate, truly incredible, even more so given he is no youngster any more.

So fingers crossed that tomorrow night, or the night after, the team and their fans will be celebrating a win, in their own wonderful stadium.

That anthem, well, its a great song, from a not so great film, but hopefully it sums up the Red Sox attitude, I’m sure it does.

The bad beard club

Though officially they are known as the Boston Red Sox, they could certainly merit the other name at present, some of those beards (alright, probably all of them) are a pretty shocking sight! I guess its a team spirit thing, but please, get rid of them at the end of the season, hopefully the end of the World Series!

Yes, its baseball time again.

Having cruised past Tampa Bay, in what I will call the quarter finals (they have some trendy name, but in reality, thats what they are) pretty easily, but then the might of Detroit rolled into town. The first match summed up the strength of the pitching staff, 1-0 to Detroit. Just for information, on the same night, St Louis won 1-0 in their semi final too!

Second match of 7, going into the bottom of the 8th, and Detroit are winning 5-1, bit of a black hole for Boston. They managed to get runners on all 3 bases by various means, but also used up 2 of their 3 outs in doing so. Up steps David Ortiz, aka Big Papi, and just as the commentators are saying that he’s never got a home run off this pitcher, you’ve guessed it, first pitch gets smashed out of Fenway, and the scores are tied. Boston win in the 9th, but thats a side issue.

The entertainment here is in the little matters. Hunter makes a valiant effort to stop the ball leaving the park, and goes tumbling into the Boston bullpen as a result. The policeman there on duty, doesnt even notice, he’s too busy celebrating! All captured in this wonderful video.

I know, I know, I’m a Mariners fan! Yes, but Boston, and Kansas sit pretty high in my heart too. Oh, and I suspect that at some point Kate mind controlled me into becoming a Red Sox fan anyway, I just wish I’d known she was doing it lol! No, however hard she tries, supporting the Patriots is just one step too far though!

Enjoy the moment, enjoy the policeman’s celebrations even more!

Baseball changes

Its been nice tonight, been able to watch (care of ESPN America over here) the baseball tonight, quite literally a very local derby. Yes, its that strange time of year, when teams from the same cities, but different leagues, get together and play baseball. Yes, and I’ve had the chance to watch it from one of the oldest, and one of the nicest stadiums in baseball, Wrigley Field.

Yes Kate, I know, its younger than Fenway Park, but not by much. And its a place that also has plenty of old world charm too.

What is different this year, is that this, at least for now, is the last year that this will be a big event happening. With the realignments next year (and hopefully when in the division, Houston still underperform the Mariners lol), next year will have all season long inter league baseball, taking away some of the fascination I’m sure.

Dont ask me why the American league, and the National league play to different rules (pitcher bats in one, not in the other is the obvious one I know, might be the only one?), but I suspect its steeped in long distant history, before they got together? I’m sure batting practice for those poor pitchers who never normally need to bat is quite entertaining! Next year, they will have to practice more lol! And NL teams will have to get the hang of this designated hitter thing too!

The video shows bits of, and around Wrigley Field, and yes, I’ve been there, and literally got the t-shirt too! Its an amazing place, and I hope I get back there sometime in the future as well. Apologies, the sound quality of this is poor, but lets face it, Wrigley is about the look and feel, not the sound

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P5f8CO0mvw

I passed the test, so let me in!

In the last few days, a link was posted at the Garden, to the test that has to be passed to become a US Citizen nowadays, assuming you are otherwise legal to do so. Apparently you have to get 58/96 to pass, and seemingly about 92% of people do so. To be honest, the only thing I want to know, isup in how 8% failed to pass it! The request, mainly aimed at Americans of course, was to do it blind, without studying up in advance, but I took up that challenge anyway. You want to know, I got 83 right. would have been 84 if I hadnt tackled it late at night, and misread one question! And seriously, if I was taking it, to start a new life, I’d study, so probably get one or two more at least, with effort.

So come on US, let me in, to live and work lol! So alright, maybe its not quite as easy as that, but I can keep on hoping. I know there are at least a couple of people trying to help my dream come true, so fingers are crossed, and maybe a few other things as well, lol!

What really amazes me, is the miss rate. Alright, I’m pretty intelligent, but I found more than enough that was ‘pretty easy’, to score at least 58. And 8% couldnt do so, yet wanted to be US Citizens, quite amazing to me.

The music, what could be more apt under the circumstances. than the Star Spangled Banner? And showing total bias, and sucking up to Kate, what better version to use than the one from the Fenway Park 100th Birthday celebrations, played by the Boston Pops. And if that doesnt work, well, I dont know…lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97YIzMiz_TY&feature=related

Happy Birthday, Fenway Park!

There cant be many major sports stadiums that get used for 100 years, but here, now at least, we have one! Yes, today marked the centenary of Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, quite something.

I suspect things, and the stadium looked different way back then, though beyond one grainy black and white picture, I dont really know. And as Chicago folk would tell me, Wrigley Field is only 2 years away from joining the centenary club as well. I’m fortunate, I’ve been to both, and so glad I have. Just dont ask me to pick between them, OK? Both are wonderful in their own ways.

My next baseball stop, that relative baby, Safeco Field, only around since 1999 lol!

I’d heard a lot about Fenway, long before I got there. Indeed, I got to see it, from the observation deck of the John Hancock Tower 23 years before I finally got to visit it. Also, I was once quoted on a sports forum that getting to a game at Fenway was an impossibility, proved them wrong, but as it was about 8 years before, I didnt go chasing off to tell him so, lol! I guess what is also amazing about the place, given the setting for modern stadiums, its in the centre of Boston!

Oh, and I also know of an adorable dog, named after the park as well. Though obviously that Fenway sees things as being the other way around lol!

So, happy centenary, Fenway Park, thats an amazing achievement, and I toast you, and hope for many more years of baseball there.

Sorry, no music, just a brief report about this event

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg3Kg_wPg4s

The Gardener I know the best.

I do wonder if she’s been pleased, or disappointed up till now by the fact I havent done a focus on her, but lets put that right now.

Now, I say she’s the one I know the best, but thats pretty much because we shared a wonderful week together (of sorts) very recently in, and around Boston. And got on so well together that we plan to repeat the experience next year. Yes Kate, or should I say kbug, your turn has come!

Its funny, until about this time last year I’d never really considered actually meeting anyone from the Forums, but then the idea of a trip to Boston became possible budget wise, due to considerable help from James in finding somewhere at a ‘price I could budget for’ to stay at in the area. Soon after, the idea of having a ‘companion’ for at least part of the week was suggested to me, and I decided to go for it. Has to be said, it was the best thing I’ve ever done on holiday. had a great time.

Kate is a redhead of Irish extraction, I’m currently a blonde of Irish extraction, so all in all…and yes, the craic was super, as you might suspect. And despite any self deprecation on her part, she neither looks, or is insane in any way, as James will also bear witness. Kate and I also have one other thing in common, a great ‘love’ of US Airways lol! Thankfully I mainly get to fly with American Airlines nowadays, cant think why!

Lets pick one wonderful day, you will see why when you get to the video. Normally I go to the baseball on my own, sit quietly in one of the cheaper (not the cheapest though) seats, enjoy the atmosphere, and then go back to the hotel. This time I went in luxury to Fenway Park with an avid baseball fan, and oh my, wasnt it fun! Pictures taken before the game, lunch in luxury, and then take our seats. It has to be said that some of the drops by Boston fielders, well, I think Kate or I would have fancied our chances of holding them. And yes, this was part of the by now infamous Red Sox September collapse, so you can guess the result.

But I had been told that Fenway Park was an amazing place to visit, and thats so true. And the fact that its set downtown just makes it even more so. Thanks for taking me there for such a great day, made me feel a right lady I must say.

Ah, the mention of the word Fenway! Some might think the park is the most famous thing with that name, but I know a dog that would disagree. Sadly I never got to meet the famous doggie this time around, but hopefully thats another thing I can put right next year. ‘His’ emails are entertaining, the spelling is interesting, but all things considered, not bad for a doggie lol! Mind, there are rumours that ‘Mommie’ helps him write them, but I’m sure she would deny that? 😉

I’m so glad I went ahead and met Kate, she is a lovely person on the Garden, even nicer in real life. And yes, I’m really looking forward to meeting her again next autumn, and watching the Bills beat the Pats in New England. Well, alright, maybe not win, but… 😉

The video, well its Fenway (or is that Fenway’s) Park, though not for Baseball, couldnt find a musical piece for that. Its the NHL  Classic game last year, a group singing ‘I’m shipping up to Boston’, something I plan to do again next year, and really looking forward to it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghYrYXvy2wY&feature=fvst

I’m so saying nothing about the name of the group performing!

Its finally arrived!

No, not winter, though I’m told that there is a possibility of snow here, either at the weekend, or more likely the early part of next week. Sounds crazy given the temperatures have been up in the 70’s the last few days, but thats the wonder of the British weather for you! No, what arrived just over 2 hours ago was the photograph relating to one of the great, fun events of my holiday, the trip to Fenway Park with Kate.  Yes, its the picture taken just outside the stadium of the two of us, while we were waiting for them to open the gates and let us in. And no, I wont be posting it anywhere lol!

It seems to have taken forever to actually get here, but I guess ordering it at the start of a weekend, then add on time for international shipping etc, and…still seems a long time lol! Fortunately the one of me and James at the Aquarium (also not being posted) was purchased at the time, and brought home with me when I came back.

As far as I know, thats my travelling done for the year. Well other than commuting to work that is, lol! Oh, and a couple of trips out when I have my week off in November, but thats the long distance stuff over at least. Thankfully Expedia has ‘arrived’ on my laptop, and planning for next year (well April at least) has already started. Next September is sort of planned as well, but I’ll worry about that nearer the time!

The one sad thing thats arrived, the first Bills defeat of the season. Still, if you’d told me that it wouldnt happen to week 4, before the season had started, I’d have taken it lol!

Oh, and finally, the corny video link, because I’m no longer waiting for that photo to arrive

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3KJ8fqXoKk

A robotunit in Boston, Part 2

Well today is the first day I get to ‘wreck’ Boston single handed lol! I’ll be fine, have done this in plenty of other cities, so stop worrying Kate!

No prizes for working out that I might be heading to MIT Museum, hoping they will transform me into one of their latest robot exhibits, but wont hold my breath on that lol! Then just planning to head back downtown for some lunch, and see where the mood takes me from there.

So what do I need to catch avid readers up on? Sunday was fun, we went out for lunch, and as Garden readers at least might know, the temptation to run down walkers who insisted on walking in the street, despite pavements (sidewalks as they seem to be called over here) existed, but anyway…I got to see New England play, and win, also got to see bits of Buffalo playing and winning once the Jets were home and dry. Well, almost saw Buffalo win, the TV station in their ‘wisdom’ left the game with 27 seconds to go, and the Bills parked on the 6 yard line, needing to score to win. Alright, we all know they did, but waiting for that news to filter through…even  more so when the last play news only reached my ears 2 hours later.

Yesterday was Fenway,  an amazing place. I was pampered by a very dear person, and went in the Pavillion suite, a real experience for someone like me. We had a couple of photos taken before going in, and I’m only pleasantly surprised just how good I look in them. Kate looks wonderful anyway, but no, no link to the photos will be provided lol. They are expensive to buy, but I’m tempted all the same, I dont often get good pictures of me to be honest.

Yes, next special event is Thursday, when I get to meet this wonderful gentleman I’ve known over the internet for a while. Hopefully he’s blushing as he reads this, looking forward to meeting you greatly.

Thats pretty much all the news, hope MIT have got the robotising gear ready for me, lol! Holding breath for that to happen, nope lol!

Nothing to do with robots! Shock horror…

But entirely to be with somewhere I shall be visiting in just over 5 weeks time, well alright, 5 weeks tomorrow! I could make some witty comment about MIT working on a plan to robotise me, but as I promised not to mention robots, thats it!

I have been to Boston before, and what I remember of the place, I really liked it. Snag is, that was 23 years ago, now I’m showing my age! So my memories of the exact details are rather vague to say the least. Funnily enough that was also in September, but no idea what date it was lol! My partner at the time had an aunt living in Groton, so the main purpose was to visit her, though both of us also planned that the main part of our 2 week trip would be just us, and so it proved.

2 Firsts happened then, though neither in Boston. First ever Ice Hockey match in Hartford, though neither of us knew anything about the game, we got invited, said yes, and well, I dont remember much. All I know is that the Hartford Whalers are now in Carolina, hope that wasnt anything to do with us! Other first, and of more interest to me, my first ever live game of American football, a college game at Yale, against Columbia. All I remember is Yale won, seeing the public parts of the college beforehand was interesting, and Sheila’s fascination with the guys shouting, and selling ‘Soda’! Nothing like that happens in our country, even now!

Oh, alright, Boston. We spent the first few days there, before heading down to Groton, and saw a lot of the sights. The topical one at the time was the ‘Cheers Bar’, though as we saw it at 9 in the morning or so, we didnt go in! Memories otherwise are very vague, other than the Heritage walk, and Feneuil Hall to be honest, so it will be more like a first time visit I guess? Saw somewhere called Fenway Park from the observation platform somewhere, I think it was the John Hancock Tower, but could have that totally wrong? Been told I might see more of Fenway Park this time lol!

It seems 2 ‘Gardeners’ seem to want to meet up with me this time around, one of whom is a lovely guy I’ve ‘known’ most of my time at the Garden, and hey, I even know what he looks like! Pretty much fitted my image of him too in all honesty. Hopefully he will be able to get across at some point, if not I might be doing an Amtrak trek to meet this wonderful person, but that wouldnt be the biggest hardship in the world, other than it would mean an overnight stay away, and I’d hate to be a hardship on him.

The other is a lady I know far less about, certainly have no idea what she looks like, and to be honest, no great image in my head either. Oh, and she has a dog named after a famous baseball park, or is that the other way around? 😉

Guess they might sound familiar to some?

5 weeks from now, I should be in bed, as I’ve got an early start the next morning, but here and now, I can blog about a trip I’m really looking forward to.