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!