Mitch Wertlieb shares his road journal detailing highlights of a fun-filled day at Fenway Park with VPR listeners. Check our photos from the trip, too! Thanks so much to Jim McGonagle for letting us use his camera after ours was accidentally left behind at the station!
9 a.m.: What a fun bus ride! It felt more like a road trip with old friends than meeting folks for the first time. VPR listeners proved adept at handling even my toughest Red Sox trivia questions (although there was some disappointment that the guy who knew the most was also the only Royals fan on board. Thanks for showing us up, Don!).
1:30 p.m.: A private tour of the oldest, greatest ballpark in America! Every time I take a tour of Fenway, I learn something new. It was also the first time I got to see State Street Pavillion where the Red Sox Hall of Fame is housed. We took a terrific picture of the whole gang atop the Green Monster (what a good-looking bunch!).
2:30 p.m.: We were graced with fine, sunny weather while Vermonters back home were dealing with yet another pounding of torrential rain. Folks fanned out to explore Beantown before the first pitch at 7. It was great timing as the Tall Ships were in town. I grabbed lunch and a house-made brew (Back Bay IPA) at Boston Beer Works with Michelle and Will and then caught up with some old friends in Jamaica Plain.
7:00 p.m.: Settled into our seats by Pesky's Pole in right field for the main event— Red Sox vs. Royals. What a slugfest! The home team hit four home runs (Varitek hit one that landed just 15 feet from our seats, and Youuuuuuuuuk wowed us with two blasts!). In the end, the Sox won 15-9, but not before the Boston bullpen gave up 6 runs over two innings to nearly squander a 9-1 lead! There was a bit of seat-squirming* before rookie phenom Daniel Bard came on and shut them down, thanks to his 99 mph fastball.
The rain started coming down - and hard! - in the 9th inning, but a quick 1-2-3 inning kept us under the wet stuff for just about ten minutes. We scampered back to our bus as fast as possible for the long ride home.
11:30 p.m.: Slightly soggy but in good spirits (sorry, Don), Meesh passed out cookies and we put on the Red Sox movie Fever Pitch for the ride home. We snoozed on and off until we returned to VPR at 3:30 a.m., tired but happy. What a great day! Go Sox, and looking forward to next year.
*Editor's Note: As one of the other VPR staffers on the trip, I cannot refrain from clarifying that when Mitch says "bit of seat-squirming" what he means is visible, inconsolable, nonsensical muttering about how he KNEW this was going to happen, and how the Sox were TOTALLY going to blow it, and WHY does this always happen to HIM.