First Time at Fenway

By Dan Brosgol

The Brosgol family at Fenway Park earlier this week - Courtesy image (c) 2015, all rights reserved
The Brosgol family at Fenway Park earlier this week – Courtesy image (c) 2015, all rights reserved

The end of summer is adventure time in our house; I usually take a week of vacation in late August and attempt to pull off a variety of New England-y day trips as the coming of school and Fall becomes a little more real each morning.

So in the spirit of mid-August, on Sunday I dragged everyone out of bed at dawn to make the just-under-two-hour pilgrimage to Clark’s Trading Post up in Lincoln, New Hampshire, where we water-slid, pseudo rock-climbed, Segwayed, and steam-railroaded our way through a whirlwind Daycation, not stopping until we had hit up the 99 restaurant in Billerica and then stashed the kids in bed as early as humanly possible following 250+ miles of driving.

But in the truest manifestation of the word pilgrimage, the other night my wife and kids picked me up at work, we grabbed a quick and early dinner at Panera and at 6:30 arrived at Fenway Park to kick off a night of firsts—our first game as a family of seven, the first game for both our three-year-old and our one-year-old. We’d bought these tickets on April 4, when New England was still hung over from winter and an August night seemed like the least likely thing ever, taking full advantage of Red Sox Kid Nation’s “free-ticket-for-every-kid” promotion. And despite my non-stop second-guessing of the sanity of bringing the whole crew to the game, we walked through the turnstiles that night clad in a wild mishmash of Sox gear, ready for anything.

For those of you who have taken your kid(s) to Fenway, or any other event that requires assigned seating, I’m sure you have a sympathetic thought for our predicament as we found our seats at 7:10, just in time for the first pitch. In reality, though, it wasn’t half bad. In the middle innings, the boys, as usual, spied some unoccupied field box seats and headed down there, well within visual range of us old folks in the Grandstand; we ran into some friends and family members who were also at the game; we took a whole lot of pictures; we had a whole row of seats to ourselves (last place, woohoo!), and my two older daughters were happy and relatively easy to manage. Me, well, I had the benefit of being around a baseball game whilst walking around with the one-year-old in the Baby Bjorn for, oh, shall we say 3½ hours. So while I didn’t exactly sit, I did see the pair of back-to-back home runs that the Red Sox hit (something I saw once in person at Fenway long ago—in April of 1994 as a matter of fact) and enjoy a cool breeze that kept me from dying in the thick and humid air. Like any other night at Fenway, the lights were bright, the colors were brighter, and the Citgo sign danced its dance above the horizon; but the added element of the whole family being there together did make it a little goose-bump inducing, even in a summer when the Red Sox put their claim down on last place early on and seem committed to staying there until next April.

In the final review, it was definitely an eyes-wide-open kind of night for my littlest girls, at least until halfway down Brookline Avenue towards Longwood, when at about 10:00 the one-year-old rolled her head back as her eyes flickered shut, more than done for the night at three hours post-bedtime.Fortunately, Routes 9 and 128 were wide open on the way home, and we touched down in Bedford less than 35 minutes after getting into the car.

The fun’s not over yet, though…I’ve got a few more vacation days and I know how to use them. I hope you all find some cool stuff to do between now and the 1st of September.


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