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Finally at Fenway

Anna Boarini | Monday, September 17, 2012

On Wednesday night, my friend Fran and I left school and drove to Boston for the Red Sox-Yankees game at Fenway Park. That’s right, we drove approximately 16 hours for a baseball game.

Reading that sentence, you probably think we’re crazy. I’m not going to lie, there were moments when I thought we were crazy too. During our trip, we barely slept more than three hours at a stretch. We stopped at basically every Dunkin Donuts we passed to get yet another coffee to stay awake. After driving through Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, we finally reached Massachusetts.

The closer we got to Boston, the more excited I got. I was finally going to get to watch a game in one of baseball’s cathedrals. Even better, I was going to (hopefully) watch my Sox beat the Yankees. What made this trip even crazier is Fran is a Yankees fan and I’m a Red Sox fan. This rivalry isn’t always so nice, but we generally stick to a rule where we don’t talk about baseball. Ever.

For Fran, this was a game she was pretty sure her team would win (and they did). But this was a game where she tried to not be an obnoxious Yankees fan. She actually wore a Saint Mary’s shirt (that was blue and white) so if the Sox won, she wouldn’t get heckled too much. But even though she hates the Red Sox, it’s not every day you get to watch sport’s greatest rivalry in one of the sport’s greatest stadiums.

For me, the game was even more special. I’m a huge Red Sox fan and this was my first trip to Fenway Park to actually watch a game. This was the first time I got to watch my team in their natural environment. The first time I got to hear “Sweet Caroline” over the loudspeakers. The first time I got to watch the sun drop behind the Green Monster.

I’m not going to lie, walking into Fenway and seeing the field, the bullpens and the dugouts was almost too much. I could barely speak and when I first saw the park, tears came to my eyes.

We lost the game, but I wasn’t as sad as I thought I would be. Even though we didn’t rack up the “W,” it was still one of the best nights of my life. I got to watch a game at Fenway. I got to talk baseball and basketball with a guy with an awesome Boston accent. I cheered for Saltalamacchia when he went up to bat and I booed A-Rod like everyone else in the stadium. It was the first time in my life I truly felt like I was part of the community of Red Sox fans. In the words of The Standells, “Love that Dirty Water, Boston you’re my home.”

Contact Anna Boarini at aboarini@nd.edu

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.