By: Heather O’Neill
Saying our family supports the hometown teams is an understatement. My husband is an avid Boston sports fan and due to proximity, my boys are both following in those footsteps.
My youngest son (8) has become obsessed with all things Red Sox since last Spring. Luckily for him, the Sox won the World Series last year. All he really knows is “winning” in his short sports fan lifespan. With the way the Bs and Cs are playing currently, I’m hoping the streak continues for him!
(As an aside, my oldest son (11) played youth football for the first time this past Fall, his team won the league Superbowl and then the Pats won, coincidence? He thinks not….)
We were fortunate to purchase tickets to the Sox game on April 11th when the Red Sox were giving out Commemorative World Series Rings to the first 7,500 ticket holders to enter Fenway Park. The boys and I arrived super early hoping to score a ring.
Waiting the hour or so for the gates to open was rough, but the boys were so happy to be at Fenway and take in all that was around them – the sausage guy, the program hawkers, the other pushy fans vying for their spot to enter with hopes of also being gifted a ring – that the time actually passed quickly.
The time had come – the gates opened and we were lucky to receive a coveted replica ring. The joy on their faces was evident. I scored huge mom points for this one!
Arriving so early to the game, on a beautiful evening, turned out to be a great time. We took our time on Jersey Street – f/k/a Yawkey Way, visiting the Official Red Sox Team Store. (If you’ve never been, it is overwhelming with anything and everything you could ever want to purchase. Keep an eye on your kids–it’s very easy to lose sight of one another.)
Jersey Street also had a kids rock band, face painters, balloon animal artists, food, beverage and stilt walkers. Great time for kids and adults.
We headed in to the Kids Concourse for dinner and more fun. While I waited in line to purchase food, the boys got to experience a virtual tour of the dugout, participate in a virtual home run derby and see how fast they could throw a pitch. There are also other great photo ops such as a giant Lego David Ortiz, a Red Sox Themed Mickey Mouse and a bench with Wally and Tessie.
There are rows of tables/benches for families as well. We secured a table and were able to actually sit and eat. There are some family friendly options for kids, unfortunately mine wanted the chicken fingers and fries in the souvenir bowls. I gave in and purchased not one, but two, plastic bowls, each with a red sox sticker, filled with fries and two chicken fingers for $15.00 a piece. Not my finest frugal mom moment, but they were so happy it was worth it.
We heard the announcements for the starting line-ups and headed to our seats – which luckily were not far from the Kids Concourse, or the field. We were third row from the field–a spectacular view of my 8 year old’s favorite player, #50 Mookie Betts.
The game was a good one – the second home game of the season and we were desperately hoping for a win. It was getting late, and a little cold – but I had dressed the boys in layers and had hats, gloves, scarfs ready to go if needed. I looked at my watch and mom guilt started creeping in. It’s way past bedtime, it’s a little chilly, it’s a school night ….. And the Sox tied it up.
The place went wild!
Shipping up to Boston plays, and my boys are singing and jumping along with the crowd.
Sweet Caroline plays and the Fenway Faithful start chanting “So good, so good, so good!”
My boys have never heard this song and are mesmerized by everyone singing around them. The look of joy on their faces and in their eyes pushed the guilt away and I knew we were in it for the long haul.
The Sox pull it off–a W for the boys. A long day/night topped off in the best way.
Fenway Park is amazing. If you have kids and they like the game just a little, take them. Memories that will be with us forever.