First off, I hope you all read my Part I: the long winded introduction, if not, you can view it here. Also if you are wondering what this has to do with cooking, the answer is, nothing; as explained here.
Now, where were we? Yes, at the end of part one I may have insinuated that Bob the Builder would sing the national anthem at Fenway park. This is not the case. While his enthusiasm got him good marks at 3 Dog Down, he is not the best singer and no one would likely ask him to do such a thing as sing in public in a sold out ballpark seating 37,400 people. (for those that care, or know how that compares to the seating capacity of other major ballparks, we Bostonians are proud to say that while Fenway is still one of the smallest major league ball parks in the country, it is no longer the smallest as measured by seats, due to recent renovations. All of this while still being the oldest venue used by a professional sports team in the United States.) Also, if he had sang the American Anthem at Fenway, I am sure I would have titled this story "The American Anthem Story" and not "The First Pitch Story".
See what I did there?
When we first arrived at the park we found our ambassador, a young man in a red shirt (all the other Fenway employees were wearing blue) who was built like an Ox, a charismatic, handsome ox. I believe we mistook him for a security guard at first sight. (I later saw an actual Fenway security guard, who was so huge I was tempted to ask if i could take a picture of him, the man must have been near 7 feet...in the end I felt too intimidated to ask.) Ambassador man told us he was waiting for one more party, and then would take us down to the field. After a few minutes, a troupe of boy scouts and an Opera singer and his wife arrived at the gate. He instructed us to "follow the boy scouts" and so we did, and our ambassador (and then our boy scout troupe) led us through the park to a narrow hallway, past an open staging area, and out into the park.
Soon we were standing on the field (well, actually, we were not allowed to stand on the grass, so here I should say "soon we were standing on the dirt that edges the field" watching the Texas Rangers finish up their batting practice.
I think this is a great family photo! Christmas cards, anyone?
After about 1/2 an hour of milling around on the field/dirt and watching the Fenway crew meticulously sweep and clean the diamond and bases (and one crazed hunger induced breakdown for me- which was luckily remedied with a fenway frank) it was finally go-time.
First our boy scouts took the field (yes, they are ours, now.)
And the opera singer we had walked down with sang the Anthem (and he did a beautiful job of it)
I got a kick out of seeing my father there with the Red Sox teammates and Wally the green monster (the two women he was standing next to are Fenway's ballgirls, and the small boy behind them was from the make a wish foundation.)
And out comes Big Papi to catch the pitch! Tek was still out with a broken foot, but who could turn down an opportunity to meet Papi?
And the pitch!
It was a great success! And everyone rejoiced. Sort of.
Some of the rejoicing was deferred until the end of the game, when the Sox came from behind to win it.