Monday, August 22, 2011

Futures @ Fenway 2011

I wasn't planning on going this year, but when trying to think of stuff to do on a visit from Chan (from NYC), I suggested it, and he was game. So it was only a few weeks ago I checked the availability, and decided to go for the $30 EMC seats, which normally go for millionaire money and are inaccessible without a ticket--you can't even sneak in, but if you do, please tell me your method....

We were right above the spot of the camera guy who never knows where to point the thing on high fly balls. These games weren't on TV--this guy was filming for the videoboards/TVs inside the park.

One of the first things Chan did was flip around on the TV. First time I ever watched Julia Child at Fenway Park.

As usual, a lot of empty seats early on. The park never fills up at this doubleheader, but it could be because some people come for just one game or the other. At its height, around the beginning of game two, you can still find a seat in pretty much any section you want. But the EMC club is still off limits unless you have a ticket.

Game one was the Binghamton Mets against the Portland Sea Dogs. This is Allan Dykstra at the plate. I just wrote that he was Len's son, but decided to Google it just in case. And it's not his son at all. The guy's in the Mets organization, is named Dykstra, and looks mildly like Len. But I guess he's just some guy. Why am I even posting the picture? I should erase this whole paragraph and delete the pic. But I won't.

Portland's knuckleballer, Charlie Haeger.

Confirmed: Portland still using the 2008-and-prior Red Sox logo on their sleeve.

I happened to be shooting the pitcher when there was a fly to center. I moved the cam up and got this pic of Hazelbaker making a catch. At Red Sox games I don't get action shots of plays being made since I always want to watch with my eyes so I don't miss what happened. But for these minor league games I don't care if I miss stuff.

Speaking of not worrying about missing stuff, I got a bunch of shots of the EMC club. Sweet facilities!

Foreground: 2007 World Series trophy. Background: 2004 World Series trophy. I've been in this club area on the Fenway tour, but never for a game. You have access to this place with bars and food and ice cream, while having a padded seat outside the doors right behind the plate. For a Sox game, I'd be in my seat the whole time, but for this we spent some time chillin' at the tables and stuff.

Along 1st and 3rd base on that same level you've got the private suites. Which are private even for this event. I think.

The back of the Fenway Park 1912 sign. I've taken this shot before, but from much higher.

We went down to the grandstand for a while--here's Fields. This guy's got a great wind-up/follow-through.

Back up to millionaire land.

Two of my favorite Red Sox: Mike Greenwell and Bill Lee.

More EMC club action.

Game one went extra innings. Toward the end, I noticed waaaay out in right field, in that stairway at the back of the gap between bleachers and grandstand, some PawSox waiting to enter the field.

A Binghamton Met.

Your final, in 11 innings.

And now the teams are coming through the gap, while players from game one are on their way out. Bottleneck.

Last time I went to this, I noticed that between games, the PawSox and Sea Dogs get to reunite as they cross paths. I made sure to capture that poignant-ass shit again this time. This Joppie fellow clearly had coached some PawSox when they were Sea Dogs.

A piggyback ride--Hey, I got a shot that Kelly O'Connor missed! You can see her right there on the field with her red hair. We (meaning me) noticed her right at the beginning of the day, on the field, then in the the first base camera well. Then to the left of the screen, then later by the home on deck circle. I can always spot Kelly anyway, but this sweet behind-the-plate perch made it even easier. Good job by her scoring a press credential for this doubleheader. (Or maybe she got hired?! By somebody? She should be anyway.) It is the dream event for her--minor leaguers plus Fenway Park. Check out all her photos here.

See the rainbow? Trust me, it's there. Also, a smile-cloud.

We did another walk out to right field--Chan hadn't been to Fenway since 2000 (photo gallery of that here)--and I noticed Remy's is getting a roof deck or something.

And here's a shot of the field from way out there. Our seats, in this pic, are under the Fenway sign, the first level above the lower level, blue seats.

Some Portland players, now out of uniform, happened to be coming down the steps I mentioned earlier. They were headed to a very well-attended autograph session under the bleachers.

Sat in the first base stands briefly while Chan got incredibly salty popcorn.

Back up in our private club, Wally entertains. I got a $7.50 ice cream sundae up there. So much for family-friendly prices.

They keep all the Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers, and MVP awards in the EMC club.

In game two, Daniel Nava hit a dong.

Jose Iglesias up.

We planned to stay a few innings into game two. But we made it till the 8th. So we got 19 innings of baseball. By the 8th inning of game two, there were hardly any people left in that whole section. I was ready to nab any foul ball that came up there, but none did. Two did earlier, but I had no chance. Also, balls rolling up the screen are too far down to reach over for. I thought about bringing a net, like the old days at Yankee Stadium. If I had, I'd have a ball right now, since one rolled all the way up, directly underneath me. Anyway, the Paws lost, and we went to Grasshopper for dinner, hearing the 8-run 6th in the one loss of that Royals series in the car. As for between-inning entertainment, it wasn't that great. Mostly dumb games for kids. I didn't even see the frisbee dog but I could have missed it. It was weird to see the "Let's Go PawSox" thing on the board, complete with sound effects. [Note to outsiders: you're probably thinking, "oh, because it's usually Let's Go Red Sox"--no, it's because Fenway doesn't do that. Fenway Park has never told Red Sox fans when to cheer. I used to think of that duh duh DUH, duh duhhh, Charge! bullshit as Yankee Stadium bullshit, but I realize now it's "pretty much every park but Fenway" bullshit. But they do break out the bush league stuff for the minor league games, that's kind of the point.]

Ha! I did actually get a shot of Expo on Joppie-back, but it was one of those points where there's a thousand things going on.

I haven't been hired, sadly, but the PawSox have been especially good to me this year as far as media access and they put me in for a pass. I really wanted it for field access before and between the games, and I shot the first inning of each from the well just to BE there. Loved it, but I missed having the angles I usually have, so I shot from the seats a lot.

Glad you did go. I'm surprised more folks don't take advantage of the fact that the most expensive seats become pretty good deals.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States