That’s according to a man I met last week in San Jose, CA. I was at an industry convention and he stopped by my company’s exhibit. We talked a bit about the type of work we both do and then he noticed that I was from Massachusetts and asked if I was a Red Sox fan.
I smiled and said yes and he suddenly turned from a friendly colleague to an angry sports fan. “They should tear that place down and start from scratch! The bathrooms! The concessions! That place is a pit! It is so uncomfortable!” I just laughed and told him baseball isn’t about being comfortable. I’m sure any good Red Sox fan would agree with me.
He is right about Fenway lacking in comfort. Anyone who has spent nine innings sitting just past Pesky’s pole with your neck twisted to the left and your knees jammed into the back of seat in front of you knows the physical pain of Fenway.
But the pain is a small price to pay for the majestic beauty of the place. Those same tortorous seats also have the most fantastic views. If you get to the game early enough you can see Tek striding out to the bullpen to prepare his pitchers. You can see Dice-K throwing long tosses to the trainer, getting ready for battle. You can be mesmerized by the brilliant green field and the red, white, and blue of the American flag snapping in the breeze above.
In the past few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have enjoyed a seat in almost every section at the park, from the $12 bleacher seats in row 37 under the scoreboard in centerfield to the la-dee-da much much too expensive front row seats in the EMC club, complete with a waiter and my own personal television screen. I’ve been comfortable and I’ve been uncomfortable. I’ve eaten gourmet meals and Fenway franks.
And I’ve enjoyed each and every game.
The man in San Jose is not the first person to tell me that Fenway should be destroyed. And I’m sure he won’t be the last. All I know is that it is one of my favorite places on earth and I’m thrilled to have experienced the beauty and uncomfortableness of it so many times.