Every year when the Red Sox home opener comes back around the people of New England are filled with a little more joy and a lot more hope. Baseball fans are not the only ones who live differently in the spring time in Boston. The Red Sox home opener begins the beautiful summer of Baseball season, when everything changes. The entire atmosphere in Boston changes.
On game days the air smells of Fenway Franks and Italian Sausages. You can hear the vendors on Jersey Street “Get your hot dogs, get your sausages, peppers and onions!” You will see Street vendors standing on milk carts selling $2 programs, shouting over and over again “Get your programs! Only two dollars!” Fans who don't know each other are hugging, giving high fives, and buying each other drinks before, during, and after games. The talented drummers on Lansdowne Street make beautiful music with drum sticks and buckets across from the long line of people dancing, waiting to get into the house of blues. These are just some of the special moments in which we all come together as Bostonians. People of all different political parties, socio economic status, religions, and ethnicities come together as one to unite and celebrate the beautiful sport of Baseball and the historical beauty of Fenway Park.
Baseball season in Boston brings people together, it unites New Englanders, Bostonians and others all over the country and entire world. This year, due to the Covid 19 outbreak and pandemic, things are drastically different. For the first time in 106 years Fenway Park did not open its gates to the public in order to keep the people of our city and country safe. The park that inspires so much joy and magic inside and outside its gates will be a ghost town this summer. The feeling of togetherness that once brought unity to our city and trickled throughout the nation has turned into social distancing, feelings of isolation, and an eager hope to get back to the way life once was. On April 20th, 1912, when Fenway Park first opened its gates to the beautiful people of our city and the world, we experienced the love for baseball and for each other year in and year out up until now. When the news broke that there would be an unknown delay for the Red Sox at Fenway Park in the year 2020 people's hearts broke. Our hearts broke not only because of our love for the game and the players, but also because many of us knew what this meant for the atmosphere and connectivity of our city.
This is not the first time Red Sox fans and the people of Boston have had their hearts broken and then put back together again. We are a force to be reckoned with, we are filled with pride for our city and loyalty to our teams. We are overflowing with hope for a better day and we will reunite and rise like we always have. In the year 2004 the Red Sox won their first world series after a long losing streak of 86 years, which many called the “Curse of the Bambino.” The moving and inspiring part of this is not just the win in 2004, but the fact that the same people cheering in the streets of Boston on that night were the same exact people who were celebrating the Sox through all of the wins and losses for so many years. These were the same people who celebrated every hit, every home-run and every great play even during the 86 years of “The Curse.” In Boston we are known for having heart, we have heart through the good times and the bad! We will get through this together and we will keep each other safe. We will help our neighbors and never take our city for granted. We will encourage and show kindness to anyone we can, just as we would do at the Baseball Tavern, Fenway Park, or Game On as we spend time celebrating baseball and life.
In the photo above life long Sox fans Chris Biskup, Rob Jordan, Connor Hasson and Dan Feeney were given a signed bat from the one and only David Ortiz "Big Papi." Biskup attends almost all of the games at Fenway every season. When asked about Biskup's memories from recent home openers he stated "The Red Sox Opener is a New England Holiday. When I wake up the morning of the home opener there is a pep in my step. There is no better feeling than getting out of work early to head down to Landsdowne street and have a couple of beers and some food before entering America's Most Beloved Ballpark. Being outside enjoying the Sox after being cooped up all winter is the official kick off to the summer and there is no where else I would want to be." Biskup closed stating that he "cannot wait to get back to his normal, his summer home: Fenway Park." May we never take for granted the view of our park from the Green Monster, the breeze up on the Sam Adams deck on a beautiful summer night, or the way too long lines for our $8 beers that are worth every sip. May we never take for granted this beautiful city and country of ours! Boston unity, love and pride is not only something that we can experience during our sports seasons, it's something that lives inside of us. Let’s let our lights shine during this difficult time and lead by example showing the world that Boston will stand together to keep each other safe until the day we can celebrate sports and life together again!
Featured Image via Heidi Hashem of Saugus