BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: The flag covers the Green Monster as the national anthem is played before the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays on April 16, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
One hundred years, one million memories. Fenway Park hits the century mark on Friday, and a plethora of festivities will commemorate the centennial of one the greatest gifts the sporting world has to offer.
It's so much more than a ballpark. Generations of baseball fans have flocked through the turnstiles to watch their beloved Boston Red Sox play at Fenway Park, inarguably the greatest sporting venue in America, and quite possibly the world.
Fenway has been the site of so many emotions, from agony to joy, for so many people. Fenway has been there for it all, and on Friday, Red Sox fans will pour into America's Most Beloved Ballpark to commemorate the 100th birthday of baseball's own 99,000 square foot slice of heaven.
Today, we take time to say thank you. So, thank you, Fenway Park. And happy birthday.
How do you write a suitable story commemorating the greatest place on Earth? Simply put, you don't. All of the words in the dictionary couldn't accurately summarize what Fenway has meant to the city of Boston, not to mention the millions and millions of fans whose lives have been forever changed by this ballpark and the team that inhabits it. All the stories could fill a library.
We haven't even started to mention the players who became legends at Fenway, either. Ted Williams, Cy Young, Babe Ruth, Johnny Pesky, Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, Mo Vaughn, Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Curt Schilling. So many greats, so little time.
And then there are the teams. The first three championship teams in 1912, 1915, 1916 and 1918. The Impossible Dream Team of 1967. The 2004 and 2007 World Series teams.
But it's so much more than that. Everybody has their own Fenway story. I've got plenty of them, and I'm sure you do too. Some people even have physical damage from Fenway (probably not many), like myself. There's a permanent indent in my knee from having to squeeze myself into those annoying-but-lovable wooden seats (I call it Fenway Knee). Ah, good times. Good times.
Of course, there were the bad times too. The selling of Babe Ruth, the 86-year championship gap. Bill Buckner. The Boston Massacre. And, yes, the collapse of 2011 (continued into the start of this season) and the fallout from it. Painful, for sure, but that's all part of the novel that is Fenway Park.
With all of the chaos surrounding the Red Sox in the last few months, it's easy to get caught up in the negativity. But that's not what this day is about. It's about celebrating all the great things the Red Sox have done at Fenway. Sure, the future is uncertain, but for now, let's put that behind us.
Join us, won't you, as we raise a toast to Fenway Park and fall in love with it all over again.
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