Posted by: bullyforme | May 7, 2013

Hanrahan!

My mother and I love going to Red Sox games at Fenway Park.  Because neither of us are rich, we usually end up with tickets for either standing room or the bleachers.  No complaints here, there isn’t an inch of Fenway Park I’d rather not be at than anywhere else.  However, due to the cheaper seating and other factors, we do usually get to experience a more…”earthy” crowd than in other spots.  There are occasionally families and whatnot but the majority of the fans in the standing section and bleacher seats are groups of young people, Southie rowdies, and beer drinkers.  It can get rather lively to say the least.

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The bleacher seats.  Not too bad, actually.

Last night we were in the bleachers.  Surrounding us were a large group of high school seniors and a smaller pack of happy, chatty, nerdy guys about whom my mother whispered, giggling into my ear, “those guys remind me of the Big Bang Theory.”  (They definitely did).  The smell of beer was in the air and little empty nip bottles littered the ground but even so, it was a mellow crowd, for the bleacher seats.  It was Monday night and the game had been fairly uneventful. 

It was the top of the 9th and the Sox were leading 5-4 as the heavy metal theme song of our “closer,” Hanrahan, filled the air.  My mother and I looked at each other with dread as the pitcher trotted out to take the mound.  “Oh, no!  Not this guy!”  Hanrahan is a new addition for the Sox and his record, though still in its infancy, speaks for itself—0-2.  No saves. 

Within a pitch or two, a Minnesota Twin sent one sailing over the Monster, tying the game.  Choruses of groans and booing erupted from the dwindling crowd.  Many people had left in the 8th inning, which wasn’t surprising and usually happens on a weeknight.  After this, even more fans got up and began filing for the exits. 

Being in the bleachers, we heard our share of rude noises and expletives regarding Hanrahan’s latest faux pas.  One particularly broad-chested fellow in the seats over my left shoulder stood up, leaned out over his safety rail, and cupped his hands to his mouth to create an organic megaphone.  “HANRAHAN, YER FUCKIN’ SHIT!  YOU SUCK!”  Then again, “FUCK YOU, HANRAHAN!”  He bellowed in a deep Southie baritone.   I couldn’t help but laugh.   Man, I love the bleachers!

So, the tenth inning rolled around because of course the Sox couldn’t score in the bottom of the 9th.  It was getting very late.  I had promised my son a red Ellsbury t-shirt only available at the Yawkey Way store, which was located far from both our bleacher seats and our parking spot.  Dreading a sleep deprived day at work, I suggested to my mother that we start moving toward it, and we could watch on screens and poke our heads in as we passed different sections.  No longer a slave to the workforce herself, she fussed at me (dare I say “glared”) but agreed.  As we walked down the outer halls of Fenway we heard some cheering and ran over to peek in at a section between home and first bases. 

It was loge seating.  Empty loge seating.  Loge seating is located directly behind and beside the Red Sox dugout, and it was gloriously unattended by the usual red-jacketed babysitters who shoo away any potential squatters.  People pay good money – BIG money – for these seats and the caliber of fans who sit here do not tolerate imposters well.  However at this time, the park was more than half-emptied of impatient, unfaithful fans, or those who had to catch the last train, or those whose babysitters had biology tests at Fenway High the next morning.  The “richies” who remained in their expensive loge seating were ignoring anyone looking to score a cushioned, generously sized, gloriously located red loge seat 50 feet away from the first base coach and 20 feet away from the dugout.

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Same game, new view.  Much better, actually.

We settled in with unsuppressed glee and I took in the sight around us.  “Check out the difference in the crowd here,” I said.  “It’s so funny, you can tell just by the way they sit, let alone their clothes!”

In the bleachers or standing room, you’ll likely see the “ridiculously painted fan guy,” the “shirtless guy,” girls in baby-doll Red Sox T’s, four-inch bangle earrings and glitter ball caps, the plain janes (such as I) in jeans and crocs, and the middle class family-of-fours with their happy, cotton-candy-faced kids grasping foam fingers.  You’ll hear curses and shouts, loud laughter and bawdy accents. 

This group was decidedly different.  They wore jeans but also suits.  I saw classy Donna Karan earrings and plain, clean baseball caps covering perfect, shiny ponytails, starter jackets, leather loafers and Michael Kors bags.  Polite clapping and subtle shouts of “Yes!” took the place of pumping fists and “OOOHRAH” bellowing.   Empty cups were nestled in the seats’ attached cupholders, in contrast to the bleachers where the “cupholders” are the concrete spaces under our seats.  I was tickled to observe how “the other half” lives while waiting for the inevitable win or loss. 

Mom and I were excited to have such a great view in these extra innings.  Things got kind of quiet as we waited for our new pitcher to end the inning (the beleaguered Hanrahan having been sent to the showers).  Suddenly, a guy about 20 feet to my left cupped a hand to his mouth.  I watched with surprise to see where this was going.  He was dressed in a brown leather jacket and a neat blue Red Sox cap.  In his other hand was a carefully nursed cup of dark, non-Budweiser ale product.   No signs of Southie here.  What would he say?  He leaned forward and half-rose out of his seat.  In a voice about as loud as mine gets when my kid leaves the toilet seat up, he called out “Darn you, Hanrahan!”, pumped his fist once and returned to his seated position.  I fell to pieces giggling.  Man, I love the loge! 

Win or lose, this night would be worth the certain foggy, painful morning ahead at work, just to have experienced the two very different Hanrahan bashers in such opposite settings at the same beloved ball park.

As it turned out, Stephen Drew (J.D.’s little brother) hit a wall ball in the 11th, bringing home the winning run.  Before the ball had even bounced off the F.W. Webb sign, the entire dugout emptied out on to the field –about 30 feet away from us!– as the rest of the team ran to congratulate Drew and the base runners.   What a beautiful sight from any view. 

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In the end, it doesn’t matter where you’re sitting at Fenway Park.  When the strains of “Tessie” start streaming over the loudspeaker and “RED SOX WIN” flashes on the Jumbotron, everyone has the same seat.

I love you, Fenway!

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Note:  These pictures were taken with my not-so-smart phone. I really must remember to bring my Canon to these games! 

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Responses

  1. Awesome rhetoric, my sweet daughter, as usual, you are at the “top of your game” (pun intended) However; please take note: I don’t glare. It’s undignified. After sitting in the loge seats, even for just a bit, you should know that. bwaaaahaaaahahahahahahahaha (remember, I was BORN in Southie!)

    • Hahaha! I must have left myself logged in to my mother’s computer, since this post looks like it came from me. It actually came from my lovely mom, and my companion from the other night’s game. 🙂


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