First Visit to a Legendary Ballpark: Fenway Park

My primary purpose in going to Boston, aside from wanting to take a trip to a historic city, was to see Fenway Park. I grew up playing and watching baseball and ever since I got a Boston Red Sox hat when I was young, I’ve been a Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox fan. Being from Chicago, obviously, my first love is the Cubs, but after I received that hat I became a Red Sox fan.

Coming from Chicago and having made many trips to the historic Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field where the entire surrounding area for blocks and blocks was dedicated to the Chicago Cubs, I had an idea of what I would encounter in Boston. With similar fan bases, Cubs fans and Red Sox fans aren’t all that different. They both have incredible loyalty and devotion to their teams through both winning and losing seasons. Cubs fans will pack the seats during losing seasons just as much as winning seasons, the only differences being the outcome of games and the prices of tickets. Boston is pretty similar.

Walking to Fenway, I saw a slew of Red Sox fans, banners everywhere, people cheering for the Red Sox before the game even began. This reminded me of Chicago in that there is no way to miss the fact that you’re in Wrigleyville, the same way you can’t miss that Fenway Park is only blocks away. The fans were ecstatic and the whole city was anxiously awaiting the start of the game. Around the ballpark, there were bars showing the pregame on TV, vendors already selling memorabilia, and even though the game started at 7:05PM, it was an all-day affair.

Spotting the park from a few blocks away, I was giddy with anticipation. I’d been dreaming of visiting this ballpark for a game. When I got close, I saw almost every person as excited as I was. Walking down Lansdowne Street, I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere and overall culture of the team and the city it lives in. Scanning my ticket and walking into the park, I saw nothing but red. What surprised me, something that Wrigley Field doesn’t have, was Fenway had full restaurants and shops immediately inside the park. All Red Sox-themed were sit-down restaurants for those to experience before or during the game. Afterward, the party would move to the surrounding bars and restaurants, much like Wrigley.

Experiencing this historic ballpark was fascinating to me. Seeing all the die-hard Red Sox fans, the history of the team lining the walls, and the overall love of the team was awesome. It’s hard to put into words how incredible this experience was which is why I will surely find this post inadequate. Knowing you were walking into a legendary place that had experienced so much history was incredible. I can’t wait to go back.

I did notice something different about Red Sox fans in comparison to Cubs fans. Cubs fans love the team no matter what, much like Red Sox fans, but the difference lies in how they love their team. Red Sox fans are much more critical of their team. They will talk about which players suck, which need to be traded, and which will be around to build a team off of. Cubs fans tend to focus on the stars and their love for the team as a whole. Red Sox fans love their team but are very selective about who they want to be involved in it.

The atmospheres of Wrigley and Fenway are similar but different. Both fan bases are in love with their teams and almost always having a great time at the game. Wrigley Field, win or lose, is always a party. If the Cubs lose, there’s a consolation party. If they win, there’s a massively joyous party. Red Sox fans tend to be a little more serious in regards to their watching the game and while parties still occur, losses have a little more sorrowful effect.

Both teams are equally historic with iconic fan bases. Because of my hometown and original love for the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field will always be number 1 in my book. After this trip, however, Fenway Park is easily the immediate successor. I can’t wait to go back to Boston to experience the history, beautiful landscape, and another game at Fenway Park.

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