We made it to our first ever opening game yesterday, and while it ended well (though we were home by that point) there was something off about seeing both the Yankees and nightfall before even the ceremonial first pitch was thrown.
Our thoughts and some more pictures after the jump.
Fenway, of course, looks great. We hadn't been to a game in two years and between then and now the Sox have replaced the physical seats that we sit in – more comfortable, though just the same width! Or, perhaps, we aren't the same width…
Chowder – seven bucks. Ice cream, $5.25. We stuck with a single hot dog and peanuts from outside the field.
Honor Guard all lined up. Is there anything dumber than a flyover of F-16s at a random moment in at nightime? They didn't even time it with the national anthem. This is the waste of public funds, not health care!
Biggest ovation of the night, prior to the emergence of a Sox legend, was for Mike Lowell, who received a rousing, spirited cheer. He seemed moved. Mariano Rivera was showered with cheers, and even Derek Jeter got a nice ovation (dotted with boos, but those were the minority). We think that even the hardest of hardened Sox fans are recognizing what a great Jeter is, and it was nice to hear the applause. Any boos that came through on the TV should be qualified – in the house it was a good, steady acknowledgment.
We couldn't have asked for a more moving suprise than Pedro emerging from the Monster to throw out the first pitch. We went to the All-Star Game with our Dad in 1999 where Ted Williams came out of center field surrounded by the players, a truly moving event. Pedro followed that with a legendary pitching performance. It felt like an appropriate bookend to be at this game, our first opener, with our Mom, and Pedro walking in from the wall. Nobody was happier than Pedro, his face gives us everything.
Play ball! First pitch, Beckett to Jeter.
Our impressions of opening night were that these games should never occur at night. There wasn't a ton of pomp and circumstance surrounding the introductions and start of the festivities. It felt sincere, and was enjoyable. But once Pedro left the mound, Beckett started missing the plate (but not the bats!) the game felt pedestrian, out of place for a rite of spring. It's called "opening day" for a reason, the memories of finding a radio to listen the game right around the time school was ending (if played on a Tuesday or Thursday, we got out early) or trying to cut away to catch a listen while school ended are irreplacable. Last night, for all the excitement of the Yankees coming to town and the first game of the year, felt, following that ceremony, like it could have been in May or June. That's a shame. No team should have to start their season on Sunday night, on Easter, at 815pm – not the Sox, not the Yanks, not the Nationals, not the Padres. Opening day is meant for sun (or clouds and drizzle), it is meant for kids, parents, and spring afternoons.