Fenway Park, America’s most beloved hockey rink?
Jan. 11, 2017
At a Ballpark in January
By Maxx Tissenbaum
Good morning everybody and happy new year! Yes, a little late given that it’s the 11th already but this is my first post since we turned the calendar to 2017.
Last night I got to spend the evening at Fenway Park in Boston as my sister’s hockey team played in a Frozen Fenway game against Boston College. The weather was pretty awful, it rained most of the night, and her team lost, but I still found it to be a really cool event. I even got to skype with Gramma to help her feel like she was there since she had been put on the DL with a bad cold and couldn’t make the trip north for the game.
Molly’s team had gotten to practice at Fenway on Monday, and she sent some absolutely SICK pictures to me that got me super excited to get to the game. I wish I’d gotten to be her shooter like I used to when we were younger, I definitely would have loved to snipe on her behind first base!
We arrived on Yawkey Way at 5:30 and went into the Cask and Flagon, a bar just outside the Green Monster for dinner. We bumped into some Harvard Hockey parents, and eventually ended up meeting my parents there. At 6:45 we headed to Gate D to collect our tickets and headed inside the ballpark.
Yup, we’re on the pass list. Thanks Molly!
My first impression of the scene was a weird sense of awe. Here was Fenway Park blanketed in snow, with boards, glass and ice laid out from first base across the infield to third. It was pretty wild to see such an iconic baseball landmark set up in the middle of January for a hockey game. We wandered around in a cool mist taking pictures from all of our favorite places to sit for a baseball game. We took panoramic photos from behind home plate, with the Green Monster casting its shadow over the benches. We even managed to get up on top of the Monster to take some pictures of the rink. Our tickets were in section 103 on the first base side, but we sat on the third base side down the line instead. The sight lines are strange for a hockey game wedged between first and third base. Fenway Park has a very flat seating bowl, so it’s hard to actually see over the boards from anywhere close to the playing field.
When the team came out for pregame warmup, in their outdoor game special uniforms, they actually had to walk up the dugout steps, out to just past where the third baseman would be positioned to get on to the ice. Just like you see on tv during all of the NHL outdoor games the girls walked out with skate guards on, lined up by the door and had them taken off so they could go skate. I wandered down to the front row along the left field line to take some pictures of Molly while she was warming up, but again, found it near impossible to see. Thankfully one of the security people took my phone, walked right up to the glass and used the photographers camera opening to snap some incredible pictures. It was incredibly cool seeing Molly on the ice/field at Fenway, it’s cool to know somebody that you’re watching at an event like Frozen Fenway.
The game was relatively uneventful, Harvard fell behind 3-0, and managed to get one goal late to finish 3-1. It seemed like the teams struggled a bit with the elements as pucks bounced, splashed and stuck at times. When the third period began the rink looked almost like a wading pool, during the second intermission it had rained so hard that they had rink maintenance staff shoveling water off the ice. They were pushing waves through the end boards to try and dry out the ice. I jokingly told Sammy to go pull the tarp so that we could have a rain delay, a long standing joke from our time in Port Charlotte, when it always seemed to rain right at game time.
All in all it was a pretty cool night, I will never turn down a night watching hockey, and I certainly can’t complain about spending a night in January at Fenway Park.
Today we’re going to meet Molly for lunch when she finishes her team meetings and workout, and then drive back to Albany this afternoon. That means that it’s back to lifting, hitting, catching and throwing as I creep closer to Spring Training. I’m starting to really get excited about being back outside on a baseball field, rather than seeing one buried under a hockey rink!