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Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park
Fenway Park, opened in 1912 near Boston's Kenmore Square, is the oldest American ballpark and one of the most beloved. With its weird angles and its "Green Monster" wall in left field, the "lyric little bandbox," in John Updike's famous phrase, has retained much of its signature quirkiness. A day at Fenway is the quintessential baseball experience. Be sure to take in the whole thing, even beyond the ballpark. Listen to some live music on Jersey Street before the game. Have a catch with Big League Brian, the stilt walker. Get a sausage on Lansdowne Street. A Red Sox game is about a lot more than just the game.
Boston Red Sox History
The famously cursed franchise of the 20th century is one of the most decorated ballclubs of the 21st. World Series winners in 2004, 2007, 2013 and 2018, the modern Red Sox found success by combining management savvy with fat wallets. Recently, the Red Sox had the largest payroll in baseball, with a mix of high-priced free agents and maturing home-grown talent. The unquestioned star of the team — and in fact all of baseball — was Mookie Betts, a fifth-round draft pick by the Red Sox in 2011. In 2018 he hit .346, with 32 home runs and 30 stolen bases. After going 108–54 in 2018's regular season, Boston romped through the playoffs, dispatching the Yankees, the Astros and the Dodgers and dropping only three games in the process. The 2018 Red Sox were a smart organization with plenty of money to burn, and the result was a lot of fun baseball for their fans.
Boston had earned a little fun, after so many years in the wilderness. In 1920, owner Harry Frazee, a New York theater producer, sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for $100,000. Thus the "Curse of the Bambino" was born, and the Red Sox, having won a World Series in 1918, would not bring home another one until the 21st century. Heartbreak reigned along Yawkey Way, despite the presence of all-time greats like Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk and Roger Clemens. Every Red Sox fan remembers the moments: Bucky Dent's home run over the Green Monster in 1978; Mookie Wilson's slow roller through Bill Buckner's legs in the 1986 World Series; Aaron Boone's solo shot off Tim Wakefield in 2003.
Things turned around with the 2004 team, affectionately nicknamed "The Idiots" for their shaggy charms. With ace pitching and timely slugging from the likes of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, the Red Sox finished the season on a tear, winning 22 of 25 games to make the Wild Card. After sweeping the Angels in the ALDS, the Sox became the first team in MLB history to come back from a 3–0 deficit to win a playoff series, breaking the hearts of the Yankees in the ALCS much as Boston's had been broken time and time again. The demons had been exorcised, and the Red Sox went on to sweep the Cardinals in the Fall Classic, never trailing once in the series.