As a Red Sox fan that lives overseas, Opening Day has always been something that I watched online or on TV.
It was often recorded and watched the day after due to timezone differences.
This year would be different.
Attending Opening Day 2017 at Fenway Park was a possibility that I was not going to let slip away.
Coming into Boston... Fenway
in the background.
It started a few months ago when I found out that I would be in Boston for my work this week, the same day that the Red Sox opened their season at Fenway. It would be close though, as the flight was scheduled to land at 12:30pm and with first pitch scheduled for 2:05pm I would have to hurry.
A ticket to the game was secured and I packed a small carry-on bag only to avoid the long wait on baggage that all international flights coming in from overseas have. I was set for the first Opening Day of my life.
Monday, 3 April 2017 I get up at 5am local time to avoid rush hour traffic which could cause a missed flight. I got to the airport to find a message from the airline; my flight would be delayed by over an hour, something that has not happened before in the 5+ years I have been making work related trips to Boston.
Of all days to be delayed. The new arrival time was to be 1:15pm, pretty much ensuring I would miss first pitch.
Even offering an incentive should the pilot arrive at Boston Logan airport ahead of schedule did not work, so on arrival I worked my way through customs and grabbed a taxi to my hotel near the Charles River next to Fenway. At about 1:55pm while in the taxi on Sorrow Drive I observed the two fighter jets do their flyover Fenway Park.
At the hotel I ran to the front desk and told the receptionist that she would get bonus points for a quick check-in as I had tickets to Opening Day.
She got me into my room in less than five minutes, where I quickly changed and headed on foot to Fenway park.
It was just the bottom of the second inning when I arrived at the park. I missed the pre-game show; John Kerry, the Patriots, and more. It didn't matter, I was finally there!
If you are wondering what the differences are between a normal season game and Opening Day, I would have to say it is how enthusiastic and engaged the crowd is.
From the start to the last inning, nobody left. The crowd was singing, cheering and jumping out of their seats for every play. The concession lines were long and did not diminish at all during the game.
I had a seat in section 29, which for those that are not familiar with Fenway is located on the 3B side, half way out in to left field.
Closing out the game.
I only stay in my seat for a bit before walking around Fenway to enjoy the various standing room only views. Fans there are friendly, tend to talk a lot of baseball during the game and are more than happy to ensure everyone there gets a good view of the field during the game.
Eric is a contributing writer since 2013 and a true Overseas Fan of the Boston Red Sox living in the Netherlands. He's spent years on baseball fields around the world pitching. His weekends are now spent helping the next generations of pitchers to find their passion and love for the sport. More articles by Eric: https://www.redsoxlife.com/search/label/ericschabell