The Red Sox are celebrating the centennial of Fenway Park.
It is a grand event, because, as NBC Connecticut/WEEI sportscaster John Chandler so perfectly put it, the Red Sox owners are better party planners than baseball executives these days.
But there is no grander event than the very first time you visit the place John Updike called “that lyric little bandbox.”
I remember the anticipation, the excitement, the warmth of the moment my grandfather led my brother and me through the brick ballpark gates and up the ramp to the field for our first game.
He’d sprung for box seats. Nine dollars for the three of us!
That walk up the ramp was the best part. The first few steps, all you see is the sky. Bright blue. Then the grandstand enters the picture. Look at all the seats! And finally, the field. So green. So perfect. The place, the moment, just filled us up.
And when we were filled up, with hot dogs and Coke, we made our other big discovery. The men’s room had troughs! I remember looking up at my grandfather.
“Step right up, boy, and do your business.”
He was quite pleased. We are, after all, from a long line of plumbers.
And Red Sox fans.