Christmas at Fenway: The Recap

1197304653Christmas at Fenway is a lot like Christmas in any other venue. It’s hyped for weeks in advance. It’s expensive. You don’t always get what you want, and it’s full of people you’re glad you won’t have to see again for another year. We dragged ourselves out of bed Saturday morning and braved the cold temperatures to attend the event and report back to you. And to get ourselves some tickets, obviously.

1197304804We met the benevolent soul who allowed us to be her guest outside Gate D at the early hour of 9 a.m. After getting our wristbands and a ticket to get our picture taken with the World Series trophy, we walked up to the State Street Pavilion and found a mob of people milling around by the door, unsure of what to do.

We picked up an order form that endeavored to explain the mysterious combination of Sox Pax and single-game tickets we could buy. The coffee hadn’t fully kicked in, so the bickering over which tickets we wanted began almost immediately.

We wanted to buy tickets to the pack that would have gotten us in the door for the Opening Day bling ceremony, but the friend who won the raffle—and thus was the only one who could purchase tickets—wanted to buy a pack that came with Sox-Yankees tickets. Knowing better than to bite the hand that would get us into the park at face value, we shut up.

Having filled out the form, we started to look around the Pavilion. Wally sat in a big blue chair, taking pictures and autographing baseballs. (We shoved some rugrats aside to get our picture with the mascot too.) The bars weren’t selling Bloody Marys, unfortunately, but were well stocked with juice and coffee for the many families in attendance.

1197311099As it crept closer to the time when tickets would go on sale, Carl Beane appeared on the flat-screen televisions to explain how the day would work. The number on the wristband we were given would determine when we could buy our tickets, much like waiting in line at the deli. The number on the raffle ticket corresponded to when we could get our picture taken with the World Series trophy.

There were only a few activities to keep us busy while we waited. The 2004 and 2007 World Series DVDs played on the televisions. Santa Claus wandered around handing out lollipops. Tina Cervasio looked for the best places to get footage of the event. Fans with cameras slipped outside to get pictures of the park during winter renovations.

The promised appearances were pretty disappointing. Ben Cherington showed up to answer questions, but not Theo Epstein. Luis Tiant wore his 2004 World Series ring. Terry Francona only took questions from the kids in the audience, so our hopes of getting him to say something nasty about Bob Watson were dashed. But the little ones held Tito’s feet to the fire, asking several questions about the potential loss of Jacoby Ellsbury.

“Is Theo answering questions later?” Francona asked in the classic ask-your-father way. “That’s a question for Theo.”

Finally, our number was called to get our picture taken with the World Series trophy. While early birds got to pose with both World Series and ALCS trophies, the 2007 championship trophy had gone to Downtown Crossing. After the photographer barked at us for touching the 2004 trophy, we elected to pay $20 for printouts of us beaming behind the flags.

1197312044After nearly six hours at the park, we finally were whisked away to the basement to purchase our tickets. The earlier fight over the Opening Day tickets was resolved because that was the one Sox Pack to sell out. We paid our money and walked out with a thick stack of freshly-printed tickets. While we’re considerably lighter in the wallet, we can’t wait until next year.