Royalty Tours USA

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Royalty goes to Fenway Park for ALCS Game 1!

On Saturday October 12th, the King, our friend Phil Butleman & I went up to Yankee Stadium so we could meet up with our pal Bryan Gilligan who drove up all up to Boston to Fenway Park for Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. The Red Sox were hosting the Detroit Tigers that night.

The Thursday before I left to go down South I was able to purchase tickets to that game because I had registered for the lottery they were having online to get tickets. I received an e-mail a day or two prior letting me know that I won a chance to have an opportunity to purchase tickets. It said it wasn't guaranteed that I would be able to secure the tickets though. I was able to get up to four tickets for one ALCS game if I got lucky & tickets popped up. With that being said, I decided to get the cheapest tickets I could so we could all get into the ballpark without losing a limb. I wound up getting three standing room tickets & a grandstand seat in section 33 in left field next to the Green Monster after I let some other pricier seats go. The King & I didn't care about having a seat so to speak. Phil on the other hand wanted a seat. With that being said, I told him he could have the seat I got. Bryan didn't seem to care one way or the other. He was happy to be in. In fact, he thanked me when informed him that I got us all tickets. He said & I quote "you did the job." It turned out that Bryan decided he would rather have a seat after all. He did manage to get himself one. As a result, I wound up with an extra ticket since a few other friends of ours decided for whatever reason they didn't want to join us. As I like to say, it's their loss.

Me & Joey Kraft outside Fenway Park
 Bryan parked the car on the street for free around 6PM & we walked a mile or so to Fenway Park. We decided to stop off by our favorite vendor outside the ballpark, Sausage Connection. Surprisingly, we got to see Mama & Harry who were both working there that night. It was great to see them again. Over the years it's become a tradition of ours to stop by to say hello even if we're not hungry. This time we certainly were. The King ordered a steak tips sandwich & I had a sausage. While we were eating & talking to them, our pal Phil was having a smoke. We thought he went into the ballpark. Luckily he didn't. The King went in when he finished eating. Then I saw Phil so I told him that we thought he went inside. I told him I have to try & get rid of the extra ticket I had. He told me they have a scalp free zone up the block. He said do you want me to show you where it is. I told him yes, that would be great. We proceeded to walk down the block together. As we were walking down, I got the impression there wasn't a big demand for tickets for some reason. I remember going to Game 2 of the 2007 ALCS against the Cleveland Indians & tickets were very hard to come by. That wasn't the case on this night. Everybody says how loyal Red Sox fans are, I found out firsthand that's not really true. It was Saturday night & it wasn't brutally cold outside either. When we finally got to the scalp free zone that Phil told me about there was a guy standing there with a clipboard. It appeared that I needed to give him my contact information in order to try & sell my extra ticket. Shortly thereafter, I heard a guy nearby yell out my name. He said & I quote "Gary Herman, it's me, Joey Kraft." To be perfectly honest, I was totally beside myself. I couldn't believe it. I was in a state of shock. We shook hands & we exchanged pleasantries. He said he needed a ticket for the game. He came all the way from Seattle at the last minute he said. He had just enough frequent flier miles to make it happen. He told me he was thinking of contacting to see if I was going. For whatever reason, he didn't. With that being said, without any hesitation I gave him my extra standing room ticket that I had. We stayed outside for a while because he met a perfect stranger named Dominick earlier when he got there who also needed a ticket for the game. As game time was fast approaching, I told him I'm going inside. I also told him that I plan to look for an empty seat in section 24 right in front of the grandstand which is just to the left of the screen behind home plate. They told me to try & get them a few seats too.

Joey Kraft & I inside Fenway Park

When I went into inside the park, I got my baseball passport book stamped & validated since I didn't have it when I made my only visit there back on Patriot's Day in April. This time I did. I also picked up a program for my Mark Chesna who requested one. After I took care of those priorities, I proceeded to press my luck. I went to section 24 & I wound up lucking out big time after I moved once. I got not one, not two but indeed three seats to myself. I wrote Joey Kraft a text message to let him know how lucky I was. Finally in the fourth inning, Joey & Dominick joined me. They had found a few empty seats in section 29 which was further out towards left field. When they came by me, they got to enjoy a major upgrade. We wound up spending the rest of the game together there. The King who found a few seats towards the back of the grandstand in section 23 wanted me to join him. I would have but Anibal Sanchez of the Tigers was throwing a no hitter. Mind you it was a very sloppy one as he walked six & he struck out a dozen. He lasted only six innings since his pitch count was so high. The Tigers' bullpen managed to keep the Red Sox hitless until Daniel Nava broke it up after fouling off a number of pitches off of reliever Joaquin Benoit who gave up a bloop single which prevented us from seeing history. I wasn't totally disappointed because I prefer to see one pitcher throw a no hitter not a bunch of them. It's not quite the same. The Tigers managed to win the game, 1-0 as they took a one game series lead in the best of seven series.

After the game, Bryan was nice enough to drive me to South Station in Boston so I could catch my 2:15AM Megabus back to NYC. The King, Bryan & Phil decided to stay over for game two on Sunday night. As for me, I wanted to get back home so I could go to the Jet game. The bus I took back left late at 2:28AM but it got back to NYC early at 6:28AM instead of the scheduled arrival time of 6:45AM. I proceeded to walk to the subway. I got home around 7:30AM. I laid down for a few hours before I met up with my pal Larry Peim at 31st Street & 8th Avenue at 11:30AM. He drove me out to MetLife Stadium for the Jets & Steelers game that day.

Stay tuned for all the details of that day.

Thank you for reading & following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

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