“If you build it, he will come….. people will come Ray”…..Terrence Mann (played by James Earl Jones in Field of Dreams)

And on Saturday February 25, 2012 they came.

They came to Daniels Parkway in Ft. Myers Florida. They came to where a century of baseball tradition in Boston merged with today and the Florida sunshine. They came to say hello to Jet Blue Park at Fenway South.

When John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino bought the Boston Red Sox a decade ago, my brother and I often spoke of how we love the fact that these guys “get it”. They get what this team means to New England. They get what it meant to live through generations of angst born of not winning a World Series. They get how connected Red Sox fans stay to the players and teams of the past. They get what the Jimmy Fund means to the entire community. They simply get it!

Just how much they get it is now on full display in a Florida city 1500 miles south of Fenway Park!                                            

Under their ownership, the concept of beautiful losers has been shred, and their new facility displays their focus and their goal each year!

Decorated on walls throughout the facility are the symbols which are emblematic of the World Series the Red Sox have won.

And they have recreated a mini Fenway Park.

Replete with The Green Monster and the Monster seats. There is however, a variation on this theme as the seats are protected by netting. The reason is that the ball is still in play. A ball has to be hit to the standing room location atop the “Monster” to be a homer.

The right field facade appears to offer a variation as well but I’m not so sure. The retired numbers pictured are in the order in which they were retired. At Fenway the numbers are listed numerically and have been so since Fisk’s 27 was retired. Is there a reason for this variation or is this a hint of what we will see at Fenway for her 100th birthday year? I love this and I hope Fenway follows suit.

Outside the park, the original Ted Williams Jimmy Fund Statue has found another home and looks quite comfortable among the Florida Palms.

Ted’s “Red Seat” is commemorated as well and I found this most compelling. It is 502 feet from home plate just as Ted’s “Red Seat” is at Fenway, only here, it’s about 20 feet from the parking lot.

Under the grandstand, the Red Sox most memorable moments are on display, just as they are in the first base State Street Pavillion at Fenway.

 And over the facade behind home plate the banners declaring each American League Pennant and World Series championship boldly declare the quest for more.

Fenway Park’s first year.

For many, Fenway Park’s best year.

And what would a day at spring training be without a visit to the minor league fields.

Daniel Nava, remember him? A grand slam home run on the first pitch he ever saw in the major leagues!

One way you know you are at the minor league complex, the players still pick up the baseballs.

And so I shared with my big brother the very first day of the historic 2012 season for Fenway Park and the Red Sox. And there is serendipity in that for there is no one with whom I have shared more Fenway moments than he.

         And so it is on this day in Fenway Park history, February 27, 2012.  

About fenwaypark100

Hello and welcome, my name is Raymond Sinibaldi. An educator for more than two decades, a baseball fan for nearly 60 years, I have authored four books about baseball and her glorious history; with a fifth on the way in late spring of 2015; the first, The Babe in Red Stockings which was co-authored with Kerry Keene and David Hickey. It is a chronicle of Babe's days with the Red Sox. We also penned a screenplay about Babe's Red Sox days so if any of you are Hollywood inclined or would like to represent us in forwarding that effort feel free to contact me through my email. In 2012 we three amigos published Images of Fenway Park in honor of the 100th birthday of Fenway Park. That led to the creation of this blog. The following year, 2013 came my first solo venture, Spring Training in Bradenton and Sarasota. This is a pictorial history of spring training in those two Florida cities. The spring of 2014 brought forth the 1967 Red Sox, The Impossible Dream Season. The title speaks for itself and it also is a pictorial history. Many of the photos in this book were never published before. The spring of 2015 will bring 1975 Red Sox, American League Champions. Another pictorial effort, this will be about the Red Sox championship season of 1975 and the World Series that restored baseball in America. I was fortunate enough to consult with sculptor Franc Talarico on the “Jimmy Fund” statue of Ted Williams which stands outside both Fenway Park and Jet Blue Park Fenway South, in Fort Myers Florida. That story is contained in the near 300 posts which are contained herein. This blog has been dormant for awhile but 2015 will bring it back to life so jump on board, pass the word and feel free to contact me about anything you read or ideas you may have for a topic. Thanks for stopping by, poke around and enjoy. Autographed copies of all my books are available here, simply click on Raymond Sinibaldi and email me.
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