The Boston Red Sox have a long standing history in the game of baseball. What has an even more profound footprint on the game and the fans is the stadium the team calls home. Fenway Park was built-in 1912 and is the oldest park in Major League Baseball. On Friday, April 20th, 2012, the park celebrated 100 years in baseball. The park has undergone some criticism in recent years as some claim that it is in need of a 21st century upgrade. Even more drastic, some claim a whole new stadium would be better. However, some fans would disagree. Fans argue that the history that lies within the walls of Fenway is worth more than a brand new stadium.
Those who stand by the historic park claim it has significance to the team, the city of Boston, and should be left alone. In a recent interview by MLB.com, team manager Bobby Valentine, describes the essence in what makes the ballpark the icon that it is. “The park has a magic to it. It’s the baseball Land of Oz. People dream about this place” explained Valentine. Only undergoing minor changes through the years, the park has remained true to its roots. Fans value the history that the park has to offer. They sit in the same park that has seen many iconic players such as Babe Ruth and Ted Williams among others. The scoreboard is old-school still being changed by hand. Distinct features like the ‘Green Monster’, the giant green wall in left field, is well-known even by those who are not Boston fans. Though the park has its quirks, fans of the Red Sox do not seem to mind. Fans seem to embrace the cramped seating, the poles in view of the field, and the horrific traffic and parking near the stadium. Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, writes “there is some weird comfort in the knowledge that the poles that occasionally obscured our vision of the pitcher, are the same green beams that blocked the vision of my dad and his dad when they would take the trolley from Cambridge to watch the Red Sox in the 1920s.’’
Though there may be critics of the park, the love from the fans and the city is undeniable. It has been around for 100 years. It has endured fires, slight renovations, and the franchise has endured the ‘curse of the bambino’ for many of those 100 years. Through all that, the park remains. Further proving it is irreplaceable. It is home to ‘Red Sox Nation’. It is the beacon of hope for fans and considered the holy-grail for many baseball enthusiasts.