Faithful to Fenway: Believing in Boston, Baseball, and America's Most Beloved Ballpark

By Michael Ian Borer | Go to book overview

6
BELIEVE IN BOSTON
Red Sox Nation and the
Cultural Power of Place

A baseball crowd in Boston is just like going to a play in the West End
of London. People know when to clap, they know when a perform-
ance is great, and they plug right into it. It’s kind of like Shakespeare’s
Globe Theatre. The groundlings are the bleacher people; the people
rattling their jewelry are the people in the box seats. But one thing that
they all have in common is their love for Fenway and that they know
something about this game being played.

—Richard Johnson, curator of the Sports
Museum of New England in Boston

Every time I go to Fenway, I feel a sense of going home. I think the pop-
ular poster that refers to it as “The Chapel” captures some of those
feelings… My favorite memory of Fenway is of watching my son,
when he was two and a half, have his first Coke, ice cream, and hot
dog at the ballpark, and transform from a kid into a fan.

—Donald R., Red Sox fan, Bangor, Maine

After following the Fenway faithful into and around Boston’s ol’ ballpark, it is easy to see why baseball was promoted by social reformers, politicians, journalists, and ticket holders as a national communitarian pastime in the cities where it emerged, grew, and flourished. Baseball’s

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