BOSTON (AP) ― Jaime Gutierrez flew all the way from his home in El Salvador to attend Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary celebration.
“It’s a dream come true,” the 28-year-old Red Sox fan said. “Let’s just say I can scratch it off my bucket list.”
Bill “Spaceman” Lee came from a more distant place ― somewhere north of normal ― to the ball park where he made his name as a pitcher in the late 1960s and 1970s with a penchant for speaking his counter-culture mind.
Boston’s Fenway Park (AP-Yonhap News)
“I’ve been around this park when it was just a vacant lot and it was under water,” he said, as if creating a fantasy on the spot.
“I used to hunt ducks here when I was in India and I had a canoe that used to come in here and park all the time and I dreamed that there would be a ballpark here.”
The oldest major-league park, indeed, has seen it all.
On Thursday, thousands of fans wandered throughout the stands and on the warning track at an open house, the day before the Red Sox play the New York Yankees on the 100th anniversary of Boston’s first game at Fenway. Gutierrez was there to collect autographs from past players. Lee was there to sign them.
Fenway, its weird dimensions crammed tightly into a vibrant neighborhood, has been home to all sorts of history ― fanatics, flakes, fires and flameouts ― since the Red Sox beat the New York Highlanders in the opener.