Monday, October 8, 2012

Not an off-the-wall experience, but not a fan experience either.

Today was batting practice at Fenway for season ticket holders.  Sorry about 2012, would you like to take batting practice at home plate?  Yes, indeed.

I wore my official Ted Williams #9 home shirt with the 1939 seal on the sleeve, blue undersleeves (like they wore in Ted's day), and a nicely broken-in hat.  Kathy went with me to record it for posterity.  As I was checking in the Sox representative said if I hit the wall he'd comp me my season tickets for 2013.

They took us in through the visitor's locker room, down the walkway under the grandstand, up into the visitor's dugout, then onto the field.  I could choose from wood or metal bats and went with wood.  I could probably have hit the ball farther with a metal bat, but using a real wood bat is way more fun.  The bat was heavier than I would have preferred, but I could swing it.  I found a helmet in my size and headed for home plate.

They announced me on the PA.  "Now batting, number 9, 'the Don'...Don Kelley." The entire at-bat was on the Jumbotron, but I didn't know that until afterward because I was concentrating on seeing the ball real good.  

I had gone to the batting cages on Cape Cod in the morning to take some practice BP both left-handed and right-handed.  Baseball medium-fast.  I had surprised myself by hitting some respectable fly balls righty, so at Fenway I decided to go up there righty and use a Dewey stance.

Five pitches.  I connected on every one of them.  Only fouled one back.  One of them I hit to short and figured if Lugo were playing I might well be on base.  That white blotch next to the edge of the batting cage, above the guy in the red shirt, is the ball soaring toward short.

Afterward we headed to the Red Sox dugout, took some shots sitting on the bench, standing up the railing looking concerned, walking down the gangway to the Red Sox clubhouse looking disgusted, like I'd just been tossed for arguing a close call that went the wrong way.

Then we posed with the two World Series trophies and went up on the Green Monster for some more shots.  It was not an off-the-wall experience (while I was there no one came anywhere near hitting the wall), but I didn't swing and miss at all, so it wasn't a fan experience. It was the most fun I've had at Fenway without seeing a game.

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