Archive for the ‘Red Sox’ Category

Boston knows how to throw a party! THANK YOU BRUINS!

June 20, 2011

Wednesday June 15, 2011 was the day {or should I say night} my Boston sports victories became a complete set.  Up to Wednesday night I had seen all of my beloved teams win their respective championships, but Lord Stanley’s  elusive Cup was the only victory I had never seen.  Until June 15th!  I have now been witness to TEN BOSTON VICTORIES in my life, and I’m only 34….I plan on viewing MANY more!!!!

*For those of you scratching your heads, here are the Championships I’ve seen.   {also note I come from a family of crazy/dedicate sports fans}

Boston CELTICS: 1981, 1984, 1986 and 2008

New England PATRIOTS: 2002, 2004 and 2005

Boston RED SOX: 2004 and 2007

Boston BRUINS: 2011

THE ROLLING RALLY TRADITION IN BOSTON:

It all started with the 2002 New England Patriots  winning the Super Bowl  for the first time EVER!  Patriots fans went generations without ever seeing the Pats win the Super Bowl!  {my 4 grandparents lived and died and only ever saw the Celtics and Bruins win their respective championships.}

*The thing about Boston/New England sports fans….we’re diehard, loyal and slightly crazed about our teams in good times and bad!!! 

To honor the Patriots and to let the fans say, “Thank You,” to the team,  Boston organized a parade which started at the Hynes convention center and rolled through the streets of Boston on a mile and a half course.  The players, coaches, owners and their families boarded Boston’s famous Duck Boats for the parade.  The “Rolling Rally” as Mayor Menino dubbed it, was a huge hit with the fans.  So much so, that when the   Patriots won again in 2004, there was another “Rolling Rally” in their honor.

2004 was also the Red Sox first “Rolling Rally” as they snapped their 86 year losing streak, and brought the World Series trophy home to Boston for the first time since 1918!  This time the Rally started at Fenway Park, rolled through the streets of Boston and through the Charles Rivah!  {where they keep the infamous “Dirty Water.”}

2005 Patriots get another Rolling Rally.  {trust me, it never gets old!}

2007 Red Sox Rolling Rally number 2.

I believe it was because they were feeling the need to be like the “cool kids,” the Celtics won their first championship trophy since 1986 in 2008, and got a “Rolling Rally” of their own.  The Celts parade started at the TD Garden, {“Tha Gahden” if you’re from the area} and proceeded through the streets of Boston into Copley Square along a 2 mile route.

So 3 out of 4 Boston/New England teams had won their championship, the eyes of all turned to the Bruins.  Over the past 5 years, they had gotten progressively closer to “The Cup,” but lost in heartbreaking series year after year.

In the 2010/2011 season, “B-lieve in Boston!” became the mantra of the Bruins fans.  “We want the Cup!” chants could be heard throughout the 2011 playoffs from the Boston faithful.  At one point the  “Why Not Us?” question, made famous by the 2004 Red Sox, was being thrown about.

*It should be noted that when a Boston/New England team does well the fans throw the words, “we” and “us”  about to describe the teams accomplishments, but when the team is doing poorly the words, “them” and “they” are used.  So the “WE Want The Cup” would have been “THEY lost the Cup” had things not ended as they did.  “Why not US” would have been “THEY lost again.

WE DID IT! WE WON THE CUP!

The Bruins are finally getting their “Rolling Rally!”  I geared up for the Bruins parade and then the Red Sox game that night.  😉

I met up with 2 friends to watch the Rally roll through the streets of Boston.  This was my first rolling rally.  {I’d watched the others on TV} We all met at Tha Gahden and listened to the players and coaches get the fans riled up.  The Duck Boats filled with players, staff, owners and families headed onto Causeway Street and thus began the “Bruins rolling Rally” through Boston.  Lord Stanley’s Cup was in the first boat along with Zdeno Chara and company!  My friends and I then got on the T and headed to Copley Square where the end of the rally would be.

The photos below will show you how amazingly AWESOME it was!  I was also at the Red Sox game the next day when the Bruins “Rolling Rally part deux” took place at Fenway Park!

OK, I’ve yammered on enough…enjoy the photos!  🙂  {Thank you to my friend, Paul for some of the pix}

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NKOTBSB at Fenway! Part 2…singin’ in the rain!

June 13, 2011

So after eating dinner at b.good on Mass Ave, the crew and I headed back to Fenway Park!  Gates had been open for about half an hour by the time we got back, but the concert wasn’t slated to start for another hour or so.  We all hung out at the top of Section 18  {the section right behind home plate} See how cute we all are….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weather forecast  for the Boston area on June 11, 2011 was for “scattered showers.”   Well, as we had all been wandering the streets of Boston all afternoon, the umbrellas went up and came down, back up then back down, but nothing to write home about, just a little periodic rain.  If this is what was in store for us, we’d be just fine.

My date for the show was the lovely Krystle!  {she was a last min addition because my original date bailed on me.}Thanks for being a GREAT replacement, K!!!!  🙂

There was a tweet sent out for all audience members to be seated by 7:00pm.  I didn’t personally see this tweet, but there was a buzz about it going throughout Fenway.  So just after 6:30pm, the crew broke off and went our separate ways to our seats.  Krystle and I got to our seats only to discover we had an obstructed view of the stage.  Booooooo!  BUT….if you recall from Part 1…..have tiara, will travel!  PRINCESS PRIVILEGES to the rescue!  {ok, some really nice lady hired by the event coördinator to help people with our predicament.} Krystle and I got “upgraded seats” to right behind home plate! {Dear Theo, can these tix work for Sox games too? No? Just wondering.}

SPEAKING OF THEO….

While standing behind Section 18, the girls and I saw Theo Epstein walking by with his wife to their seats.  {one can only presume a luxury box.}  So I said, “Yaaaaaaay Theo!” and he smiled and waved at us. Then I said, “Yaaay Mrs. Theo!” to which she giggled and waved to us.

OK, back to the story….

Joey McIntyre introduced a children’s choir who sang a few songs.  He got emotional when he introduced them because when he was a child, he and his sister Carol were part of this group.  Jordan Sparks was the official opening act and did a lovely job.  Then there was about 20 mins while we all waited for NKOTBSB to take the stage. Mayor Menino came on stage and talked about how much NKOTB have done for Boston over the decades and thanked them and BSB for their dedication to music in the schools.  The mayor’s mic kept cutting out, so we didn’t get all of what he was saying, but the gist of it was YAY NEW KIDS!  Then the crowd went NUTS as Donnie Wahlberg’s younger brother MAHKEY MAHK took the stage to say a few words!  Gist of his speech; My brother is my hero and without him I would probably still be in jail.

Over the PA system the “Starting Line Up” was then announced and from the Red Sox dugout all 9 members of NKOTBSB came running out and lined up on the first base line decked out in Red Sox jerseys! About 15-20 feet from where Krystle and I were standing!  🙂  Here they are in the Sox jerseys on stage…

 

The photo below is where we were for the concert.  You can see Mark Wahlberg on the screen to the right of the NKOTBSB banner.  {you can also see the poor security guard who has seen me at Red Sox games, but didn’t know what the hell to make of me at the concert.}

The show was now underway!  Both bands performed together then NKOTB left and  Backstreet Boys delighted the crowd.  Up till this point, there was no rain at Fenway.  THEN one of the nit-wit Backstreet Boys…I don’t know which one….noted the lack of rain and said how “lucky” we all were.  BSB left the stage and New Kids took the stage…so did the rain!  Now this was not a little bit of rain that came down for the next 2 hours, this was the ‘where-is-Noah-and-his-boat’ type of rain!  SOAKED to the core within 15 minutes!

THE SHOW MUST GO ON!

I’m pretty sure that after realizing NOBODY was taking cover, the New Kids and Backstreet Boys just accepted the rain like the rest of us and made the best of the situation.  Throughout the remainder of the concert, particularly at the end, various members of each band took a running start and launched himself down the newly formed slip and slide.  As you can see from the photo below, taken by my friend Shelley before the concert, the stage was shaped perfectly for a slip and slide!

Joey McIntyre at one point said in his adorable mock-Boston accent, “Oh my gawd! I caught pneumonia at the New Kids concert at Fenway Pahk…and I don’t give a sh*t!” He then went on to say in the same mock-accent, “And I don’t care!  I missed a week of work, and I don’t care!  Are we gonna let the rain stop us? HELL NO!”  and the show went on!  Joey even decided to dance on home plate {right in front of us} and I yelled, “I LOVE YOU JOEY MAC!” at the top of my lungs!  Turns out there was a reason I was a good cheerleader back in the day…I’m loud!  He turned to me in the middle of singing, “Tonight” and pointed at me!  EEEEEEEKKK!!!!  {the girls around me patted me on the shoulder and cheered for me}  *takes a bow*

The concert was amazingly fun!  Brought us all back to our preteen/teen days when life was much simpler!  Yes, daughter of mine, life IS simple right now!  Trust yo mama!  😉

Here are 2 photos of Joey singing, “Please Don’t Go Girl” which nearly had me in tears!  Thank you to Krystle for these photos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both bands performed fan favorites and were very interactive with the crowd.  There were quite a few costume changes as well as quite a few lack of costume moments.   For the last number the boys of NKOTB took to the top of the Monstah in Celtics jerseys.  {The boys of BSB came out in Miami Heat jerseys…really???}  Here are all the NKOTBSB atop the Monstah in the pouring rain.

Overall this was such a blast from the past, fun-filled night!!!  Thank you NKOTBSB for putting on an amazing show!!! I ❤ NKOTB 4-EVAH!!!!  😉

NKOTBSB at Fenway Park! Part 1…pre-concert.

June 13, 2011

I was a HUGE New Kids On The Block fan back in my preteen and early teenage days!  Convinced I was going to be the future Mrs. McIntyre, I used to practice signing my name JENNIFER KATHERINE MARGARET McINTYRE!  {back off, I was 12!} 😛

Fast forward to 2011 and New Kids On The Block announced they were going to be performing at my beloved Fenway Park with the Backstreet Boys.  As noted in my previous blog post, I met Jordan and Danny the week before the Fenway concert, so now I had my sites set to meet Donnie, Jon and my old heart-throb Joey!

THE PLAN: Get to Fenway early, find the tour buses and possibly meet one or more of the Kids and/or Boys.  {apparently the BSB had been tweeting their locations at previous shows and telling fans where to meet them, so this was ‘stalking with an invite’ as it were.}

I was the first of the group to arrive at the Park, at about 1:00pm, and being the diehard Red Sox fan that I am, my natural instinct is to go to the Red Sox Nation entrance at Gate C.  I walked up to the security guy and jokingly asked if Red Sox Nation members could get in early this way.  He smiled and said no.  I asked if I could go in real quick to get a look at the field and stage, and again  no…with a smile.  Not one to be deterred…and having a lot of time on my hands….I stayed at the entrance chatting with 2 of the security guys.  One guy, Ed, was telling me about the concert at The Gahden the week before and said even though he wasn’t an NKOTBSB fan, he had enjoyed the show.  I stayed there for about half an hour chatting with the security guys and waiting for my  five friends to show up.

Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood walked from the field of Fenway to the stairs that lead to the Green Monstah right by the entrance I was standing at.  “Donnie, can I get a quick picture with you?” I asked.  “Let me go up here and do this, but stay right there and when I come back, I’ll get you.” Donnie replied.  “Ok, thank you! Hi Danny!”  I said with a HUGE smile as Danny and Donnie were walking up the stairs.  I also told Donnie that I had tweeted him earlier in the day.  He asked if he had replied to me, I said no, and he gave an adorable sad face and said sorry before walking out of sight.  Now as all this was going on, the security team was placing barriers up to keep the crowd at bay. { My sassy lil self could stay where I was because I had established the fact I wasn’t a crazy fan. We’ll call this my “Princess Privileges.”}  I turned to Ed and said, “He’s not coming back is he?”  Ed laughed and said, “Probably not.” but let me stay where I was.

Well about 10 minutes later we heard screaming and shouts of ‘I LOVE YOU DONNIE’ mixed with ‘I LOVE YOU DANNY!’  Guess who was coming back down the stairs?  OK, so they HAD to walk back this way. There was literally no other way to get back to where they needed to be.  What were the odds Donnie was going to remember telling me to stay right there?  As it turns out…VERY GOOD!!!!

He came over to me and gave me a HUGE hug and kissed my cheek!  {I accidentally kissed his neck….for the record, he has REALLY soft skin!} Then we took this photo…

“Thank you SO MUCH! I am so excited to see the concert tonight! Good Luck!” I said to him and then he was off.  While this was all going on, Danny was standing about 15 feet away chatting with one of the road crew guys.  I tried to get his attention, but  my “Princess Privileges” had apparently expired and I had to go on the other side of the crowd barrier.  Oh well, it was fun while it lasted!

About 10 minutes later my girls started showing up.  Once we were all assembled, we all walked around the Park and found the tour buses.  One of the BSB, Brian Littrell, tweeted that his wife, Leighanne,  would be in the parking lot behind Boston Beer Works, promoting her handbag and clothing  line in her custom trailer, and he might be there to meet fans. So the six of us headed down there to potentially meet Brian.  Now as an NKOTB fan, I could appreciate the “OMG What if he IS there?” comments my BSB fan friends were making.  I laughed because if we were heading down to potentially meet up with Joey, I’d be beside myself.    Turns out the Brian wasn’t there, but Leighanne was a doll and their 8-year-old son was quite the little showman as he promoted his momma’s handbag and clothing line.  You can go to wyleebags.com for more details about the line.  Keep up the great work, Leighanne!  🙂

We walked back to Yawkey Way and stopped in the t-shirt shop which was now only selling NKOTBSB merchandise.  Five out of six of us got t-shirts of the band we grew up with.  Here are 3 NKOTB with 2 BSB fan girls!  AKA, some of the BEST ladies I know!  {not just because of their NKOTBSB fandom!  😉 }

After the shirts were purchased, we headed over to Tequila Rain because we heard there were I ❤ NKOTB signs there and other free goodies.  I went in and scored 6 “I ❤ NKOTB/BSB” wristbands and a few “I ❤ NKOTB” signs from KISS 108.  {they didn’t have any “I ❤ BSB” signs for some reason.  :-/}  Here I am at b.good, where we went for an early dinner, with my “I ❤ NKOTB” sign and new NKOTB t-shirt.  I’ve entitled this photo “FAN GIRL.”

 

NKOTBSB at Fenway

June 6, 2011

Good things come to those who wait!  We’ve all heard it throughout the course of our lives, but personally I think 23 years is a bit long to wait for the good thing(s)!

It all started in 1988 when I went on a field trip with my dad to Canobie Lake Park.  He was a Boston Public School teacher and took me on various field trips throughout the course of my childhood.  There were three other teacher’s daughters on the trip as well, so we all hung out that day.  I was 11, two of the girls were 12 and one was 14 or 15.  In the photo below, I am the one on the right too shy to smile {or look at} the camera.  {Yes, I used to be shy…I’ve overcome this malady}

That summer, the two 12 year olds and I spent a lot of time together down the Cape.  They got me into makeup, big hair and NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK!  They were older than me and “city girls” {Boston and a suburb of Boston…I was a country bumpkin being from Holliston} so therefore…they knew everything and it was cool no matter what!

My New Kids On The Block obsession was like most girls in the late 80’s early 90’s.  I was going to grow up to be Mrs. Joey McIntyre while other friends were going to marry other members of NKOTB!  I knew EVERY word to EVERY song they EVER sang!  My father took me to 6 NKOTB concerts where I screamed like every other NKOTB crazed teen girl.

**SIDE NOTE: I took my daughter to a Jonas Brothers concert last summer….BLESS MY POOR FATHER!!!  I now understand why he said “no” to going to EVERY concert.

When I was in my early teens, my bedroom walls had New Kids On The Block posters floor to ceiling!  {Joey McIntyre had one wall all to himself} Every Saturday morning I watched the New Kids On The Block cartoon which had the voices of the “Kids.”  My stepfather bought me a 6 pack of 6″ diameter buttons of  the “Kids” as well as their logo.  My parents, aunts, uncles and friends got me every NKOTB shirt, bedding set, curtains, book, poster, etc!  Of course I owned EVERY VHS video and watched the “Hanging Tough” one so much it broke! My mother had to get a new “Hanging Tough” tape because I had taken up the  “OH MY GOD MY WORLD IS OVER” attitude  for the day and a half I was without the sacred tape!

My New Kids On The Block mania lasted till I was about 15.  I grew out of my obsession right about the same time they stopped touring.  It was a mutual break up of sorts, we all just grew apart, but had some great times together.  Over the years when I  hear a New Kids song, I  smile.  Nostalgia is a wonderful feeling.  My daughter knows some of the songs too and we’ll  sing along when we hear them.

Now fast forward to 2011…New Kids On The Block will be performing at FENWAY PARK with the Backstreet Boys!!!!!  TWO of my childhood passions  together for one day only!  My inner 12-year-old came out as soon as I saw the announcement!  I MUST GET TICKETS TO THIS!!!  I posted my desire to go to the concert on facebook and my former sister-in-law said she wanted to go too because she loves Fenway and the Backstreet Boys! So, I got tickets and we are now going together!

**SIDE NOTE: I do know who the Back Street Boys are because I was a DJ when they were big, but I am too old to have been crazed over them.  S-I-L is 9 years younger than me, so she is crazed about BSB just as I am about NKOTB!

SATURDAY JUNE 4th, 2011:

My friend, Danielle, turned 30 and a bunch of us celebrated her Bday at a Red Sox game at Fenway Park.  We have a routine when we go to Fenway because we all go so often.  Get there early, hang outside Fenway till they let us in chatting with Michael, the sausage guy, then go up to the top of the Monstah to watch Batting Practice, after that go to the bullpen to watch the pitcher du jour and catcher warming up, finally we go to our respective seats.  Some days….like Saturday…there is a player fan photo session for half an hour where you get your pic with a Red Sox player.  {we sprinkle that in accordingly}

Here are some of the Diamond Dolls at Fenway on Sat.  {A few don’t like to be in photos}

We walked into the bleachers rather than going to the top of the Monstah because we knew BP wasn’t going to take place, but we wanted to watch the pitchers working out.  {all the pitchers not just the pitcher du jour}  When we got to the bleachers we saw a camera crew filming 9 guys in the field.  I don’t know who it was, but someone said, “Oh my gawd! That’s New Kids and Backstreet Boys!”  WHAT????  Wait….WHAT???

The Fenway Park NKOTBSB concert was a week away and they were shooting promo shots and video.  {If I am correct, this will all be shown at the concert next week.}  So, here we are up in the bleachers and NKOTB are right below me.  My inner 12-year-old came back!  “EEEEEEEKKK!!!  LOOK JOEY MAC!!!!  HOLY COW!!!!”  {or words to that effect}

After the photo/video shoot wrapped up on the field of Fenway, they all went to the dugout  for more video and photos.  {Like I said, I’m sure it’s all going to be shown on Sat at the concert.} So, we all went down to the bullpen to hang out for a bit before heading over to get a fan photo with Red Sox player, Drew Sutton. When I saw it was tome to go over for the fan photo, none of the girls wanted to come with me.  😦  Well fine! I’ll go by my damn self!  So me and my damn self started to head over to Gate D.

**SIDE NOTE: There are time frames, etc, for when you can/can’t walk through Fenway, so this part of the field trip was not supposed to happen.   My theory in life is “KEEP WALKING UNTIL THEY TELL YOU TO STOP!”  So I did and they didn’t.   ANY WAY….

As I was walking to Gate D {behind 3 security members} I noticed cameras and video cameras.  Something was going on in the halls of Fenway as I approached.  HOLY COW!!!  I was walking in on part of the NKOTBSB photo/video shoot.  So I hung back at the entrance to the area {to the left of the home plate concourse before Gate D where all the Red Sox logos throughout the years are}and took out my phone to snap this pic….

I mean really….WHEN was I going to get THIS close to a member of NKOTB in my life? This was SO cool to watch!  I know the pic is kinda fuzzy, but my heart was racing and my hands trembled.

A group of guys {on a Fenway tour of sorts} walked through quietly so I joined in on the tail end.  As I got half way across the photo/video shoot this big {and I mean HUGELY BIG, GIANT} man told me to stay put because they were going to take a video and didn’t want me to trip on the cords.  {ok, so he was huge and very sweet!}  🙂

Where did he have me stop? Right in front of JOEY FREAKIN’ McINTYRE!!!!! *swoons*  I am now standing 10 feet from my childhood crush.  To the right….Jordan Knight! Jordan smiled at me and said hi. I quietly said hi back. I looked at Joey and he winked at me.  Yup! That was almost the last thing that ever happened to me.  “How did she die?” “Joey Freakin’ McIntyre winked at her and she dropped dead on the spot!” “Sad, but at least she died happy.”

I made an attempt to take a photo of Joey while I was standing there, but as you can see, my hands were shaking too much.  The next photo I attempted to take was of Jordan.  It came out better, but my hands were still shaking.  WTF I’m 34 not 12!!!!  OY!

I remembered I had my actual camera with me {in a brief moment of clarity} and tried to take a less fuzzy photo.  Again, with my hands shaking like I was suddenly struck with some debilitating disease, the photo is a little fuzzy.  But here is Joey, Jordan, Jonathan and one of the Back Street Boys.

So, after my inner 12-year-old got to be mere feet from her childhood heart-throb, I continued walking to my final destination….through Gate D and onto Yawkey Way to see Red Sox player Drew Sutton.  Here is the proof photo of Sutton and I.

After the photo with Sutton, I was eager to get back to my friends and tell them about my adventures with NKOTB!!!  I walked back into Gate D and was intending to walk down the ramp which leads to the concourse, but my new BFF, Mr Giant Security, told me I couldn’t walk down the ramp.  He said they were going to be doing more “shooting” for the video.  I asked if I could stand along the side and watch, he said yes.  {seriously, as big as he was….JUST AS SWEET!}

So I watched as the New Kids On The Block along with the Backstreet Boys walked up and down the ramp at Gate D.  When they were walking back the first time Donnie Wahlberg was right next to me so I said quietly, “Yaaaaaaay Donnie!” He looked up and said, “Hey what’s up?” with a smile! I said, “I’m looking forward to going to the concert next week. I’ve been a fan for over 25 years.” He said, “That’s so cool. Thank you!”  Then they walked down again and this time back Joey looked at me and I said, “Can’t wait to see you in concert next week.” He said, “That’s awesome! Thanks!” *swoons*

Here are all the guys getting ready to walk down the ramp…

After they walked up and down the ramp at Gate D of Fenway, they were all in a group on Yawkey Way waiting for further instructions from the film crew.  I walked over like I was meant to be there {Remember my theory.KEEP WALKING UNTIL THEY TELL YOU TO STOP!} A different member of security was there and told me I couldn’t get any closer to the New Kids or Back Street Boys, so I hung out with him for a bit and chatted.  We were talking about the concerts and the Red Sox when Jordan Knight came over to us.  I told him I was a fan and couldn’t wait for the concert next week.  He said it was awesome that I was still a fan after 25 years and agreed to take a photo with me.  Now keep in mind he was all happy smiles right before I took the photo…

After I looked at it on my phone I looked at him and said, “Really?”  He laughed and simply said, “Yup!” and walked away.  Danny Wood came over next and again I gave him the fan-girl speech and he agreed to a photo as well.

I had told him I loved NKOTB and would love them forever before I took the photo.  after the photo I asked him to get me Joey Mac and told him I would love him forever if he did.  He smiled and  said, “You already said you loved me/us forever though.” I said with a grin, “OK, I will love YOU forever and a day if you get Joey over here for a photo!” So he walked over to Joey and as he got to him, the video people told the crew to move onto the next location.  “Step to the side please.” security said and the New Kids and Backstreet Boys with their entourage walked past me.  Joey and Danny looking at me as they walked.    Next thing I knew, someone had their hand around my elbow and was saying, “Well, get walking.”  It was my security friend pushing me into the entourage.  As we all walked down the concourse I was walking next to this kid who I recognized as a BSB but wasn’t sure of his name.  I put my arm around him and said, “I am so excited for your concert here next week!  I hope you guys have a great time and good luck with everything!”  A different security guy came over and said, “Miss don’t touch the Backstreet Boys.”  He said, “Nah dude, it’s ok.” Then I said, “Oh Honey, I won’t hurt him, relax.”

**SIDE NOTE: I am pretty sure there is a personal security guy for each member of the bands as well as general security for them.  Their entourage was flippin’ huge!

As we all walked and chatted, I noticed Joey looking back at me while talking to Danny and they were both smiling.  Here I am thinking I might actually get a photo with him, but alas no such luck, as they all went into a cordoned off area.  This is where my NKOTBSB journey came to its end.

When I finally made my way back to my girls I was shaking and nearly speechless! I told them this story and found out from Aislinn that it was Brian of BSB whom I was chatting with.  {He’s a lovely guy, and now I know his name}

Good things come to those who wait!  We’ve all heard it throughout the course of our lives, but personally I think 23 years is a bit long to wait for the good thing(s)!  Here is 11-year-old me and 34-year-old me…

….a lot has changed, but deep down, I will always LOVE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK!!!!!

My Baseball Garden Is Growing

May 4, 2011

I have been to 10 Red Sox games so far this 2011 season, and each one has been an absolute blast!  My girls and I have a routine which is: meet at Gate C, watch BP {batting practice} on the Green Monstah, watch the pitcher and catcher du jour warm up at the bullpen, then go to our respective seats.

SIDE NOTE: Any member of Red Sox Nation 2011 can watch BP atop the Monstah when you have tickets to the game.  {You can also have one guest go with you.}  Not a member of RSN 2011? Click the link and you can sign up today!  {you will also see a photo of my friend, Danielle and I next to the RED SOX NATION IS…}

http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/fan_forum/redsox_nation.jsp

Part of the fun of watching BP is trying to either catch a ball or have a player toss one up to you.  Of the 10 games I have gone to, I’ve been to  BP 8 times.  Of my 8 BP trips, I have had players throw a ball up to me 6 times.  {Now of those 6 balls, I kept 5 and gave 1 to a new friend.}  🙂

Here I am with a ball on Opening Day from John Lackey and a ball I received on May 2nd from Matt Albers.

I knew May 3rd was going to be  a “FanFoto Day” which means after BP, you get to meet a player and have your photo taken with them courtesy of the Red Sox.  A member of the  Red Sox staff then give you a business card with a promo code and you can go to redsox.com click the “fanfoto” and get your FREE photo with the player.  The player for May 3rd was to be Darnell McDonald.  This was cool…I like D-Mac…so rather than going all the way up to the top of the Monstah where it is notably windy, I decided to watch BP at the bleachers in front of Sect 35. {the corner where they cover up for day games.}

Well, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but Darnell McDonald and 8 tiny reindeer!  {ok, it was D-Mac and Marco Scutaro…but that didn’t rhyme as well as 8 tiny….never mind….back to the story…. }

So, D-Mac is right below me shagging balls during BP chatting with Marco Scutaro and later to Mike Cameron.  {see photo below which denotes the location of D-Mac, Scoots and myself.}

A ball came flying over D-Mac’s head and landed right below me.  “Darnell, may I please have that ball?” I asked. *tosses ball to me* “Thank you, Darnell.”  He walked back to his spot, which at this point was abandoned by Scoots and yet to be occupied by Cam.  D-Mac was all over the place shagging balls until Mike Cameron came over to chat with him.  Another ball landed right below me…D-Mac looks up as he went to retrieve the ball and said something to me which I didn’t hear.  {along with being partially deaf, the music at Fenway is wicked loud.  Not to mention the fact he was about 15 feet below me.}  “I’m sorry, I  didn’t hear you, what was that?” I said to the Gold Glove Center Fielder.  “I like your hair, it is very pretty!” He yelled up to me.  *head spins…HUH???*  “Thank you.” I replied with a huge smile!  “Is that your natural color?” He asked.  *HOLY COW!  Darnell McDonald is interested in my hair!* “Yes, it is.” I said down to him.  “I really love that color.  Your hair is beautiful!”  He said to me.  “Thank you so much.  I’m Irish, hence the red.”  I said still smiling!  “Irish, huh?  Very nice.”  He winked and walked away.

My friend, Aislinn, was up on the Monstah while all of this was going on, but I couldn’t yell up to her, so I did the next best thing and sent her a text!  We were texting back and forth as D-Mac was now chatting with Cam.  D-Mac would talk and Cam {not subtly} would turn around and look at me…every now and then smiling.  I would LOVE to know what on Earth they were saying.  {Guess I’ll never know}

D-Mac came back to shag another ball below me and I asked him if he could throw it up to Aislinn and her roommate.  {One of her texts said something to the effect of, “Work your magic and get my roommate a ball.” }  So he obliged and the roommate got a souvenir ball from D-Mac.

After BP, I met up with the girls and we went over to where the FanFoto was taking place to get out photo with Darnell…AKA my new BFF!  LOL  When it was my turn for the photo, I thanked him for the ball.  {there wasn’t time to chat further because there was a line and a time limit.}  Here is a proof of the photo…when the real one comes, I’ll post it in a blog also.

Thanks to Darnell, my baseball garden is growing.  I have 1 ball from John Lackey, 2 balls from Alfredo Aceves, 1 Ball from Matt Albers and my most recent from the player who loves my hair, Darnell McDonald.  Right now they are at work in a plant water catcher, but I am thinking of getting a basket for them and putting Easter grass or confetti in it.  Here is a pic of my “Baseball Garden.”

It should also be noted that my hair, although I am 100% Irish, is not naturally this color.  What? When am I ever going to run into D-Mac again?  He’ll never know.

I do have natural auburn and blond highlights in my brown hair {along with gray}, but the best colorist in Massachusetts, Floris at Salon Excellence on River St in Waltham, is the magician who makes my hair look amazing!  {once a month I visit the lovely Floris and her friendly staff for “routine maintenance.”}  If you are looking to get your hair done, I HIGHLY recommend going to see Floris and the girls at Salon Excellence!

Planning the 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park

April 20, 2011

Larry Lucchino reminisced about a meeting that took place a while back, where he and other Red Sox personnel were not sure if they should plan a big 100 year celebration for Fenway Park because it might be viewed as too self glorifying.  After 10 minutes of discussion, the group decided that the best fans in baseball would definitely appreciate the 100 year celebration.  No other ballpark has ever stood the test of time to make it to 100 years, so why not celebrate, Larry concluded.   Honestly Larry, I could not agree more!

On the 99th anniversary of Fenway Park, the Red Sox organization held a special meeting of season ticket holders, members of Red Sox Nation, Fenway icons, and others to help plan for the 100th Anniversary.  They want to get ideas from the Red Sox faithful to help enhance the 100th year.  When I was asked  to take part in this, my first question was, “Can I bring my 13-year-old daughter with me?”   I explained how she can never go to a ballgame because of her deadly peanut allergy, and they assured me there would be no peanuts or any food in the EMC Club where the meeting was to take place.

The meeting began with Sam Kennedy speaking then turning the mic over to Larry Lucchino.  Larry was very excited to tell us about some of the preliminary plans for the 100th Anniversary season.  He was VERY excited about the new 100 YEARS logo as well as the new website.

The Red Sox organization  set up a new website fenwaypark100.com for fans to get an in-depth prospective of America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.  As Larry told us, it will take a few visits to the site to see everything, but it is a beautiful historic look at our beloved ballpark.  Have you got an idea for the 100th Anniversary Year of Fenway Park?  Click on the “Where everybody knows your name” tab then on the left click on “Send us your stories and ideas.”  The Red Sox want to hear what everyone has to say and get advice from real people like us!

FENWAY PARK 100th ANNIVERSARY BRICK PROGRAM:

“The Boston Red Sox have created a special opportunity for fans to literally put their mark on the historic ballpark.  The Fenway Park 100th Anniversary Brick Program will give fans a chance to have a brick with a personalized message placed in the Fenway Park concourse area inside Gates B & C.”  The first commemorative bricks were handed out today at the meeting to some very deserving people.  Bill Hogan, who was born 6 days before Fenway Park opened to the public, was the first recipient of a commemorative brick.  Bill and his grandson accepted the brick and thanked the Red Sox for all the memories.  Arthur D’Angelo who has been to the past 65 home openers at Fenway also received a commemorative brick.  Season ticket holders Marion Redonnet, Jordan and Barbara Birger, along with Gary and Lynne “Fenway Park Hat Lady” Smith, received commemorative bricks. The final two commemorative bricks went to two gentlemen who the Red Sox admire for different reasons.  Victor Murphy an 18-year-old Dorcester resident and Fenway High student,  is part of the  2011 Red Sox Scholar class and recipient of the Posse scholarship to Union College.  Finally “Regular” Rob Crawford who is the Vice President of Red Sox Nation received his commemorative brick.

Larry then asked people for thoughts and ideas of how the Red Sox can make the 100th Anniversary Year special for all the fans.  A number of great ideas were heard and I suggested the Red Sox have players reach out further than Boston to meet fans.  Although it has been wonderful being in Boston and meeting so many players, what about the people in say Webster? Or New Hampshire? Maine or Vermont?  North Adams or Yarmouth? Why not send players out to those places to meet fans who are unable to make it into Boston.  Larry, Sam and other members of the Red Sox staff thanked me for the idea and said they would look into it.  Hall of Famer, Jim Rice suggested a “ladies night” at Fenway Park where all the ladies got dressed up and wore dresses and heels to the park.  Gotta say…I’m liking this idea, Jim!  Any excuse to get dolled up works for me!  After a few more suggestions, the meeting wrapped up.

I took my daughter to the window of the EMC Club where she saw Fenway Park for the second time in her life. She was in awe and looked like a little kid at a candy store window.  Once the crowd had diminished a bit, I took her to meet Larry Lucchino and Jim Rice.  We met Jim first and chatted with him for a good 10 to 15 minutes.  Can I just tell you what a charming man he is???  First when I asked if I could have my daughter take a picture with him, he said, “Your daughter? No way!”  Oh Jim…you know how to make a gal smile!  I told him I loved the idea of Ladies Night and the heels I was wearing today I bought specifically because I love my Red Sox!  {5″ red stilettos}  He liked the heels too.

We then met Larry Lucchino.  My daughter had a suggestion for him which was; Opening Day 2012 should be peanut-free so children and adults with deadly peanut allergies, like hers, could enjoy Opening Day like everyone else.  She explained how the day before Opening Day was always the last time she could go near Fenway because all the peanut residue on the sidewalks and streets surrounding the ballpark have been washed away by the snow and rain in the off-season.  She  told Mr. Lucchino what a diehard Red Sox  fan she is, but due to her allergy she can never go to a game.  The wonderful Larry Lucchino then said to her “Wait right there.”  {so we did}  Larry introduced us to Jon who was in charge of the PEANUT FREE BOX at Fenway!!!  The WHAT???  Larry Lucchino made my dreams come true!!!  Taking my daughter to Fenway Park has been a dream of mine {and hers} for over 13 years!!!

The 100th Year Anniversary celebrations look to be amazing and Larry Lucchino literally made my dreams come true!

Preseason Fun With the Red Sox

April 14, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I was on twitter yammering on and on about the Red Sox and my dreams for the upcoming season as I have done for the past 2 years.  When I received a private message from the official Red Sox twitter page, I nearly fell off my chair! “Hi! We’re looking for fan stories for RS Prod – if you’re interested, can you send your contact info to  <email address provided>.”   Wait, what??? The Red Sox want ME to tell a fan story? Well, of course I emailed the address provided and was told that they liked my term, “Diamond Dolls” and wanted to know more about us Dolls.

DIAMOND DOLL: A sassy die-hard baseball fan who knows her baseball facts and stats but enjoys her mani/pedi and getting all dolled up. {The opposite of a “pink hat.”}


So, I emailed my Diamond Doll friends, got them in contact with the Red Sox. We all sent in photos as well as our personal stories of Red Sox moments we have all shared. We were all asked to do an on camera interview for the “Fan Stories” which will be shown at Fenway Park during the 3rd inning of Red Sox games. {When it came time to do the interview however, only Aislinn and I were available {or willing} to do it.} So on Tuesday afternoon, April 1st, Aislinn and I met at Gate D with Abbey from the Red Sox Productions and off we went into Fenway Park.

It has been a long cold winter in Boston, so walking into Fenway for the first time this year was a very special moment! I felt like my heart was home, it was such a great feeling!

Abbey brought us over to the left field grandstand seats where we met the cameraman, Tim. Tim and Abbey helped Aislinn and I get the microphones on and made us feel comfortable about everything. We told her about meeting players, going to the Picnic in the Park, hanging out before the game on The Monstah, who our favorite player(s) are and how we had all met among other stories. Honestly, it was fun and Abbey made it seem like we were just talking to her, not like we were being interviewed, which helped tremendously! {Thanks Abbey}

After the interview, we were both asked if we would like to take part in the dress rehearsals for Opening Day. {I had mentioned that my daughter and I had done it the year before when we were interviewed.} Without hesitation, we both said YES! Later that night we both received an email from Nina of the Red Sox, telling us there were going to be rehearsals on Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon. Due to both of our schedules, Aislinn and I couldn’t take part in this together, but we each got to take a day and enjoy it all the same.

So Wednesday after work, I trekked down to Fenway where I was greeted by Fenway Ambassador, Evan. He was wonderfully chatty as he escorted me to my seat where I awaited further instruction from the other Fenway Ambassadors who were running the event. There were about 50 volunteers, including myself awaiting our fates. The Ambassadors handed each of us a piece of paper with a player, manager or coach’s name on it, along with a strip of clear duct tape to affix the name on the front of our shirts. We were now to represent a Red Sox or Yankees player, manager, coach or other supporting staff member. I was originally given a Yankees coach, Rob Tomson, to represent, but my sassy flirting landed me a Red Sox player when all was said and done! Last year I was Tito, this year…YOOOOOOOUUUK!

The Ambassadors took us to our respective dugouts to place us in order of when the player, coach, etc would be announced during the Opening Day ceremony at Fenway. While we all waited in the dugout for the ceremony to begin, we got to chatting and making predictions about this year’s team. It’s always nice to meet new people who share my passion. {Even though it’s a slow start to the season, the Red Sox will be fine! RELAX!}

As the ceremony got underway, we, Red Sox, all took the field together, as opposed to the Yankees who all got called one by one from their dugout. We, Red Sox, were lined up on the first base line. Then, starting with the supporting staff, we all were announced and appeared on the jumbotron in center field. “KEVIN YOUKILIS” was called, so I smiled and waved to the camera. It was so much fun!

After the player intros, there was a moment of silence for Lou Gorman who passed away on April 1st, followed by “Taps” and “Anchors Aweigh” in Lou’s honor. “The National Anthem” was then performed {from a recording} and the flyover which would take place from the Green Mountain Boys was announced, followed by the ceremonial first pitch being thrown out.

Now there is quite a bit of hype over who will throw out the first pitch every year, so “inside information” is always helpful! OF COURSE the Red Sox organization is well aware that: A) they are doing this over the loud speakers in a park without a dome/roof. B) almost everyone in the universe is on some form of social media. C) NOBODY can keep a secret. D) they would need to have us sign a “confidentiality agreement.” So we were told KERMIT THE FROG would be throwing out the first pitch! {To be honest…when I first heard them say that, I was excited…a little let down when I found out it was just a code name.}

After we ran through the ceremony three times, the Red Sox crew was satisfied with the camera angles and such. The remaining volunteers were then treated to dinner at the concourse behind home plate! Free dinner courtesy of the Red Sox, how nice! I had 2 clam chowdahs, a Fenway Frank and water. {I gave up soda for Lent} I was chatting with the guys, who were next to me during the ceremony, about the upcoming season and all the renovations which have been done over the past 10 years. The guys worked for Fenway and said they have loved seeing the improvements and how great it is to work there!

So between being interviewed and helping with the Opening Day ceremony, I had a wonderfully fun beginning of April. The Sox are off to a slow start, but fear not, our boys will get it in gear and we will be back in the WS before you know it! Remember Red Sox Nation: ‘04+’07=’11 GO SOX!!!

Turns out YAZ threw out the first pitch on Opening Day 2011! I was there, but that’s a different blog for a different day! {Actually…I went to the first 5 games, game 6 was rained out. Might get tix for game 7 and have tix for 8&9} I quit smoking on February 16th after 22 years and Red Sox tickets are my reward to myself. 🙂

First sign of spring in Boston!

February 8, 2011

For some people seeing a robin is their first sign of spring, for others it happens when they see the buds of crocuses starting to poke out of the ground, but here in Boston we look for a huge green 18-wheeler, A.K.A. “THE TRUCK” with a soft-spoken driver as our first sign of spring!

With umbrella in hand, I walked from my office with my buddy, Paul, to Fenway Park.  The mile long trek was an adventure unto itself.  With the rain coming down, coffee in one hand, umbrella in the other, Paul and I had to dodge snowbanks, puddles and oncoming traffic!

Once at Fenway, the fun began!  I got interviewed by Carl Stevens of WBZ radio and Mike Dowling of WCVB Ch. 5 news!  {below is a photo of Mike Dowling interviewing me!}

Paul and I met up with another friend and fellow Red Sox die-hard, Aislinn!  The three of us wandered around chatting about the upcoming season.  The atmosphere outside Fenway Park was great!  There were so many Red Sox fans there who braved the cold rain just like us to kick off the 2011 Red Sox season!  Aislinn and I met and got our photos with Larry Lucchino and Heidi Watney.  {Paul was M.I.A. at this point}

Just after 12-noon, Boston’s first sign of spring rolled down snowy Van Ness St away from frosty Fenway Park and headed to warm and sunny Fort Myers, Florida to beautiful City of Palms Park!  Leading the procession was a flatbed truck with Wally The Green Monster and the Fenway Ambassadors tossing trucker caps and squishy baseballs to the Fenway Faithful crowd who were on hand to bid THE TRUCK adieu.

For the 14th year in a row,  Atlas Van Lines driver, Al Hartz, will be in command of THE TRUCK.  Al has been a lifelong Red Sox fan but doesn’t get to too many Sox games because the summer is his busiest season.  For 12 of Al’s 14 years, THE TRUCK left Fenway with a banner draped on the sides depicting the Red Sox logo as well as the sponsoring company of the event.  The only problem was shortly along the route it had to be removed because of the potential hazards it posed to the general public along the highways from Boston to Fort Myers.  Last year, THE TRUCK was given a complete makeover thanks to Jet Blue!  No more banners for our truck, now it has  decals on the sides the full length of the truck, that will last all the way to FLA!!  Last year Fenway’s  Green Monster was spanning the entire length of the truck with Wally hanging off a ladder on the side.  This year it is the Green Monster scoreboard with FIRST STOP FORT MYERS NEXT STOP THE SERIES written in the spaces.

*Coincidentally, Wally The Green Monster will be celebrating his 14th season with the Red Sox in 2011.  {Also coincidentally, my daughter will be celebrating her 14th birthday later this year!  What?  I’m a proud mama!  And it’s my blog!}  😉

“Hope Springs Eternal” is more than just a cliché phrase to die-hard baseball fans; Spring Training brings out the hopes and dreams of the upcoming baseball season to players and fans alike.  Regardless of where the team ended the previous season, everyone’s record is spotless and perfect in the spring!

The 2010 Red Sox season was one plagued with injuries to so many of our beloved Red Sox players.  But we got a chance to see how amazing the Red Sox farm system is with all the guys who got the call to play in the bigs, if only for a few weeks.  My favorite moment of the 2010 season was the Daniel Nava grand slam on June 12th!!!  A kid who never gave up on his dream of playing in the majors, hits a grand slam on his first ever major league pitch! Daniel received a raucous standing ovation from the excited Fenway crowd that day.  I was watching from home but was jumping up and down and cheering just as loud for him.


On paper, the 2011 Red Sox team is unstoppable.  Everyone who was on the DL last season is healthy, and with a few new additions to key places this team looks amazing!!!  Though this winter has been far too long and snowy for many of us in Boston, our thoughts today turn to spring as Al and THE TRUCK make their journey to Florida.

Red Sox Irish Blessing:

Written by: ~Jenney Griffin

May the Sox be free of injuries and their bats be full of power;

May the pitchers command the strike zone making every hitter cower!

May the fans be rewarded for another year of loyalty;

May the Red Sox once again stand as  baseball’s royalty!

GO SOX!!!!  WE LOVE THAT DIRTY WATAH HERE IN BOSTON!!!

My fantasy Red Sox job…

January 24, 2011

With all the crazy things that happen because of online posts, I figured why not give it a shot, right?  Justin Bieber got discovered because of YouTube, and some kid posted a video asking a millionaire for a million dollars…and he got it!

So, what do I want?  I want to become a Red Sox reporter of sorts.  Here’s my concept…have an average Red Sox fan…me…spend a day with a Red Sox player and then either blog about it, or do a half hour show about the player.  {seriously, how cool would it be to have your own show?} We would see what the player does for charity work, or what their family is like, or what they like to do in their off time.  There are plenty of shows giving player stats, this would be a “behind the scenes” look at our favorite players from the best baseball team in history!  Who wouldn’t want to know about their favorite players?  One player a week will get us through the season and beyond!  😉

What gave me this idea?  I met Curt Schilling in March 2010 and Jon Lester January 2011 and people asked me both times, “Oh my God…what is he like?”  I can tell you Curt has very outgoing and happy.  He was amazingly gracious to take a photo with me while he was leaving an event.  {I happened to catch him as he was heading out.}  Jon Lester was SO SWEET!  He was soft-spoken and very polite.  Definitely a “quiet guy” but very friendly and kind.

I am not some gal who is only into baseball because the players are hot in their baseball pants…which they are!  I know my baseball!  I have been a Red Sox fan for nearly 34 years!  I went to my first baseball game in May 1977…in a baby carrier, so I don’t exactly remember the game, but I do remember going to games with my dad and Pappa when I was a kid.  Hey did you know…my grandfather {Pappa} was the bullpen cop for the Red Sox in the ’50s and ’60s?  Pretty cool, huh?  I have had so many friends over the years ask, “HOW did you know that?” when we’re discussing Red Sox history!

OK, in reality I know this is a fantasy, BUT like I said…Justin Bieber got discovered because of YouTube, and some kid posted a video asking a millionaire for a million dollars…and he got it!  Maybe, just maybe there is a fairy Godmother out there for me, who will read this and say, “Hey, she sounds PERFECT for a show like that!”  One never knows!  😉

I just met Jon Lester!

January 24, 2011

Working in Boston has many perks.  One of the best ones I have discovered is meeting various Red Sox players!

Last March I met Curt and Shonda Schilling when they came to Boston to promote Shonda’s book;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I met El Tiante at the 2010 All*Star party held at Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar & Grill, where I always  run into Jerry;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and today I met Jon Lester!  HOLY COW!!!  JOHNNY LESTAH!!!  {Pitcher for the Boston Red Sox for those who are wondering}

 

I was on my way to get coffee at DD in the Pru Mall when I walked past the new People’s United Bank and saw a larger than normal crowd.  I stopped and looked in and there, head and shoulders above everyone else, was Boston Red Sox pitching ace, Jon Lester!  I walked into the bank and asked one of the girls at the desk if anyone could meet him, or only bank customers?  She said anyone and then some guy…seemingly a public relations rep….took my cell phone I had just fished out of my pocket and said, “Jon would love to meet you! Go over there and I’ll take a picture of you two!”  So I walked over to Jon and said, “Hi I’m Jenney, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”  Jon smiled at me and said, “I’m Jon, it’s a pleasure to meet you too Jenney.”  We posed for the picture and then chatted for a short while.

I wished him luck and told him my girlfriends and I stalk the bullpen before the games, so he would be seeing me again, to which he replied, “Cool, I look forward to seeing you and your girls.”  *SWOONS*  OK, in reality, we all know Jon was just being a nice guy, but in my fantasy world….Jon will see me and my girls in April and say, “Hey Jenney, good to see you again.  I was telling Tek about you and he said he’d love to take you to dinner tomorrow night.” MY BLOG=MY FANTASY!

I know I have the most amazing luck when it come to the Red Sox, but I think it runs in my family.  Here is a pic of my brother, Bill,  with Derek Lowe back in 2009 after D-Lowe pitched against the Sox.  Bill happened to be at the same bar as D-Lowe after the game.  Told me Lowe was a cool guy…although a wee bit intoxicated.